Growth Africa Announces a New Partnership to Accelerate Green Enterprises in Africa

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A new acceleration programme was announced for green entrepreneurs at the Seed Africa Symposium 2014 in Nairobi, Kenya. This ambitious, continental acceleration programme targets green entrepreneurs looking to take their innovations to scale in Africa.

The Green Pioneer Accelerator Programme has been developed for early stage companies looking to position themselves for scale. Applicants should either have a working prototype with clear market demand and/or already be generating revenue. This programme is designed to support entrepreneurs who have ambitions to take the next step in growing their business to a national and regional scale.

This programme combines a rigorous curriculum with practical experience shared by successful entrepreneurs, mentors and investors. Fundraise with over 600 private sector investors and tap into the combined networks and knowledge of Impact Amplifier, Growth Africa, VC4Africa and Hivos.

Asked about why Hivos decided to initiate this programme, Programme 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 and support private sector-driven green innovation. We continue to support green pioneers seeking to address these constraints by positioning them for growth and improving their access to capital. We see the Green Pioneer Accelerator Programme as an important next step in developing ventures in these markets, further extending our work into these areas.’

Johnni Kjelsgaard, the Founder and Director of the Nairobi based accelerator Growth Africa adds, ‘The curriculum we have put together looks at a company in a holistic way, and we take a non linear approach to the entrepreneurial process. What does this mean? We recognize that each company is unique in its formation. Our programme looks at the strengths and weaknesses of each participant and then adapts the programme to fit their needs. This is a different approach that shows results.”

Maximilian Pichulik, Partner of South African based Impact Amplifier adds, “This programme 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.”

Upon successful graduation, the 10 enterprises in each programme will be showcased to a group of investors including impact-focused as well as impact-agnostic angel investors and early stage VC funds. The showcase will be done through VC4Africa’s online platform and culminates with interested parties participating in a physical 1-day meeting in both the East Africa and Southern Africa locations.

Entrepreneurs working on sustainable businesses across Africa are welcomed to join the 2015 Green Pioneer Acceleration Programme and participate in either the Kenya (Kenya application form) or South Africa cohort (South Africa application form).

About GrowthAfrica
GrowthAfrica is East Africa’s premier impact accelerator, founded in 2002 on the desire and mission to proactively contribute to the social and economic growth of African economies through strengthening of the competitiveness of local enterprises.

About Hivos

Hivos is an international development organisation guided by humanist values. Hivos trusts in the creativity and capacity of people. Quality, cooperation and innovation are core values in Hivos’ programme development and business philosophies.

About VC4Africa

VC4Africa is the largest online community of entrepreneurs and investors dedicated to building game changing companies on the African continent. The community has members in 159 countries and meetups have been hosted in more than 50 cities around the world.

About Impact Amplifier

Impact Amplifier assists impact investors to source and invest into compelling opportunities; providing investment readiness and advisory services to businesses, which combine financial success with positive social and environmental change; and delivering supplier development and sustainability advisory services to corporations and public institutions.

Source: Press Release