Agriculture remains the backbone of most African economies, contributing over 70% to their GDP’s. Today, Village Capital and Juhudi Kilimo announced they are looking for companies that increase access to services for Kenya’s smallholder farmers. The two says they are especially interested in innovations in agricultural technology, access to financial services, or access to clean energy.
The two have set aside a funding of US$100,000 to the best two startups to come out of the program. Uisng a peer review style participating entrepreneurs will assess one another, and the two businesses ranked highest by their peers at the end of the program will each receive a US$50,000 investment. The business accelerator program will use the power of peersupport and peerselected financing to enterprises solving the problems of Kenyan farmers by increasing their income and improving the productivity of their agribusinesses.
To date, this is the 26th program launched worldwide; teams from China to Brazil to Kenya to the US have engaged in the Village Capital process in a highly collaborative and collegial spirit.
The accelerator program has seen a strong interest so far from a wide spectrum of entrepreneurs. Juhudi Kilimo and Village Capital expect the pool of candidates to continue growing throughout the application period until 29 June 2014, when the application closes.
Other partners include the James Lee Sorenson Center for Global Impact Investing, and sponsors include the Lundin Foundation, Rockerfeller Foundation, and Invested Development.