Ghana: Code Management Group, Chinese Business School upskill African entrepreneurs to build investable start-ups

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Code Management Group (CMG) has completed its newly launched four-month business incubator with a pitch day titled, ‘Code Pitch Day’. The incubator equipped young entrepreneurs in Africa with skills crucial for creating investable businesses.

CMG in partnership with China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) led Ghanaian start-ups through a four-month incubator programme focused on turning African businesses into global enterprises. The incubator programme ended with a pitch contest at the CEIBS premises in Accra, Ghana.

In all, ten start-ups had the opportunity to make presentations covering various sectors of the economy. They were all driven by technology.

The CODE Incubator Programme is part of a number of efforts by CMG to bridge the start-up investment gap in Africa. Prior to this initiative, CMG and the team undertook extensive social research in a number of African countries including Ghana, South Africa and Nigeria.

This led to a clear understanding of the peculiar needs and challenges of businesses in Africa. The findings also informed the models and ideas imparted during the incubator.

According to CMG’s Chief Executive Officer, Fabian Sebastian Thorpe, all participating founders went through a rigorous process to prepare their businesses to satisfy investor demand, which includes sustainability, scalability and future value proposition.

He explained that, “Three key business characteristics that will attract investment in sustainability, scalability – to be able to show that the business has growth potential and the last is value proposition, which is, whatever business idea you have should be able to demonstrate what that idea will be in the future, and that is what catches the attention of every investor.”

Long Term Businesses

Unfortunately, many African businesses do not get to survive beyond the founder. This, Mr. Thorpe attributed to the lack of succession plans by some business owners. He said investors are not just interested in a good business today, but a business that will be a good business for generations to come.

He also indicated that many business owners are risk averse. However, to grow and stay relevant for decades, “they must plan to be fearless because the business community is full of obstacles and challenges.”

The Executive Director of CEIBS Africa, Prof. Matthew Tsamenyi indicated that African businesses needed an enabling environment, and initiatives like the Incubator Programme are commendable, hence the partnership with CMG.

“For us, as an institution, we believe in entrepreneurship, nurturing typically the future entrepreneurs because we think that space needs to be developed, and entrepreneurs need to be supported. So when this idea came, it was very easy for us to buy into it because the school is built on entrepreneurship,” he said.

The CMG CEO revealed that the incubator is one of several initiatives that will be undertaken to develop the investment landscape for start-up businesses and investors interested in Africa and Ghana, in particular.

To further consolidate the gains, CMG is working on establishing an Impact Investment Fund (IIF) to drive investment into entrepreneurs and their businesses

The CODE Pitch day concluded with the panel choosing the top three investable start-ups to continue discussions with investors.

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