Ghana—Kosmos Innovation Center (KIC)

Client: Kosmos Energy

Duration: 2015-2020

Region: Sub-Saharan Africa

Country: Ghana

Solutions: Sustainable Business

DAI helped to design, launch, and implement the Kosmos Innovation Center (KIC) program to advance locally led, market-driven solutions to some of the country’s key challenges.

KIC is an effort to channel young people’s innovative entrepreneurialism into the country’s agricultural sector. Each year, KIC takes approximately 120 aspiring entrepreneurs through the KIC AgriTech Challenge, a series of market research tours, capacity-building programs, team-building exercises, and pitch competitions, culminating in seed funding and incubation support to a handful of high-potential startups that emerge from the program. KIC also engages with more mature agrifirms that are adding value to Ghanaian raw materials and supports them on their journey to scale and access growth capital. DAI’s Sustainable Business Group (SBG) provides capacity building support, personnel recruitment and management, stakeholder engagement, investment due diligence, and ongoing technical assistance to KIC.

Since 2016, five cohorts have gone through the KIC AgriTech Challenge. Some of the startups that graduate from the program have gone on to reach thousands of Ghanaian farmers with innovative products. Their solutions range from an app that has been called the “Uber for tractors,” to wearable devices for livestock that monitor their health and location. Several have gone on to secure further investments and win additional start-up competitions. In 2017-2018, KIC ran a Business Booster program for nine early-stage agrifirms, providing training, coaching, and networking support to help them access growth capital, strengthen their operations, create jobs, and acquire clients. In 2016, Kosmos Energy was named Corporate Social Responsibility company of the year at the Ghana Oil and Gas Awards, and in 2018 KIC was recognized with the prestigious P3 Impact Award by the US Department of State and its partners.

Sample Activities

  • Collaborate with Kosmos Energy to design its flagship social investment program in Ghana, ensuring buy-in from internal stakeholders at the company as well as external stakeholders from the national government and other relevant institutions.
  • Provide seed funding, capacity building, and mentorship through innovation challenges to promote the development of promising local startup enterprises created by young entrepreneurs.
  • Provide technical support to an accelerator engaging small- and medium-sized enterprises in the agribusiness sector.
  • Host collaborative workshops that bring together experts in business, technology, finance, academia, and other fields to develop practical solutions to pressing social problems.

Select Results

  • Supported more than 100 young entrepreneurs in developing innovative, technology-driven agribusiness concepts for the annual KIC challenge.
  • Improved confidence, teamwork, presentation abilities, critical thinking skills, and business acumen of more than 100 youth participants of innovation challenge workshops and mentorship program.
  • Supported an innovation challenge that selected winners TroTro Tractor Limited and Ghalani Limited, each of which received $50,000 in seed funding and ongoing technical and mentoring assistance from the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology.
  • Contributed to Kosmos Energy being recognized as the CSR Extractive Company of the year for 2016 by the CSR Excellence Awards, as Outstanding CSR company of 2016 by the Oil and Gas Awards, and as a recipient of the prestigious 2018 P3 Impact award.
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