A few months ago, I wrote a piece on the contrasting views of some African tech stakeholders, including Lagos-based CcHub’s Bosun Tijani, on the usefulness of entrepreneurship training programmes in ensuring the success of startups in the various African markets. While there are some who don’t entirely believe in entrepreneurship training, some institutions and incubators do have various programmes for entrepreneurs.
Ghana, Accra-based Meltwater School of Entrepreneurship (MEST) is probably the continent’s most revered institution that equips tech entrepreneurs to compete in the pan-African mobile and to scale globally. With numerous success stories in its company profile page, Neal Hansch, the incubator’s MD is someone to listen to when it comes to tech entrepreneurship education in Africa.
When asked why MEST has a comparatively higher quality of entrepreneurs emerging from its programme, Hansch said the journey actually starts from the point where entrepreneurs are recruited.
“Recruiting is a big part of our programme. We recruit into the program folks that we think have the right drive and desire to be entrepreneurs. This has a big impact on the kinds of entrepreneurs that come into the programme,” Hansch told Ventureburn.
Basics of MEST curriculum
While supporting the school of thought in favour of entrepreneurship training, the incubator MD said that “teaching entrepreneurs” entails equipping them with the specific skills entrepreneurs need to succeed. He agreed that there are some qualities and skills that cannot be taught.
“You can’t teach desire and drive, commitment and all that,” he said.