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7 Co-working Spaces and Tech Innovation Hubs Shaping Ghana’s Digital Economy

Thanks to substantial investments from both the government and private sector, the country has not only become a thriving tech center but also a magnet for technology enthusiasts and startups seeking fertile ground to flourish.

Ghana is in the midst of a remarkable transformation into a burgeoning hub of technological innovation like its counterparts in Kenya and South Africa.

Thanks to substantial investments from both the government and private sector, the country has not only become a thriving tech center but also a magnet for technology enthusiasts and startups seeking fertile ground to flourish.

As part of this development, Ghana has become home to Africa’s biggest tech Summit. This summit brings together many entrepreneurs, investors, digital marketers, and innovators under one roof to pinpoint and address technological and entrepreneurial issues within the continent. It is important to acknowledge that factors such as providing solutions to local problems, access to funding, government support, the emergence of tech hubs and incubators as well as improved internet structures have been critical in this progression.

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Of all the stated factors above, the emergence of co-working and tech innovation hubs has also played a pivotal role. These hubs, despite limited funding,  provide startups and young entrepreneurs with affordable, well-resourced working spaces, propelling the nation’s digital economy to new heights.

In this report, we highlight five of these spaces for young entrepreneurs who are looking for places to explore and develop their innovative ideas.

iSpace Foundation

Established in 2013, iSpace Foundation is a Ghanaian non-profit dedicated to supporting tech entrepreneurs. It offers co-working spaces, mentoring, training, and access to funding. Their networking events and partnerships have boosted the country’s startup scene. Notable startups they’ve supported include Mydoc, Muqafrik, and Maberry Agro, all contributing significantly to Ghana’s digital economy.

The foundation aspires to become a global innovation hub in Africa. It has over the years initiated a series of impactful projects and programs that empower individuals while enhancing the country’s economy. Some of these vibrant training initiatives include:

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  • Code on Wheels

A 9-month software skills development and internship program that aims to equip young people with coding, web development and digital skills. The program also provides mentorship, career guidance, and job placement opportunities for participants.

  • The Unlocking Women and Technology

An initiative to empower women with coding, business management, professional networking, and pitching skills. The program also offers funding and support to help women start their own businesses in the tech sector.

  • Eden Labs

A tech maker space that encourages young and talented individuals to explore, create, and innovate. The space provides access to tools, equipment, resources, and mentors to help them develop their ideas and prototypes.

iSpace Foundation has successfully contributed to Ghana’s digital economy through hackathons, bootcamps, and networking events for tech enthusiasts and innovators.

Hopin Academy

Situated in the heart of northern Ghana, Hopin Academy is another gem in Ghana’s tech scene. This dynamic hub focuses on empowering young minds with cutting-edge tech skills. It acts as a launchpad for tech-focused startups, offering them a platform to learn, collaborate, and thrive. Hopin Academy’s presence has significantly contributed to the country’s growing pool of skilled professionals.

With a decade of existence, HOPin has forged partnerships with more than 20 well-known corporate organizations and successfully helped over 40 startups grow. Additionally, Hopin has effectively supported over 100 community events.

Hopin Academy provides affordable workspaces for startups, including spacious meeting rooms with speedy internet connectivity and a wealth of entrepreneurial support. At Hopin Academy, the belief is that “the future is yours,” and they are ready to provide all that it takes to make the future truly yours.

In a landscape where opportunities often gravitate towards the southern heartlands, HOPin Academy arises as a refreshing source of innovation and entrepreneurial zeal in the northern regions of the country. With its headquarters in the vibrant city of Tamale, HOPin strategically expands its footprint with branches in the North East and Savannah regions. This strategic expansion acts as a signal of hope for those who might have felt isolated due to their geographical locations.

The hub’s impact echoes through the lives of countless individuals, especially in terms of nurturing entrepreneurship and cultivating digital skills. It shatters the constraints often associated with remote regions, enabling residents to unlock their potential and seize opportunities that might have otherwise eluded them.

It also extends a helping hand to communities in need, exemplified by providing clean and potable drinking water to underserved areas in the North East and Savannah regions.

Jambo Spaces

Founded by Bernard Kafui Sokpe in May 2023, Jambo Spaces is the rising star of Creativity and Innovation for Ghana’s Digital Economy. This new co-working hub in Accra aims to revolutionize the creative landscape in Ghana by providing a platform for innovation, collaboration, and growth.

Jambo Spaces offers work desks, stable fast wifi, meeting rooms, event spaces, business literature, and a vast community of professionals at competitive rates. The facility also boasts a fully equipped music studio, a photography studio, a podcast setup, and a kitchen studio for food creators. Jambo Spaces aims to provide all the resources and equipment that creative professionals require to create world-class content.

Jambo Spaces interior
Jambo Spaces

According to Sokpe, Jambo Spaces is not just a co-working space; it is an ecosystem designed to foster collaboration and creativity. He believes that by bringing together creative professionals from different industries, Jambo Spaces will drive economic growth and make a positive impact on society. Sokpe also revealed that Jambo Spaces will host frequent masterclasses and workshops with established creative professionals from across the African continent.

At Jambo Spaces, “Every meaningful connection starts with a hello”

Developers In Vogue

Women are underrepresented in the digital sector in Ghana and worldwide. To bridge this gender gap in the digital sector and create a pipeline of female talent for the growing demand for digital skills, Developers in Vogue (DiV) was launched in 2017. DiV has helped hundreds of women acquire skills in web development, data science, artificial intelligence, and digital entrepreneurship. Through various programs such as bootcamps, mentorship, internships, and career support, DiV provides its participants with the opportunity to hone their skills and find jobs in the digital economy.

