Applications for the MEST Class 2022 Training Program are now open.



Welcome to the application page for Pre-MEST’s Startup Cohort 1. Please read the information below carefully before starting your application.

About Pre-MEST - Startup Creation Cohort

The Pre-MEST program, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation and Young Africa Works, is currently looking for young people based in Ho, Kumasi, Bolga and Takoradi, Ghana, who have a keen interest in software entrepreneurship and a desire to build technology businesses, to join its first-ever cohort in Startup Creation to launch their own ventures. The course runs from May 17th - August 6th, 2021. 

Over the course of 12-weeks, participants in this cohort will be given the opportunity to go from business idea to business venture by learning the essential business, communication and technology skills needed to become software entrepreneurs and start a successful early-stage tech company. Upon completion of the course, participants will have the opportunity to launch startups.

Participants will also receive dedicated mentorship throughout the program, as well as attend workshops and sessions designed to improve employability through soft skills training. The 12-week in-person program is tuition-free and requires full-time dedication for the duration of the course. Successful graduates will receive certification upon completion and the opportunity to launch tech-enabled businesses.

Training will take place at the following locations:

Curriculum Overview

The Pre-MEST Startup Creation cohort curriculum will combine workshops with hands-on projects developed through a series of subject-focused sprints. Led in a bootcamp style, the participants develop relevant usable skills in technology and business. The Pre-MEST team will also give each cohort some learning work to complete before the program start date, to ensure they have the minimum skill levels to delve into projects and exercises from the first day. 

Course Topics

  • Market Research and Product Development
  • Business Modelling
  • Branding & Communications
  • Sales
  • Finance
  • Market Testing and Traction

Who we are looking for:

  • Young people between the ages of 18 and 35 years
  • Must reside in Ghana, but can be from anywhere
  • Passionate about technology and entrepreneurship, and how to use technology to achieve business results
  • Has a tech-related business idea or willing to develop one
  • Preferably has past experience with entrepreneurship or within a startup environment
  • Disciplined, motivated and a self-starter who can work and deliver on assignments and projects
  • A team player that can thrive working independently as well as collaboratively
  • Should be able to commit full time for the duration of the course

Interested in applying? Please read the instructions below carefully before starting your application.

Please note - it is important that you complete all four steps and ensure you successfully submit your application by the deadline of April 30th, 2021. 

This application will then be considered for admission into the program. 

Should your application be successful, you will be contacted with information detailing how to move on to the next steps of the application process listed below.

Application Process

Here is how to apply:

Step 1. Join the Pre-learning Slack channel as well as the WhatsApp channel for the hub you wish to train at using the links below:


Step 2. Complete the Pre-MEST application form for the hub of your choice. Select the relevant hub below:

Pre-MEST Startup Creation - Cohort 1 application Form


Step 3. Complete these pre-learning courses on IBM and Google Learning Portals (you need to complete all to qualify for the program). Select either the 'Tech' or 'Business/Communication' track (not both) depending on your area of interest:

Tech Track Pre-Learning Courses

Business/Communication Track Pre-Learning Courses

          Fundamentals of Digital Marketing 

          Business Modelling Canvas           


Step 4. Await communication about your application status.

  • Once you have completed all the Pre-Learning courses for the track of your choice, provide the link to your IBM badges and upload your Google Digital Marketing and Business Modeling Canvas certificates using this form: Pre-learning Submissions Form
  • Then await communication about your status
  • Final offers will be sent out to successful applicants within 10 days of the application close

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Frequently Asked Questions:


1. How much does this program cost?

The Pre-MEST training program is tuition-free and requires no financial payments to MEST or any of our partners. However, during application, a candidate is required to have access to a laptop/computer and internet access to complete the pre-course work and application process. This is a full-time program that requires you to be available to attend all classes and sessions.

2. Where will the training take place?

Training will take place at each of the following locations:,

Please note, if admitted into the program you must be available to attend all the in-person sessions held at the hub you chose to apply to.

3. Who qualifies for this program?
The program is targeted at young people, ages 18-35, who are passionate about business and technology and want to develop their skills in these areas towards becoming software entrepreneurs, as well as launch their own tech startups. At this stage, only applicants residing in Ghana are eligible for the program. Citizenship does not matter.

4. Do I need to have any previous software development, business, communications or entrepreneurship experience to be considered for the program?

