Applications Now Open for Fourth Cohort of UNICEF StartUp Lab Accelerator Program

February 15, 2024 – UNICEF StartUp Lab is excited to announce the commencement of
applications for its fourth cohort, inviting tech-enabled social impact startups in Ghana to apply
for this transformative opportunity. Since its inception in 2019, UNICEF StartUp Lab has
supported over 50 startups across various sectors, including health, education, WASH (water,
sanitation and hygiene), agriculture, and frontier technologies.

In the previous cohort, nearly half of the participating startups were led by women, with 40%
startups representing regions outside of Greater Accra, highlighting the program’s commitment
to diversity and inclusivity.

The UNICEF StartUp Lab is an accelerator program led by UNICEF in Ghana and supported by
KOICA under the “KOICA-UNICEF Accelerating Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Ghana”
project. The program is dedicated to supporting businesses working towards advancing the
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for children and young people.
This year, the program is seeking startups with impact-driven solutions across all industries,
particularly in Health Tech, EdTech, Urban Tech, Climate Action, WASH, Child Protection, and

Through a 6-month accelerator program, participating startups gain valuable access to a
network of UNICEF experts, fostering networking and engagement opportunities. Qualified
companies receive dedicated assistance towards achieving recognition as a UN-recognized
Digital Public Good. Each selected startup receives up to GHS 30,000 in prototyping funding
and immersive hands-on business acceleration support.

To be eligible for the program, startups must have been operational for at least 1 year, be
registered businesses in Ghana (excluding NGOs, Foundations, or Individuals), and have a
business model with social impact, addressing at least one of the Sustainable Development
Goals. Startups from all regions of Ghana are encouraged to apply, with special encouragement
for startups with female founders and leadership, and those with open-source solutions.

Applications are open until February 29th, 2024. Startups can get more information and apply at or at

Follow us on social media:
LinkedIn: @UNICEFStartUpLab
Facebook: @UNICEFStartups
Twitter: @UNICEFStartups
Instagram: @unicefstartuplab



The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) was established in 1991 by the Republic
of Korea as a governmental organisation to implement the Korean government’s grant aid and
technical programs. KOICA Ghana Office has been supporting and implementing developmental
programs in Ghana in four key sectoral areas – Public Health, Agricultural, Rural Development,
Education, and Governance.

Ongoing flagship initiatives include; the Implementation of the Global Health Security Agenda
(GHSA) in Ghana to build the country’s’ capacity to prevent, detect, and respond rapidly to
infectious diseases for greater global health security with the US CDC, CHPS + project with the
Ghana Health Service to strengthen the capacity of health systems in the Upper East and North
East Regions, Rice Value Chain Improvement Project aimed at increasing the production of rice
in Central Region in collaboration with MoFA, and the Girls STEM Project with Ghana Education
Service to support young girls to pursue STEM courses at the higher level.

About MEST

MEST is a pan-African software and entrepreneurship training program, seed fund, and
incubator helping to launch technology startups across the continent. Founded in Ghana in 2008
by serial entrepreneur Jorn Lyseggen, MEST is a 12-month program that provides critical skills
training in software development, business, and communications to Africa’s burgeoning tech
talent. MEST provides seed funding for the best ideas coming out of the program and continues
to support the growth and development of its portfolio companies.

To date, MEST has trained 1000s of entrepreneurs from across the continent and invested in
over 80 startups across industries from Agritech, Fintech, SaaS, eCommerce, Digital Media, and
Healthcare amongst others. MEST is fully funded by the Meltwater Foundation, the non-profit
arm of the Norwegian company Meltwater; a global leader in social and media intelligence
headquartered in San Francisco.

About the UNICEF StartUp Lab in Ghana

The UNICEF StartUp Lab was established in 2019 in Accra, Ghana. It is an accelerator that
supports early-stage, tech-enabled startups in the development of innovative, market-driven
solutions that help address complex challenges impacting the well-being of young people and
adolescents. The UNICEF StartUp Lab integrates business incubation with wide-reaching
technical expertise and systems knowledge in the social sector.


UNICEF is a United Nations agency which works to uphold the rights and well-being of all
children in 190 countries. Operating in Ghana for 40 years, UNICEF’s current mandate focuses
on health, nutrition, water, sanitation, hygiene, education, protection, and social policy sectors,
as well as adolescent and youth empowerment and social behavior change.