Dutch government acceleration programme to support Ghanaian start-ups to scale up

The Dutch Government will in September this year commence the Orange Corners Acceleration Programme to support Ghanaian start-up businesses to scale up.

The initiative, sponsored by the Dutch Government, in collaboration with the Ghana Innovation Hub and other partners, is to support young entrepreneurs with the necessary opportunities, skills and access to market and finance to grow.

The programme, which runs a six months session seeks to train and support 60 Ghanaian start-ups through coaching, mentoring, work space, monthly masterclass and international networking.

Ms Sussane Roelofsen, the Project Manager, Ghana Innovation Hub, speaking at a three-day conference said the initiative serves as a bridge between innovative entrepreneurs and the private sector.

She said this offers a great benefit to all partners involved.

The Project Manager said the programme was an entire entrepreneurial ecosystem, which helps transform start-ups into a business, and provides value for customers, partners and funders.

“The programme will help start-ups find investors and partnership,” she said.

On the innovation hub, Ms Roelofsen said they were currently hosting the maiden edition of the “#innov8GH Conference,” which will be an annual event at their Hub in the Accra Digital Center.

She said the three-day Innovation Conference was purposely created for entrepreneurs and other stakeholders in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

She said the hub was being managed by a consortium of BlueSpace Africa, Ghana Technology University college, and MDF West Africa and offers are physical working space and meeting rooms, business development support in ideation, Incubation and Acceleration, investment matchmaking for businesses, ecosystem support and bringing together the different stakeholders.

Ms Jinte Veldman, the Programme Advisor in Ghana said during programme the start-ups, their business coach would look at opportunities for their business and work towards new market access, improving operational efficiency and structuring their financials for future investment.

She said the businesses would also be able to make use of the Orange Corners working space in the Hub and become part of the international network.

She said by offering entrepreneurs the necessary support, they help businesses identify potential and stimulate growth, which in return leads to the creation of jobs and economic development.

Mr Richard Yeboah, Project Director, Ghana Innovation Hub told the GNA that young entrepreneurs between the ages of 18-35 years were eligible to apply for the programme.

He said during the six months session each, 15 companies will get the opportunity to be trained and supported.

“So by the end of two years, we will have supported 60 companies,” he added.

He said these companies would be helped to restructure their operations and be investor ready for partnerships.