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Renew Capital has a presence in 14 African countries. We aim to provide insight into Africa's startup scene, along with the opportunities and challenges it presents through a series of blogs from our in-country team. If you share our passion for developing entrepreneurship in Africa, we invite you to check out our open roles

Nicholas Clerk on Supporting Entrepreneurs and Ghana's Unique Culture

By Nicholas Clerk, Margaret Mandeya | Mon May 27 2024
Q&A with Renew Capital's Investment Ecosystem Development Manager in Ghana
Renew Capital has made a significant leap into Ghana's burgeoning tech sector with its first investment Affinity, highlighting its dynamic entrepreneurial landscape. During a recent trip to Ghana, our founder and co-CEO, Laura Davis, explored Accra’s tech scene and shared valuable insights into its unique vibrancy
In this Q&A, we feature Nicholas Clerk, Renew Capital's Investment Ecosystem Development Manager in Ghana, to discuss his efforts in nurturing entrepreneurs and spearheading investment and development within Ghana's thriving tech ecosystem.
Can you briefly explain your background in Ghana's innovation and startup ecosystem? Where did it all start?
My adventure in the innovation and startup ecosystem in Ghana kicked off almost a decade ago during my undergrad years. Picture me as a student, knee-deep in coursework, trying to complete my final thesis, when I got my first freelance part-time job with a multinational tech startup looking to expand to West Africa. My job at the time was to analyze the market dynamics in each country and to inform the company’s regional expansion strategy. That sense of drive and responsibility to inform real-world decision-making! I loved it! Little did I know, this would be the spark that ignited my passion for startups. 
Since then, I’ve gone on to acquire an MBA in finance and worn many hats—finance, accounting, data analysis, project management and management consulting—across some incredible companies. Each role has been a thrilling chapter in my ongoing story, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the ride so far!
Ghana is well known for its vibrant people and culture, full of celebration and color, etc. So, what’s the best thing about Ghana for you?
For me, the best thing about Ghana is our incredible sense of hospitality and community. Ghanaians are always warm and excited to welcome anybody with a smile! Ghana is a truly unique and special place. From our diverse and yet unusually spicy food, bustling markets, unique music and dance (even though I can’t dance to save my life), serene countryside and stunning fauna and flora. There truly is no place like home.
Can you give us a brief background about your role at Renew Capital? What has been the most exciting part for you?
At Renew Capital, my role involves a diverse range of tasks aimed at establishing our presence in Ghana's dynamic ecosystem. From engaging with key stakeholders to sourcing investment opportunities and managing projects, every day brings something new and exciting. However, if I had to pick the most thrilling aspect, it would be engaging directly with founders and entrepreneurs. There's something incredibly rewarding about collaborating with them, witnessing their passion and vision, and supporting their journey to create positive change in their communities. 
What do you see as the biggest opportunities and challenges for startups in Ghana's current landscape? 
In Ghana, the startup landscape is buzzing with potential. Our young, dynamic population is eager for innovative solutions to pressing problems. The rise of the digital economy offers fertile ground for businesses to flourish. 
However, access to funding remains a significant challenge. I've witnessed firsthand how promising ventures need help to secure the necessary capital to fuel their growth. Despite innovative ideas, many startups face hurdles first in finding investment opportunities and then being investor-ready in an ecosystem that is fairly nascent in its development.
Despite these obstacles, I've also seen the drive and determination of Ghanaian entrepreneurs to succeed. With the development of the Ghanaian ecosystem, fueled by sustainable support from the private sector, I believe Ghanaian startups are poised to transform the continent as a whole and solidify its position as the gateway to Africa!
Renew Capital is an Africa-focused impact investment firm that backs innovative companies with high-growth potential. Renew Capital manages investments made on behalf of the Renew Capital Angels, a global network of angel investors, foundations and family offices who seek financial returns and sustainable social impact. For the latest on investing in Africa, subscribe and follow us at our social links below.

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