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The Land Accelerator is a highly selective training program and curated network for entrepreneurs who restore degraded forests and farmland. The second cohort of the Land Accelerator will meet from September 7-12, 2019, in Nairobi, Kenya. The 15 startups were chosen from 335 applicants and represent 9 African countries.

Are you an investor? Join us in Nairobi at the Demo Day on September 12 at 4 p.m. at iHub to meet the entrepreneurs in person.

The startups:

1. Addax (Niger) grows and processes gum arabic to make high-value resin and livestock feed, while adding trees to an arid landscape.

2. Agromyx (Ghana) manufactures freeze-dried fruits, vegetables and grains to stem post-harvest losses and create instant food products.

3. Apinec (Ethiopia) produces honey and beeswax for export to Europe and has trained over 2,000 farmers in beekeeping methods.

4. E3D (Niger) grows neem trees to make natural pesticides, insect-repelling soaps, disinfectants, and related products.

5. EcoH Holdings (Kenya) converts organic waste into pelleted fertilizer to enhance soil health and increase food production.

6. E-moto Limited (Kenya) turns sugarcane waste into biofuel for cooking. This reduces pressure on forests and lowers indoor air pollution.

7. Expression Global (Kenya) offers affordable piped water for irrigation to smallholder farmers, making them more productive and climate-resilient.

8. Kencoco (Kenya) makes charcoal briquettes from discarded coconut husks in coastal Kenya, providing a sustainable alternative to fuelwood.

9. Kitovu (Nigeria) collects soil and market demand data, used to provide farmers with soil and crop-specific fertilizers to triple crop yields.

10. Kofar (Kenya) sells organic fertilizers that reverse the damage done by chemicals and improve soil health.

11. Rejuvenate Umhlaba! (Zimbabwe) is working to establish a thriving market for land restoration offsets in Africa.

12. Shekina (Rwanda) dries edible cassava leaves to produce a new, shelf-stable, nutritious source of food.

13. Shoots & Roots (South Africa) is a commercial nursery that has grown over 200,000 trees over the past year.

14. Tilaa Ltd (Ghana) produces honey and cashews by working with local farmers through an integrated plantation.

15. Tree Resource Enterprises (Uganda) supplies tree seeds and seedlings to clients interested in agroforestry and large-scale restoration.

Are you an entrepreneur who’s interested in joining? We will host the Land Accelerator again in 2020 and will post the application details on this site. In the meantime, here’s a taste of what’s to come.

These are some highlights from the 2018 program:

  • The entrepreneurs have increased confidence in their ability to engage investors, negotiate terms and raise capital. One business received a $50,000 investment based on its improved plan and pitch, while another won a $10,000 cash prize
  • One business has transformed how it works with hundreds of farmers
  • One business pivoted to a new focus. It has since secured two large orders

Hear from last year’s cohort about their experience in this 4-minute video.

The Accelerator contributes to African countries’ efforts to bring 100 million hectares of land into restoration through the African Forest Landscapes Restoration Initiative (AFR100) and the Bonn Challenge. There is no fee for the program thanks to the generous support of the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and DOEN Foundation.

Questions or comments? Reach out to Sofia Faruqi.

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