Waste to Value Accelerator, an initiative of BESTSELLER FOUNDATION and Intellecap are set to inject $100K into African startups in a move to help manage waste due to rapid ubarnisation and population growth.
The Waste to Value Accelerator aims at supporting and scaling start-ups working to reduce, reuse and recycle waste in East Africa.
“We seek to support entrepreneurs and build strong networks for start-ups and investors in the waste economy across East Africa,” announced the firm.
Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to be one of the fastest areas for waste growth in the world over the next 40 years, due to rapid urbanisation and population growth. Now more than ever, there is an urgent need for reducing waste, reusing products, and recycling resources to catalyse a more circular and healthy world.
Up to 10 selected start-ups will get an opportunity to become a part of the cohort in East Africa – and take part in shaping a community of founders, investors, mentors, and experts working to address the social and environmental challenges of waste.
The selected start-ups will receive bespoke support and mentoring over a period of 6-9 months to strengthen their teams and business performance.
Selected startups will receive investment readiness support and get a chance to pitch to BESTSELLER FOUNDATION and other investors for investments of up to USD $ 100,000.
According to Keiran Smith, founder and CEO, Mr Green Africa, Waste management is a huge issue in Africa and Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, is no exception. The city produces around 2,400 tonnes a day, of which roughly 60% is collected and only around 10% recycled. The rest is dumped illegally or burned.
However, Smith says everything is not lost as there are groups of people collecting and selling waste in a bid to survive. His company, Mr Green Africa gives pickers a premium price, so they can make a higher, stable income and come out of poverty and regain their dignity.
“We are able to offer a good price because we have an integrated process, which means we bypass the usual traders, sorters and transporters – middlemen who all take a cut along the way,” Smith said. “We benefit by getting a regular supply of recyclable plastic, which we process into a valuable raw material. This feeds back into the plastic manufacturers’ supply chain, enabling them and their customers to save costs and achieve their circular economy goals.