Kosmos Energy has launched a new programme that seeks to assist existing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to improve their operations and expand.
Known as the Business Booster programme, it is the third component of its flagship social investment programme, the Kosmos Innovation Centre (KIC), which is currently focusing on assisting start-ups and existing businesses in the agricultural value chain.
The KIC Business Booster is designed to help selected existing SMEs each year to scale up their businesses through various interventions.
This includes validating and refining their business models, preparing the companies for future growth and helping them to access capital to build their businesses.
The five-month programme, which started last Monday at Impact Hub Accra, will be executed through two in-person boot camps, a mentorship support programme and introductions to potential investors and financial advisors.
According to KIC, to qualify for the Business Booster programme, enterprises must be Ghanaian-owned and must have been operating in the agriculture sector of Ghana for at least three years.
“Over 170 applications were received, out of which 30 were shortlisted for interviews, with nine companies ultimately selected to join the new programme,” Kosmos said in a statement.
It said under the Business Booster programme, Kosmos Energy was collaborating with partners, Uncharted and Impact Hub Accra, to run the programme.
Uncharted is leading in programme execution and curriculum delivery, with Impact Hub Accra providing expertise in logistics, operations and mentor and applicant recruitment.
Commenting on the third component of KIC, the Vice-President and Country Manager of Kosmos Energy, Mr Joe Mensah, said: “The work we are doing at the Kosmos Innovation Centre continues to build momentum as we expand the scope of our activities. With the launch of the Kosmos Innovation Centre Business Booster, we are helping existing businesses within agriculture to access additional capital and reach a new stage of growth.
“We are also strengthening local leadership within Ghana’s agriculture sector by investing in developing the skills of both new and experienced entrepreneurs,” he said.
The KIC’s first intervention programme is the AgriTech Challenge, which focuses on creating start-ups which provide information and communications technology (ICT) and innovation-based solutions to challenges in the agricultural sector.
Mr Mensah also told the Daily Graphic that, “We expect that the exposure and the experiences that will be shared will provide them with the proficiency to build their portfolios and drive their business up.”
The KIC is Kosmos Energy’s flagship social investment programme in Ghana. It uses innovation to create and apply commercial solutions to development challenges, starting with agriculture.
It has already organised two rounds of the AgriTech Challenge which saw many start-ups participating in the programme.
Ultimate winners in the first and second editions of AgriTech are already in incubation – the second pillar of the project, with others already running their fully established companies, having had the requisite exposure for the kind of businesses they run.
Beyond core competency
While the Kosmos country manager acknowledged that the core competency of the company remained in exploring for hydrocarbons, he said to be relevant in a country, a company needed to do something above and beyond its core competencies.
He said the company had not regretted choosing agriculture as its first area of target as the project continued to be very impactful, saying: “We’ll stay with agriculture for some time.”
Mr Mensah added: “Entrepreneurship and opportunities along the agriculture value have become more topical now than ever; therefore, if the mindset and the narrative change, there will be enough resources to allow it to run by itself, then we can focus on other areas such as education or health care.”