JICA supports 8 startups with GHȼ240,000 funding

BY: Business Desk
One of the finalists receiving her cheque.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has supported eight Ghanaian startup businesses with a funding amount totaling GHȼ240,000 through its Ninja Incubation Programme.

The Ninja Incubation Programme which is being done in partnership with the Ghana Enterprise Agency, Accra Digital Center, and implemented by MDF West Africa seeks to train and promote promising Ghanaian startups.

The Program follows after a Brush-Up Program that started in April of this year to train 25 shortlisted start-ups to adopt the Japanese’s globally accepted model — the lean concept — to reduce waste in business, encourage a customer-centric approach, optimize day-to-day operations, and spark accelerated growth.

The eight finalists who were selected by the jury (a panel of industry experts) after a pitch round at the end of the Brush-Up Program are each to receive GHȼ30,000 investment.

The eight finalists are Boujie Bakes, ShipEasi, Freshline PHS, Bean Masters, 3Farmate Robotics, Morefit Apiaries, MorePlex, and Asa Nwura.

The money is to be disbursed in two installments, in their businesses over a three month period, during which they will be trained further in carefully designed sessions through the Ninja Program.

The sessions will include in-depth training by industry persons in business operations, lean management and principles, financial management, market opportunity analysis, brand management, packaging, and team and leadership.

Commendable initiative

Commenting on the programme, the Chief Country Representative of JICA, Araki Yasumichi, said “it is hoped that this will be the first of many such commendable initiatives by JICA and partners for the growing population of the youth in Ghana who look mostly to the government and the already over-burdened private sector for jobs and livelihoods.

For her part, the Deputy Chief Executive of the Ghana Enterprise Agency, Anna Armo-Himbson, said the maiden programme saw the participation of young entrepreneurs of different cultural and academic backgrounds, who were selected across the country.

One of the trainers from MDF West Africa, Joana Chemel also noted that the young start-ups that were selected have business focus in significant areas such as agriculture, food processing, waste recovery and recycling, software, edu-tech, fashion, and cosmetics manufacturing.

She said participant's feedback from the training and pitch, in a survey conducted after the Brush-up programme has so far been positive, with the participants expressing their readiness to be taken through the knowledge areas.