The Catalyst Fund Inclusive Digital Commerce Accelerator supports digital commerce companies who are building solutions designed to improve the livelihoods and financial resilience of micro and small enterprises (MSEs).
About the program
In Ghana, existing digital commerce solutions tend to exclude informal micro and small enterprises (MSEs), who have been hardest hit by the impact of the COVID-19 economic crisis. As a result, they are unable to leverage digital commerce opportunities to fuel their growth and secure their incomes. The Catalyst Fund Inclusive Digital Commerce Accelerator will scale innovative companies that can enable informal MSEs in Ghana to reap the benefits of digital commerce solutions, with a goal of spurring the development of the wider ecosystem.
Investment Advisory Committee
Companies selected for the Inclusive Digital Commerce Accelerator are identified via quantitative and qualitative sourcing research, to determine existing ecosystem gaps and challenges faced by MSEs. Companies are then vetted by an Investment Advisory Committee composed of experienced emerging markets investors and experts in the digital commerce space in the Ghanaian and wider African market.
Companies who meet the following criteria will be evaluated for selection
- Inclusivity – Preference for companies with current or proven desire to serve informal MSEs
- Proven traction – Company has already raised a minimum of $100K from investors or is revenue positive, and serving at least 500 customers
- Stage-fit – Company has a product in the market and is in the scaling stage
- Minimum runway – Company has 6-12 months of runway
- Geography – Company is Ghana-based (or entering the Ghanaian market)
- Product type – Company is offering solutions across the digital commerce value chain
- Youth focus – Company primarily serves informal MSEs and workers between the ages of 18-35
- Scale potential – Company can contribute to the goal of reaching 25,000 additional MSEs within 2 years
Ghana is making progress in creating favorable conditions for a thriving digital economy, including a new digital financial services (DFS) policy to facilitate access and usage of DFS. However, existing digital commerce solutions exclude informal MSEs due to a lack of: effective digital onboarding mechanisms, MSE financing and interoperability across digital commerce systems.
BECOME A CATALYST FUND COMPANY
The accelerator will scale six digital commerce companies over the next two years. Each company will receive flexible grant capital of up to US$120,000 + tailored venture acceleration support + connection to our growing global Circle of Investors (65+) and other ecosystem enablers. Express interest in being considered for the program, and be included in our ecosystem database.