June 6, 2014
According to Stephen Gyasi-Kwaw, who organized the first Startup Weekend in Ghana, the Ghana government will be launching a $10 million fund for local startups within the next few months.
When Gyasi-Kwaw arrived in Ghana in 2008 from the UK, he says, no politicians wanted to talk about entrepreneurship and job creation. The political climate was heated, and everyone was only concerned about getting elected.
So Gyasi-Kwaw took matters into his own hands, launching the first Startup Weekend during Global Entrepreneurship Week in 2011. There, three entrepreneurs created Dropifi and went on to win the Global Startup Open Competition. As a prize, they were invited to attend the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Rio de Janeiro, where Gyasi-Kwaw introduced them to 500 Startups’s Dave McClure – and 500 Startups invited them to be part of their accelerator in California.
The darling of the next Startup Weekend Ghana was SliceBiz, who went on to win a prize in the Apps4Africa competition.
Thanks to their success and the global exposure this brought to Ghana’s startups, the government is now paying attention.
“In the beginning, they weren’t listening,” said Gyasi-Kwaw. But “this little effort has created ripple effects. . . . The government is trying to talk to us now for us to be part of how can we build a sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem in the country.”
We heard this news from Gyasi-Kwaw at UP Summit last week, and we’ll update this article as we get more info.
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