Mastercard Foundation and KIC join forces to train young agricultural entrepreneurs
The Mastercard Foundation and the Kosmos Innovation Center (KIC) have entered into a multi-year partnership to train the next generation of young leaders, agricultural entrepreneurs, to ensure an improved and sustainable sector in the country.
Dubbed the Initiative for Youth in Agricultural Transformation (IYAT), the program would scale KIC’s proven transformation model and initiatives such as AgriTech Challenge, Business Booster and Business Incubation in all 16 regions of the country.
The partnership will enable young entrepreneurs in agriculture and agriculture-adjacent sectors to benefit from capacity building, access to finance and business expansion opportunities, creating work opportunities for 163 000 young Ghanaians, especially women.
Under this program, a four-year, $16 million program is aligned with the vision and work of Young Africa Works of the Mastercard Foundation in Ghana, which aims to deepen efforts in agriculture and adjacent sectors to agriculture using a value chain market systems development approach, create access to dignified and fulfilling work opportunities in the sector for young Ghanaians.
The program also aligns with KIC’s goal of nurturing the next generation of leaders, entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses, to build a healthier, more diverse economy fueled by talent and innovation. local innovation.
Speaking at the launch, KIC Executive Director Benjamin Gyan-Kesse said the partnership with the Mastercard Foundation is a testament to KIC’s tangible achievements since its inception.
“The partnership is a nod to the transformation we are bringing to Ghana’s agricultural sector and as an organization we are driven by a determination to drive the innovations that will shape Ghana’s agricultural sector,” said he declared.
KIC’s purpose, he said, is to support ideas that transform communities and we want to impact the lives of everyone associated with its programs.
“We are proud that the Mastercard Foundation supports our vision and helps us make a difference across the country.”
The KIC, he said, has led bold initiatives in the country’s agricultural sector and supported young entrepreneurs who are pioneering innovative business models in the sector.
Mr. Gyan-Kesse said that more than 100,000 farmers have been reached by Agri-Tech and KIC-supported agribusinesses, and now KIC has become an independent non-profit organization, able to partner with other organizations and foundations to support its work.
During the ceremony, KIC Chairman of the Board, Mr. Joe Mensah, said he saw the potential of KIC when Kosmos Energy introduced it in 2016.
“We knew he had the potential to make a real difference by bringing new talent, thought and energy to Ghana’s agricultural sector.
“Our achievements over the years speak for themselves since 600 young leaders trained in business and entrepreneurship; 42 promising small businesses discovered or supported; 360 jobs created; and nearly 100,000 farmers supported by our start-ups and small businesses.
Senior Vice President of Kosmos Energy and Head of Ghana Business Unit, Mr. Joe Mensah said KIC is generating buzz in the agricultural sector, making it a more attractive career path for ambitious young people and motivated.
“The nationwide expansion of the proven and successful KIC model will give young people closest to the problems the opportunity to propose solutions that unlock barriers to growth in key agricultural value chains,” he said. he declares.
Ghana’s Country Manager, Mastercard Foundation, Ms. Rosy Fynn said, “This multi-year partnership with KIC reflects our optimism about Ghana’s future and is aligned with our country’s strategy to invest in agriculture and sectors adjacent to agriculture to unlock work opportunities for young people. Ghanaian women and men.
The partnership, she said, would push for system-level changes that would position Ghana as a continental showcase of agricultural innovations suited to the African context.
“We are pleased to collaborate with the KIC, an experienced partner, to train and support the next generation of young entrepreneurs in the country.”
4,700 young people
The KIC programs, which will be scaled up through the IYAT program, include an annual 7-month training program aimed at developing the entrepreneurial spirit of students and recent graduates within the framework of AgriTech Challenge Classic.
“Over the next four years, the expanded version of the AgriTech Challenge is expected to train approximately 4,700 young people across the country through relationships with regional academic partners, such as universities and technical schools,” he said. he declares.
There is also AgriTech Challenge Pro – a 5-month acceleration program aimed at equipping existing start-up teams or AgriTech start-ups with the right tools, funding and support needed to bring their business ideas or products to market and prepare them to evolve.
In the area of incubation – the KIC Incubation is a multi-year business incubation program aimed at preparing companies for growth, scale and investor readiness, – a 5-year business building program month that is spurring the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in agriculture and agriculture-adjacent sectors in Ghana that have demonstrated their potential and are ready to scale.
KIC & Mastercard Foundation
The Kosmos Innovation Center (KIC) in Ghana is a non-profit organization that invests in young entrepreneurs and small businesses. We empower entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into viable, self-sustaining businesses. The Center works alongside promising small businesses to help them scale and reach their full potential.
The KIC invests in the future by supporting innovators who turn today’s problems into tomorrow’s opportunities. We are on a mission to develop innovations that apply business solutions to key development challenges, starting with agriculture – the largest sector of Ghana’s and Africa’s economy.
The Mastercard Foundation works with visionary organizations to enable young people in Africa and Indigenous communities in Canada to access dignified and fulfilling work.
It is one of the largest private foundations in the world whose mission is to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. The Foundation was created by Mastercard in 2006 as an independent organization with its own board and management.