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Technology and people are the global drivers for economic empowerment. With the right support, people anywhere in the world can achieve anything.

This Christmas, SAP Exchange Media and the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) decided to create the “#EmpowerTech Crowdfunding Campaign” in order to support young, aspiring African technology entrepreneurs.

Who or what is MEST?

The Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) is a non-profit program established by Meltwater that blends an MBA-type education with hands-on training in software development and entrepreneurship – enabling young Africans to become world-class tech entrepreneurs. Students from Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and Côte d’Ivoire come to the MEST Campus in Ghana to learn the skills required to launch globally successful software companies.

Founded in Accra (Ghana) in 2008, MEST is the brainchild of CEO Jørn Lyseggen, who believes that talented people are everywhere, and with the right nurturing, support, and guidance, the next Facebook or Google can come from Africa.

Today, over 400 individual entrepreneurs have graduated from the training program and over 25 tech companies have been launched via seed funding and mentorship from MEST, which is a huge success and a great development for the African economy.

MEST entrepreneurs have acquired success in a lot of ways – raised follow-on funding of about $500,000 USD, been selected by President Obama to represent at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C. and have also been named Mandela Washington Fellows, a flagship program of Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).

Learn more about MEST and our campaign from this short video:

With the right support, people can achieve anything.

As intrapreneurship within a company like SAP, SAP Exchange Media knows how important it is to support young and creative talents to drive innovation. However, not every entrepreneur is lucky enough to be supported by a global player. As Jørn Lyseggen, founder of Meltwater Group and MEST Africa put it:

“Talent can be found everywhere, but resources are unevenly distributed around the globe”.

This is why SAP XM decided to start a crowdfunding campaign together with MEST, in order to support tomorrow’s top entrepreneurs from Africa. And what occasion would suit this joint initiative better than Christmas?

“We believe that with the right support, people can achieve anything,” said Wolfgang Faisst, Head and Co-Founder of SAP XM. He continued: “Every young talent, regardless of their origin, nationality, or whatsoever, should have the same opportunities to start their own career and live their own lives. We want to empower young entrepreneurs to follow their dreams with the support of such a great school like MEST”.

SAP and MEST have already collaborated before this campaign, when SAP Colleagues travelled to Africa during their sabbatical, to support MEST in developing self-sustainable strategies: “We had the privilege of working with the Management Team and students at MEST in October 2016. We were very impressed by the students’ passion, engagement, competence and richness of ideas. MEST is doing an outstanding job in developing and supporting these talents. We are confident that these students will play an important role in shaping the future of Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, and hope that the MEST ideal spreads over the continent – supporting a true pan African endeavor”.

Celine Duros, Head of Partnerships at MEST, is excited about the collaboration with SAP XM: “We’re looking forward to a new type of partnership with a tech organization like SAP that shares the values of MEST. It is exciting to be a part of this innovative Christmas campaign, which makes a tangible difference in the lives and future of the young aspiring tech entrepreneurs.”

Now it’s Your Turn!

SAP Exchange Media is proud to donate $8,500 to MEST as this year’s Christmas gift. However, this obviously is not enough to really start making a difference for these young tech talents in Africa. So now we ask YOU to join us to #EmpowerTech together with MEST.

Contribute today and support the next generation of top entrepreneurs. Every dollar counts!

You are interested and want to #EmpowerTech? Visit our campaign page!

If you have any questions about this initiative feel free to contact Florian Eckart from SAP XM or Celine Duros from MEST.

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