GrowthAfrica Announces The 2015 Green Pioneer Accelerator Cohort

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The Green Pioneer Accelerator is a comprehensive business accelerator program that seeks to support social enterprises with innovative products and services mitigating the effects of climate change.

After a rigorous selections by the judges 11 entrepreneurs were selected for the program in Kenya and have a working prototype with clear market demand and/or are already generating revenue.

The 16 week acceleration program begins on the January 22, 2015. The entrepreneurs will receive deal making support for the rest of 2015. GrowthAfrica will take the entrepreneurs through a unique combination of facilitated learning, peer-based learning and mentoring by some of Africa’s most experienced entrepreneurs, C-suite executives and technical specialists. All this is leveraging GrowthAfrica’s innovative methodology and learning, discovery and planning tool – the ImpactCompass.

Upon successful graduation, Hivos will make Euro 50,000 in financial capital available to the best companies in the cohort and be showcased to a group of investors and early stage Venture Capital funds to tap into the combined networks and knowledge of the participating partner organizations.

The eleven entrepreneurs selected for the program in Kenya include:

  • Strauss Energy (Kenya) – Lead by Tony Nyaga, Strauss Energy is building an integrated Photo voltaic roofing tile for residential houses and commercial units. The excess power generated will be fed into the national grid so that home owners can earn income from the feed-in-tariff.
  • Afrisol Energy Limited (Kenya) – Lead by Amos Nguru, Afrisol specializes in design, installation and maintenance of biogas digesters to produce clean and cheaper energy for institutions.
  • Boma Safi Limited (Kenya) – Lead by Joyce Gema, Boma Safi sells affordable solar products, clean cook stoves and briquettes to rural households through a hub-spoke and promoter distribution model. 
  • Classic foods Limited (Kenya) –Lead by Wachira Kairuki, Classic Foods processes dairy products, fruit juice, tomato sauce, honey, flour milling and manufactures animal feeds.
  • Cobitech Solar (Kenya) – Lead by Samson Gichia, Cobitech works with MFIs and SACCOs who provide the solar kits on loan to rural poor households for repayment within one year.
  • Consumer’s Choice Limited (Kenya) – Lead by Mohammed Kadhi, Consumer Choice replaces the use of fossil fuels with more efficient, more economical Bio-Ethanol Gel and environmentally friendly clean cook stoves.
  • Green Pencils Limited (Kenya) – Lead by Ivan Ochieng, Green Pencils sources old newspapers from registered groups like the disabled, women and youth groups to produce customized pencils and ball pens.
  • Kencoco Limited (Kenya) – Lead by DR. Said Twahir,Kencoco uses coconut shells, husks and other biomass material to produce charcoal briquettes and sells to households and institutions.
  • Plexus Energy Limited (Kenya) – Lead by Edward Kinyanjui, Plexus distributes off grid power solutions such solar lighting, solar water heating and UPS systems for network masts for telcos and data centres for ISPs. 
  • Sanivation (Kenya) – Lead by Andrew FooteSanivation installs portable toilets and charges a monthly fee to provide household sanitation and energy services to people living in congested areas. 
  • Skynotch Energy Africa (Kenya) – Lead by Patrick Kimathi, Skynotch Energy runs a mini-hydro power generation plant, and works with small dealers to provide last mile distribution for solar lanterns and solar energy applications. 

Hivos , Program Manager Leo Soldaat said: ‘Hivos is very concerned about the environment. We see many problems such as climate change, loss of biodiversity and degradation of soils. In order to address these issues, Hivos wants to co-create private sector driven green innovation. We continue to support green pioneers working to tackle these constraints by positioning them for growth and improving their access to capital. We see the Green Pioneer Accelerator Program as an important next step in developing ventures in these markets, further extending our work into these areas.’

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