Fiachra McAsey - Deputy Representative, UNICEF Ghana Country Office giving the welcome address.
Fiachra McAsey - Deputy Representative, UNICEF Ghana Country Office giving the welcome address.

UNICEF Startup Lab: 25 Social impact ventures sharpen skills

Twenty-five social impact tech-enabled startups have started a hands-on boot camp to empower them to enhance their business operations. 


Known as the UNICEF Startup Lab, which is being implemented by MEST Africa, is an initiative of UNICEF and supported by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).

The six-month accelerated training has been designed to provide crucial support to social impact startups to empower them to enhance their business models for maximum impact, access partnerships, and financing opportunities and establish market linkages.

It will also enable them to build networks and receive personalised mentorship. The startups are expected to collaborate with UNICEF programme specialists to refine their products and gain invaluable insights into market dynamics.

Additionally, they will be exposed to international and national investment opportunities, with a gateway to the UNICEF Innovation Fund and the Digital Public Goods Alliance.

The startups, which were selected from over 500 applications, represent various sectors, including education, health, agritech, frontier technologies, assistive technologies for individuals with special needs, mobility, fintech, and climate action.

According to promoters of the programme, the 2024 accelerator programme marked a significant step forward in harnessing the power of technology and entrepreneurship to drive social change and improve the lives of children and young people across Ghana.


The UNICEF Deputy Representative, Ghana, Fiachra McAsey, explained that the startup lab formed part of efforts to accelerate innovative, market-driven, transformative solutions developed by young Ghanaian businesses that aim to address some of the most complex challenges affecting the well-being of children and young people around the world, particularly the most vulnerable.

“We are excited to welcome this new Cohort of founders to the startup lab to support them in making a positive difference for every child,” he said. KOICA Country Director, Donghyun Lee, said the agency was honoured to support the UNICEF Startup Lab in nurturing the next generation of social impact innovators.

“We believe that investing in these startups is an investment in the well-being of Ghana's children and the sustainable development of the nation,” he added. 


Ashwin Ravichandran of MEST Africa indicated that the selected startups for the 2024 cohort highlighted the dynamic and prospering tech ecosystem in the country. “At MEST, we are focused on supplying them with the critical tools and support they need to excel and broaden their impact,” he said. 

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