No, you don’t need prior experience  in any of these areas to qualify for the program. However, you should have a genuine interest in business and technology and be ready to commit to the program fully. All necessary skills you need prior to the start of the program will be communicated to you in due time.

5. Is this open to only Ghanaians?

No, this program is open to anyone of any nationality or citizenship who meets all the application requirements and lives in Ghana. We are currently not accepting applications from individuals residing outside Ghana, but we hope to change this in the future.

6. If I don’t complete the prerequisite courses because of laptop/computer or internet challenges, will I lose the chance of being selected into the program?

All prescribed courses are mandatory for your candidacy for the program. If you are unable to complete them for genuine reasons, feel free to reach out to the recruitment team via email:

  • Women’s Haven Africa, Kumasi [info@womenshavenafrica.com]
  • Ho Node Hub, Ho [venture@honode.org or komla@honode.org]
  • Dansyn Innovation Social Organisation, Bolga [anaporka@dansyniso.com]
  • iCode Ghana, Takoradi [jesse@icodegh.com]

7. I have applied but haven’t heard back on my application...

The applications have deadlines. The Pre-MEST team will get in touch with you when the application window closes and selection of final candidates is done. Please hold on until the application period is over to hear back from us. If you do not hear back before the program start date, you should consider your application unsuccessful.

8. I do not have any software development skills at all, how can I complete the pre-application courses?

The courses you are to complete in the application process are self-taught and very easy to complete. You can go through them yourself, with adequate focus and determination. If you still have questions or challenges, reach out to the relevant team so they can assist you:

  • Women’s Haven Africa, Kumasi [info@womenshavenafrica.com]
  • Ho Node Hub, Ho [venture@honode.org or komla@honode.org]
  • Dansyn Innovation Social Organisation, Bolga [anaporka@dansyniso.com]
  • iCode Ghana, Takoradi [jesse@icodegh.com]

9. I have the basic technology/business/communication skills being asked for in the application process. Can I skip the pre-learning courses and only submit the application form?

The only way we have of fairly assessing these skills is in your submission of the credentials that show you’ve completed the courses. If you are comfortable with the skills and capabilities being requested in the application process, kindly go ahead and complete the assessments at the end of each course to earn your certificate or badge. Credentials earned are part of the criteria used in making the final selection to join the program and so it is necessary to earn all the required badges no matter your skill level in technology.

10. I live outside Accra, can I still be part of the program?

Yes, this program is open to all people living anywhere in Ghana as long you can physically be present at either of the hubs for the duration of the program.

For more questions and enquiries, please send an email to:

  • Women’s Haven Africa, Kumasi [info@womenshavenafrica.com]
  • Ho Node Hub, Ho [venture@honode.org or komla@honode.org]
  • Dansyn Innovation Social Organisation, Bolga [anaporka@dansyniso.com]
  • iCode Ghana, Takoradi [jesse@icodegh.com]


Poster for MEST Class of 2022 


The MEST Training Program 

MEST offers a 12-month graduate-level training to aspiring entrepreneurs across the African continent.

The entrepreneurial training program in business, communications and software development includes extensive hands-on project work, culminating in a final pitch and the chance to receive seed investment and grow businesses.

The successful world-class training program is run with the help of an internationally recognized faculty. Our teaching fellows hail from some of the best universities around the world like Oxford, Stanford, Harvard, etc. We also offer our entrepreneurs-in-training (EITs) the opportunity to be mentored by real-life Entrepreneurs, CEOs and other executives from all over the world. Guest lectures have been executives of Uber, Facebook, Safaricom, Samsung, Interswitch, and many more.

Since inception in 2008, MEST has invested over $22m in training over 350 individual entrepreneurs and funded 60+ software companies across Africa. MEST entrepreneurs have developed solutions addressing local, regional and global markets, received follow-on funding from global investors, and gotten into top accelerator programs such as Y-combinator, 500 startups and TechStars.

As COVID-19 has changed the way organizations operate around the world, causing travel restrictions and moving many workplaces to adopt digital solutions, the Training Program for 2022 will focus on entrepreneurs who live in Ghana and Nigeria.

