The Green Pioneer Accelerator i business accelerator seeks to support early stage enterprises contributing innovative solutions to environmental issues such as climate change, loss of biodiversity and degradation of soils and the entrepreneurs were identified after a rigorous multi-phase selection process which focused on the viability of their businesses, the strength of the teams, and their potential to solve huge challenges through innovative products and creative solutions.
The 16 week acceleration programs are starting end of January and early February and will take the businesses from ‘market proof’ to ‘ready for investment’.
The program seeks to position companies for scale by getting their strategy, financials and pitch deck in shape, and preparing them for fundraising conversations with investors.
Also in the program is a rigorous curriculum with practical experience shared by successful entrepreneurs, mentors and investors. Graduates will also have access to over 600 private sector investors and can tap into the combined networks and knowledge of the participating partner organizations.
Asked about why Hivos initiated this collaboration, Program Manager Leo Soldaat explained, ‘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 with the private sector social innovation in the green – environmental – field. 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.’
‘We are delighted to be part of Africa’s first Green Pioneer accelerator designed to accelerate growth of businesses in the green space” says Johnni Kjelsgaard, the Group CEO of Nairobi based accelerator Growth Africa. “We believe each one of the 11 early stage enterprises selected to join us in Kenya has huge potential to have significant impact. We 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™.’
Maximilian Pichulik, Partner of South African based Impact Amplifier adds, ‘This program is about taking promising green entrepreneurs and getting them ready for investment, with fundable business plans. We have a long track record of successful deal making and this is the next step to accelerating innovation in the green space. Really we are breaking open a new era for green innovation and entrepreneurship.’
Below are the entreprenurs
Strauss Energy (Kenya) – Tony Nyagah, Afrisol Energy Limited (Kenya)– Amos Nguru, Boma Safi Limited (Kenya) – Joyce Gema, Classic foods Limited (Kenya) – Wachira Kariuki, Cobitech Solar (Kenya) – Samson Gichia, Consumer’s Choice Limited (Kenya) – Mohammed Kadhi, Green Pencils Limited (Kenya) – Ivan Ochieng, Kencoco Limited (Kenya) – DR. Said Twahir, Plexus Energy Limited (Kenya) – Edward Kinyanjui, Sanivation (Kenya) – Andrew Foote, and Skynotch Energy Africa (Kenya) – Patrick Kimathi
From South Africa the are Savvy Loo (South Africa) – Dudley Jackson, SolarTurtle (South Africa) – James van de Walt, Lady Bonin’s Tea (South Africa) – Jessica Bonin, Phambili Energy South Africa ( South Africa) – Musa Msimango, Mellowcabs (South Africa) – Neil du Preez, Mechanical Concrete (South Africa) – Robert Jooste, Project Solaris (South Africa) – Samantha Bartle, Shakti Energy (South Africa) – Vijay Mithi, MySmartFarm (South Africa) – Wolfgang Von Loeper, Botanica Natural Products (South Africa) – Will Coetsee, New Earth Health Solutions (South Africa) – Yesheen Singh, Spekboom Trading (South Africa) – Zoe Visser
Upon successful graduation, the enterprises in each program will be showcased to a group of investors including impact-focused as well as impact-agnostic angel investors and early stage venture capital funds. The showcase will be done through VC4Africa’s online platform and culminates with interested parties participating in a physical 1-day networking session in both the East Africa and Southern Africa locations.