BY TOM JACKSON
The Catalyst Fund Inclusive Digital Commerce Accelerator has selected four Ghanaian digital commerce companies as its second cohort to receive funding and support.
Disrupt Africa reported in October last year Catalyst Fund had partnered the Mastercard Foundation and the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) to launch its Inclusive Digital Commerce Accelerator in Ghana, the first expansion of its flagship inclusive fintech programme.
The accelerator focuses on building the resilience of Ghana’s micro and small enterprises (MSEs), with the first two selected companies announced in March. The companies selected for the second cohort are OZÉ, which enables MSEs to keep digital financial records and access much-needed formal; Shopa, which connects last mile retailers with suppliers and enables access to stock on cash or credit; Swoove, which connects e-commerce businesses with accessible logistics services at an affordable price; and Tendo, which enables anyone in Africa to sell online with zero upfront inventory.
Each of the four companies will receive up to US$120,000 in grant funding, in addition to bespoke expert-led venture acceleration support, connections with Catalyst Fund’s growing global Circle of Investors and Circle of Corporate Innovators, and in-market expertise from MEST.
“Informal MSEs, many of whom are youth and women, get by using a piecemeal approach to digital commerce, often marketing via Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, taking in-person payments and manually addressing delivery, which is costly and puts the risk and heavy lift on the retailer. Companies like OZÉ, Shopa, Swoove, and Tendo are solving this problem with easy-to-use and affordable digital commerce services and are spurring the expansion of the digital commerce ecosystem in Ghana,” said Jane del Ser, programme director for the Catalyst Fund Inclusive Digital Commerce Accelerator.