Important Dates

  • Applications open: 1st March, 2021
  • Applications close: 29th April, 2021
  • Program starts: 1st September 2021
  • Program ends: 31st August 2022

Curriculum Overview

  • Building Sustainable Teams
  • Market Research
  • Product Development and Innovation
  • Revenue and Business Modeling
  • Branding and Communications
  • Marketing and Growth Hacking
  • Financial Management and Investments
  • Legal and Regulatory Compliance
  • Metrics and Measurements
  • Sales and Traction (achieving product/market fit)
  • Preparing for investments

Candidate Profile

  • A degree from a top university or Technical College or equivalent experience with at least two (2) years corporate and startup experience (preferred)
  • Deep skills in either communications, business or software development (from the onset or acquired during the Pre-Learning stage)
  • Young persons crazy about tech and entrepreneurship, and how to use technology to achieve business results
  • Should be ready to commit to a full residential program for a whole year
  • Disciplined, motivated self-starter who can work and deliver on assignments and projects - demonstrate this by completing the required Pre-Learning courses and MEST’s rigorous recruitment process
  • An entrepreneurial spirit and strong desire to start a company
  • Ability to communicate candidly and persuasively
  • Ability to work well in teams, proven academic or professional excellence
  • Demonstrated leadership abilities
  • Confident and independent thinking
  • Excellent people skills


Application steps

Step 1. Complete all these pre-learning courses:

  1. Intro to Agile
  2. Design Thinking for Beginners
  3. Enterprise Design Thinking Practitioner
  4. Web development
  5. HTML & CSS
  6. Javascript
  7. Git
  8. Fundamentals of Digital Marketing
  9. Business Modeling Canvas

Note: On completion of your first course on the IBM Digital Nation Africa portal, you will be guided to create an account on youracclaim.com. Once this is done, all subsequent badges earned from courses 1 - 7 will be automatically posted on to Acclaim. You can grab your profile link by clicking on the profile icon and selecting 'view my profile'.

Step 2. Take an Aptitude Test

You are required to take the Aptitude Test as your score will be requested when filling your application form and will determine your move to the next stage. Please follow this link to take the test.

Step 3. Complete the MEST Training Program Application Form 

Please follow this link to complete the application form.

Applications close on April, 29th 2021. All assessments and the application form must be completed and submitted by this date. Selected candidates will be contacted for individual and group interviews. 


Frequently Asked Questions

How much does this program cost?

  • The MEST Training Program is fully-sponsored and requires no financial payments to MEST. This is a full-time program that requires you to be available to attend all classes and sessions.

Where will the training take place?

  • The training program will have a hybrid of both physical and virtual sessions.

Who qualifies for this program?

  • The program is targeted at aspiring software entrepreneurs between the ages of 18-35, who want to build tech startups that solve global issues in Africa.

Do I need to have any previous software development experience to be considered for the program?

  • No, you don’t need prior experience in software development to qualify for the program. You should have a genuine interest in business and technology and be ready to fully commit to the program. All necessary skills you need prior to the start of the program will be communicated to you in due course.

Is this open to only Ghanaians and Nigerians?

  • No, this program is open to anyone of any nationality or citizenship who meets all the application requirements and lives in Ghana or Nigeria. We are currently not accepting applications from individuals residing outside Ghana or Nigeria because of the global pandemic, but we hope to change this in the future.

If I don’t complete the prerequisite courses because of the lack of a laptop/computer or internet challenges, will I lose the chance of being selected into the program?

  • All prescribed courses are mandatory for your candidacy for the program.

I have applied but haven’t heard back on my application.

  • Application to the program has a deadline. The MEST Recruitment team will get in touch with you once the application window closes and selection of final candidates is completed. Please hold on until the application period is over to hear back from us. If you do not hear back before the program start date, you should consider your application unsuccessful.

I do not have any software development skills at all, how can I complete the courses before I start my application?

  • The courses you are to complete as part of the application process are self-taught and very easy to complete. You can go through them yourself, with adequate focus and determination.

I have the basic tech skills being asked for in the application process. Can I skip them and continue the application?

  • If you are comfortable with your tech skills and capabilities being requested in the application, kindly go ahead and complete the assessments at the end of each course to earn your certificate. Certificates earned are part of the criteria used in making the final selection to join the program and so it is necessary to earn all the required badges no matter your skill level in the course.

I live outside Accra/Lagos, can I still be part of the program?

  • Yes, this program is open to all people living anywhere in Ghana or Nigeria as long as you have access to fast internet services and can commit to classes.

For more questions and enquiries, please send an email to: recruitment@meltwater.org

MEST Africa