November 17, 2016

GROWING BUSINESS TOGETHER

GBT to boost young Ghanaian entrepreneurs

Small and medium-sized (SME) businesses are the backbone of any economy and the engine for growth. In Ghana, SMEs are estimated to contribute about 70% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product and account for about 92% of businesses (study by University of Ghana). However, it is quite difficult to start up a new business and become one of these SMEs.

“Africa has enterprising people, but too few businesses.”

The Economist

Growing Business Together (GBT) has been set up to help startups in Ghana to overcome major hurdles. When you are a starting entrepreneur you do not yet have the track record and network to attract large customers or convince a bank to lend you the money for the investments you need to do. You may need more knowledge to figure out the best marketing strategy, build your financial model or organize your distribution.

In Accra, we organize annually a ten-month GBT Coaching Program for 20 starting entrepreneurs, a more intensive GBT Academy for another 20 entrepreneurs and a GBT Startup Investment Conference to connect Ghanaian startups to investors. In the Netherlands, we organize a 5-day intense GBT Business Booster.

Great ideas need great support

Through GBT we want to:

  • Promote entrepreneurship among Ghanaians, both in Ghana and the Netherlands
  • Boost startups to accelerate through the startup and early-growth phase
  • Improve access to finance for startups
  • Strengthen the startup ecosystem in Ghana

Why is GBT a great opportunity for startups?

We offer young entrepreneurs an extensive program that will increase their skills ranging, widen their network of business partners and customers and connect them to a large group of potential investors.

Each entrepreneur is matched with an experienced Dutch businessman/women that will support the startup throughout the year and who acts as a personal coach. The many group activities and networking occasions during the year will create an environment in which the entrepreneurs also learn a lot from each other.

Through the GBT Coaches Program and GBT Business Academy we offer:

  • Hands-on business development
  • Knowledge/business network
  • Validation in local context
  • Opening new networks:
    • distribution channels
    • client base
    • investors
  • Coaching/mentors
  • Training
  • GBT Startup Investment Conference to pitch for investors, with the opportunity to participate in a Dragon’s Den style pitch event.

GBT embedded in startup ecosystem

GBT has a core team of very experienced startup entrepreneurs, business developers and an investor, who each bring their own network across different sectors and investors to the program. Both in Ghana and the Netherlands we have close relations with other accelerator programs, impact hubs and startup initiatives at universities with whom we collaborate on networking events and conferences.

We have also close contacts with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ghana who is an active supporter of the program and the Ghana Netherlands Business and Culture Council (GNBCC). We are a member of professional associations, such as VC4A, African Management Initiative, African Agribusiness Incubator Network, the Netherlands-African Business Council (NABC) and African Business Communities.