This was originally posted on Impact Alpha by Amy Cortese on September 10. Turning sugarcane waste into cooking fuel. Growing neem trees to make natural pesticides and insect repellants. Providing affordable piped water for smallholder farmers. These are some of the restorative services offered by the startups in this year’s Land Accelerator, a bootcamp program for African entrepreneurs working...
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The Land Accelerator is an exciting four-month program and curated network for entrepreneurs who restore degraded forests and farmland. It is anchored by an intense week-long workshop. The Land Accelerator has been held twice in Africa and will be expanding to India and Latin America in 2020.
The program’s second African cohort met from September 7-12, 2019, in Nairobi, Kenya. The 14 startups were chosen from 335 applicants and represent 8 African countries. Each received a EUR 3,000 grant in addition to a travel stipend. There is no fee to join, nor does the program take equity.
Over 100 investors and members of Nairobi’s start-up community joined us at the Demo Day on Sep 12 to meet the entrepreneurs. Missed it? No problem! The full video is below.
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 Africa program:
- Green Pot Enterprises received a $300,000 equity investment to build a new factory, in addition to a $300,000 grant for investment readiness.
- Kalahari Honey pivoted to a new focus. It has since secured two large orders and raised $100,000.
- Lentera secured a $50,000 loan and won a $10,000 cash prize based on its improved pitch.
- SA Bamboo has transformed how it works with hundreds of farmers by organizing them into cooperatives.
- Safi Organics received $55,000 in grants and has expanded to serve over 3,000 customers, most of whom are smallholders.
The Accelerator contributes to African countries’ efforts to bring 100 million hectares of land into restoration through the African Forest Landscape 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.