Founded in Ghana in 2008 via the Meltwater Foundation, MEST Africa was built on the idea that talent is everywhere, but "opportunity" is not. We believe scalable tech companies that originate in Africa and solve real problems, are the key to creating meaningful employment locally.
Our mission is to create work and wealth by training, supporting and investing in talented entrepreneurs who can build and scale these businesses, and become job creators.
At MEST, our strength is the quality and efficiency with which we deliver our programs to support those we serve. To date, we have trained over 330 young African entrepreneurs, supported the founding of close to 60 startups across the continent, and received global recognition for the impact we’ve had in Africa.
With support from the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works initiative, we’re in the process of scaling up across Ghana over the next three years, via three innovative and exciting programs: Pre-MEST, MEST Express, and MEST Scale. The three programs will enable MEST to scale its impact and reach exponentially more young people at more touchpoints along their entrepreneurial journey in Ghana, and in time, across the continent.
Pre-MEST, MEST Express, and MEST Scale
The Pre-MEST project will target youth by partnering with local universities, existing tech hubs, and coding programs. By reaching entrepreneurs earlier than the MEST Training Program, the adapted MEST curriculum can be more widely distributed, increasing our reach exponentially.
With MEST Express, an abridged version of the MEST incubation model, MEST can reach more startups by condensing the incubation period along with incorporating key components of the MEST Training Program, to offer startups an accelerated and adapted model. Initially, we will take two cohorts a year of young startups, targeting 10-15 companies per cohort, with a focus on key skills development, product launch, sales and marketing, investment readiness, and growth strategy. Select startups will receive seed funding.
MEST Scale is the deepest of the three programs, designed for enterprises that are at the ‘scale stage’ with the intent to bring them to the next level. The program will target small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who have sound operations, have reached break-even, and have core product(s) developed that are competing in the market to provide targeted, bespoke, and deep strategic, operational, and technical support. The objective is to position them for large-scale growth.