Call for Mentors: MASO Business Academy

Project Brief

Solidaridad West Africa (SWA) is a non- profit organization based in Accra, Ghana. Established in 2005, SWA is part of the Solidaridad Network. Solidaridad has over 45 years of global experience working in the development of profitable supply chains, creating sustainable businesses and livelihoods.

Solidaridad is implementing the Next Generation Cocoa Youth Programme (herein referred to as “MASO”) with other consortium partners. The consortium partners include Ashesi University, Fidelity Bank, Aflatoun, Opportunity International Savings and Loans and COCOBOD. MASO seeks to empower the youth as a catalyst for the transformation of the cocoa sector, so it remains a vital and growing part of the Ghanaian economy, by employing more youth as business minded farmers and cocoa value chain entrepreneurs. To achieve this aim, the programme will harness and incubate the energy, ambition and abilities of currently unemployed (out of school) youth through the incubator method, combining training, coaching support, a youth network and access to land, finance and markets along with a reduction of barriers to success.

The MASO Program will be delivered through three critical components;

  1. The establishment of an Agro Academy to train youth in sustainable cocoa farming practices in combination with social, financial, leadership and business development skills in the MASO operational areas.
  2. The establishment of a Business Academy to train youth to expand the cocoa sector and develop thriving service sectors that will support the cocoa industry and/or enhance life in the MASO operational areas. This will be done in Nine Calls over a five-year period.
  3. An Alumni Network, which will be provided with a supportive enabling environment, allowing them – now farmers and entrepreneurs, to flourish by focusing on access to finance, land, markets and the likes.

Role of MASO Business Academy Mentor

Solidaridad is looking for Experienced Entrepreneurs and Business/ Management Consultants to volunteer as mentors to young entrepreneur in cocoa growing areas.

Role Brief:

Volunteer Mentors are needed for an eleven months’ period to mentor participants of the Second Call of the Business Academy under MASO in the Assin North District, in partnership with Ashesi University. The mentors will assist the MASO to ensure that, mentees develop the necessary skills; are exposed to opportunities within the spaces they are exploring businesses in; are aware of available resources; and can make appropriate business decisions.

The Mentor will report directly to the MASO Business Academy Coordinator and the Solidaridad West Africa Incubator Expert.

Job Summary:

The Business Academy mentor will:

  1. Share/ use their experiences in business start up to guide mentees;
  2. Hold mentoring sessions with the mentees during the eleven-month duration; and
  3. Help the mentees build their self-esteem and confidence as well as motivate them;

Details of these tasks are as captured below:

  1. Share / use their experiences in business start up to guide mentees
  • Be a source of business related information for mentees;
  • Practice shrewd listening to understand and appreciate the mentees; and
  • Advice, support and direct mentees in planning and decision making.

2. Hold mentoring sessions with the mentees during the eight-month duration

  • Spend at least two hours a month with each assigned mentee by getting in touch with the mentee at least twice in the month.
  • Have at least five on-site meetings with the mentees. The mentor will be required to visit the mentee in their community to engage, bond and build a relationship that in the first, third, fifth, seventh and tenth months of the relationship, the mentor will.
  • Provide objective assessment and observations that foster development and growth of mentee ventures;
  • Guide mentees to manage social, cultural and emotional issues they encounter to aid in personal and venture growth;
  • Mentor based on the details in the mentoring manual; and
  • Communicate observed needs or challenges of mentees to the MASO Business Academy Coordinator and the Solidaridad West Africa Incubator Expert via e-mail.

3. Help the mentees build their self-esteem and confidence, as well as motivate them

  • Stimulate shifts in mindset for renewed perspectives to promote creativity and innovation
  • Be encouraging and supportive; and
  • Serve as a positive role model by modelling desirable behaviors.

Minimum Requirements

  • Demonstrated experience as an entrepreneur;
  • Experience in mentoring;
  • Open to cultural difference;
  • Good relationship builder;
  • Exposure to entrepreneurship and starting businesses;
  • Possess active listening skills while encouraging open communication;
  • Be dedicated to the vision, mission and core values of Ashesi: ethical entrepreneurial leadership;
  • Strong oral communication skills in English and the mentee’s local language (Twi, Ewe);
  • Can adapt to and manage group and team dynamics;
  • Can exercise a high degree of tact and diplomacy;
  • Committed to confidentiality of information;
  • Commitment to be prepared and ready to give 100% to every relationship;
  • Be proficient in basic MS office suite and Google Business

Location of Assignment

The business academy runs on a 5-month training cycle, with a 7-month incubation period, in three locations within one of the MASO operational areas during each call, with 9 calls in the 5 years of this project. Mentorship will commence in the second month of the training cycle and run through the incubation period, making a total of 11 months of mentoring.

The MASO operational areas are:

The Second Call, for which we are recruiting mentors for is in the Assin North District in the Central Region.

Application Process

Interested persons should please forward their CVs and/or a 200-word essay communicating why they will be a good fit as a mentor for this project, how they will support the participant ventures, and how they will benefit from mentoring these young participants, to and

Deadline for receipt of applications is 12 noon on Monday, 29th May, 2017. Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted by, Wednesday, 31st May, 2017.

Download the Terms of Reference: MASO Project-Call for Mentors_Agricinghana


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