Developers in Vogue is a community and hub for women in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. It offers training, mentorship, and career opportunities for women who aspire to pursue coding and data science careers.

DiV’s impact goes beyond individual empowerment; it envisions creating a world where African women lead the digital revolution. To achieve this vision, DiV collaborates with government agencies, private sector companies, academic institutions, civil society organizations, and international donors. DiV also welcomes volunteers, mentors, and sponsors who share its mission and values.

Accra Digital Center

In the heart of the bustling metropolis, the Accra Digital Center stands as a symbol of Ghana’s commitment to technology and innovation. This state-of-the-art facility houses numerous startups and tech companies, providing them with world-class infrastructure and resources. It’s not just a place to work but also a haven for ambitious entrepreneurs striving to reshape the digital landscape.

The ADC offers affordable and flexible workspaces for startups and entrepreneurs, complete with high-speed internet access, power supply, conference and meeting facilities, and business development training programs.

ADC also hosts a Mobile Applications Laboratory (mLab) and an Innovation Hub (iHub) to nurture tech startups and foster innovation. Some successful startups that have emerged from the ADC include mPharma and Farmerline, both of which have made significant contributions to various sectors.

An aerial view of the Accra Digital Center

The ADC aligns with the Government of Ghana’s digitalization agenda, aimed at improving productivity, service delivery, and various digital initiatives like the National ID and Universal QR Code.

The hub continues to put more effort into showcasing Ghana’s digital potential and positions it as a regional digital hub ready to facilitate the transition to a knowledge-based economy.

MEST Ghana

Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology was founded in 2008 by Jorn Lyseggen, the CEO of Meltwater, a global leader in media intelligence and Outside Insight. MEST is a prominent Africa-wide technology entrepreneur training program, internal seed fund, and network of hubs offering incubation for technology startups in Africa. MEST provides critical skills training, funding, and support in software development, business, and communications to Africa’s tech entrepreneurs. Hubs are located in Accra, Ghana; Lagos, Nigeria; Cape Town, South Africa; and Nairobi, Kenya respectively.

MEST consists of three main pillars: a training program, an incubation and seed fund, and an African tech community. The training program is a one-year, fully-funded program that selects aspiring entrepreneurs from across Africa to participate in an intensive curriculum that covers business, tech, and communications at the headquarters in Accra.

The incubation and seed fund provides graduates of the training program who successfully pitch their ideas to the board with funding and full support to launch their businesses with MEST incubation, to scale across African markets.

The African tech community is a network of leading entrepreneurs, investors, corporate partners, and ecosystem players that spans the continent and provides access to mentors, events, programs, and opportunities for members of MEST.

MEST has trained over 1000 entrepreneurs from 30 African countries. It has funded more than 80 startups and created over 750 jobs across the continent. Some of its notable portfolio companies include Asoriba, a church management software; Amplify Pay, a payment platform for digital businesses; Kudobuzz, a social reviews platform; Leti Arts, an interactive media studio; Qisimah Audio Insights, a radio monitoring service; MeQasa, a real estate marketplace; Dropque, an intelligent recruitment platform; and many more.

Ghana Tech Lab

Ghana Tech Lab was established in 2018 as part of the World Bank’s Digital Skills for Africa initiative. Ghana Tech Lab is a platform for digital innovations that aims to become the leader in transforming ideas into viable startups in Africa and beyond. Ghana Tech Lab provides skills training sessions, innovation programs, startup incubation and acceleration, community events, success stories, and solutions to individuals and organizations who want to increase their productivity and impact.

The Base Program is one of its flagship programs in which individuals are assisted in turning simple ideas into big startups through intensive incubation.

The training phase focuses on equipping individuals with digital skills such as artificial intelligence (AI), mobile app development (MAD), digital media (DM), data science (DS), digitizing agriculture (DA), and digitizing commerce (DC).

The incubation phase helps individuals define their business model and create innovations that address a situation in society.

Ghana Tech Lab believes that every successful startup has a great story. Therefore, stories are one of its trademarks and stories of its alumni and mentors are often showcased through its social media channels to inspire.

As a solution-oriented creative space, they have a team of experts who have created solutions to meet the needs of different industries such as education, health care, agriculture, finance, entertainment, etc. Impact is the ultimate goal of Ghana Tech Lab. Ghana Tech Lab aims to create viable startups that address the core needs of the community and generate social and economic value.

Ghana Tech Lab has trained over 6019 youth in digital skills in the country. It has incubated over 78 startups. It has created over 619 jobs. Through strong partnerships with both local and international organizations.

Ghana Tech Lab continues to roll out contemporary in-demand tech and entrepreneurial training programs to help the Ghanaian youth explore the technological world successfully.

These innovation hubs have become instrumental in shaping Ghana’s digital economy. They have created an ecosystem where startups can flourish without the burden of exorbitant overhead costs. By fostering a culture of collaboration and innovation, they have become the driving force behind Ghana’s tech revolution and there’s no doubt that Ghana’s digital economy will undoubtedly shine even brighter on the global stage.

These innovation hubs have become instrumental in shaping Ghana’s digital economy. They have created an ecosystem where startups can flourish without the burden of exorbitant overhead costs. By fostering a culture of collaboration and innovation, they have become the driving force behind Ghana’s tech revolution and there’s no doubt that Ghana’s digital economy will undoubtedly shine even brighter on the global stage in the near future.

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