Mentoring Early-Stage Tech Startups

MEST is an Africa-wide technology entrepreneur training program, internal seed fund, and network of hubs offering incubation for technology startups in Africa. Founded in Ghana in 2008, MEST provides critical skills training, funding, and support in software development, business, and communications to Africa’s tech entrepreneurs. Their hubs are in Accra, Ghana; Lagos, Nigeria; Cape Town, South Africa; and Nairobi, Kenya.

Djembe’s mentorship involvement at MEST started in July 2020 with the provision of communications workshops for a cohort of startups under the Entrepreneurs in Training (EITs) program. Djembe was enlisted as mentors for two additional cohort groups of the pilot 10-week MEST Express program 2020, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation.

Targeting early-stage tech startups in sectors including health, property, fintech, ecommerce and education, the aim is to equip them to weather the COVID-19 pandemic, build resiliency, increase business practices and technical know-how to ramp up traction, gain market share, boost sales, and create meaningful jobs.

Valuing Djembe’s instrumental role as mentors, MEST approached Djembe to support five new cohorts in 2021 and 2022.

Strategic Execution by Djembe

  • Analyzed the market opportunities and needs of cohort startups with tailored advice, direction and support for each startup
  • Delivered a series of workshops on communications strategies, messaging, risk assessment, partner communications, digital strategies and story pitching
  • Directly mentored 4 startups per cohort group with weekly sessions, growth development plans and KPI tracking, pitching feedback and advice, and online/digital clinics

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