The Land Accelerator is an exciting program and curated network for entrepreneurs who restore degraded forests and farmland. It is anchored by an intensive week-long workshop when the cohort meets in person. There is no fee to join, and the program does not take equity.

Rolling application for 2022

Rolling application for 2022

April 30, 2021

The Land Accelerator has been held twice in Africa and will return to Nairobi for the third time in mid- 2021. We are launching our second cohort for South Asia also in mid-2021. Our first cohort in Latin America is currently active from December 2020-April 2021.

Featured resources

Tops tips and information for applying from the Land Accelerator launch in Delhi

Check the recording from our webinar on financing to learn strategies to get investment for your business.

Check out the 3-minute video below for more details about the Land Accelerator.

Are you an entrepreneur who’s interested in joining? If you are working to improve a degraded landscape – and you want to learn fast and raise money for your venture – then this is the right program for you. Applications are currently open for entrepreneurs from Africa and South Asia.

The Land Accelerator’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.

Over 100 investors and members of Nairobi’s start-up community joined us at the Demo Day on Sep 12, 2019 to meet the entrepreneurs. Missed it? No problem! The full video is below.

These are some highlights from the 2018 cohort in Africa:

  • 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 is expanding to serve an additional 1,000 smallholder farmers.

The Accelerator contributes to efforts to restore hundreds of millions of hectares of land through the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100), Initiative 20×20 in Latin America, and the Bonn Challenge. There is no fee for the program thanks to the generous support of the IKEA Foundation, the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the DOEN Foundation.

If you are interested in becoming a mentor for the Land Accelerator in 2020, please visit our Mentorship Program page for more details and to sign up.

Questions or comments? Reach out to Sofia Faruqi or Amanda Gant.

Latest stories

What WON’T make it into the Land Accelerator

This article is largely excerpted from a post published by our partner, Fledge at his blog here. After hundreds upon hundreds of applications reviewed by The Land Accelerator and Fledge, there are a series of common patterns that lead to rejections, no doubt frustrating the applicants, and similarly frustrating the screeners. 1. Team, lack thereof The number one criteria that we seek out is a...


Testimonials from our Africa alumni Testimonials from our South Asian alumni are below! Testimonial from VP Sharma of Gratitude Farms, who joined us for the 2020 Land Accelerator for South Asia. Testimonial from Shahnaz Sheikh, Co-Founder of AI-GENIX, who participated in the 2020 Land Accelerator for South Asia. Jestin Pauls from Aadhimalai Miller Rajendran from SenzAgro putting in a good word...

Investing in restoration entrepreneurs with the Mitsubishi Corporation Fund for Europe and Africa

Caroline Kariuki (left) in her bamboo nursery in Nyeri, Kenya. Photo: Will Anderson/WRI We are excited to announce the partnership between World Resources Institute’s Land Accelerator and the Mitsubishi Corporation Fund for Europe and Africa (MCFEA). Through a first-of-its-kind training program, the Land Accelerator identifies, empowers, and invests in African entrepreneurs who take a commercial...

Africa’s Restoration Entrepreneurs Aid in COVID-19 Response

Originally published by WRI. David Foli Ayivor, an entrepreneur from Ghana, has seen the devastating impact of the COVID-19 crisis on farmers and people in cities. As the pandemic shuts down supply chains, unharvested or unsold produce is rotting at farms while people in villages face food shortages at local markets. Africa’s food systems are under pressure, putting producers and consumers alike...

What you can learn from social investors that can benefit your business during COVID-19

When social entrepreneurs and social investors come together, there’s always lessons to be shared and tips for business growth. On Thursday, May 21, the Land Accelerator hosted its first ever virtual Live Pitch featuring four alumni from the 2019 Land Accelerator Africa who pitched to a panel of three social investors. You can catch the whole video live at this LINK. One highlight from this...

How the Restoration Economy Incentivizes Growing Trees

By Sofia Faruqi and Will Anderson | World Resources InstituteOriginally published by One Tree Planted How do we simultaneously fight climate change and improve food security? Is there a way for us to protect wildlife while creating jobs? What about better air and water quality? The answer: landscape restoration. Restoring degraded land by growing trees in forests and on farms not only...

COVID-19 updated timeline plan

Update May 28 – Plan A is now to hold an in-person accelerator Dec 6-12, 2020 with plenty of virtual interaction leading up to the in-person meeting. If COVID-19 still prohibits safe travel and interaction, we will invite 2020 cohort members to the Land Accelerator event planned for mid 2021. We will announce the cohort members by June 8, 2020. Update May 5 – We have nixed the August...

Notes about eligibility

We have also heard from many amazing companies, “I am not sure if my company qualifies.”  We would like to provide some guidance. The overall premise is, if you are NOT sure if your company would qualify or not, we would encourage you to apply. Please see a few FAQs below that may further clarify: Q: My project is not structured as a company. Actually, it is a part of a non-profit initiative...

Webinar: Financing for your land restoration business

This webinar focused on explaining how impact entrepreneurs can leverage their strengths to find appropriate financing. Check out the recording of the webinar below: The webinar featured Moses Kimani of Lentera Africa, alumni from the Land Accelerator Africa 2018, who discusses his experiences and lessons with raising funds, his recent new focus to his business, as well as his experience with the...

How farming in forests could sustain the planet

Reuniting farmland with trees has the potential to improve agricultural productivity and boost food security by creating a landscape that does not become exhausted through overuse. Land Accelerator companies are identifying and scaling business models that help to restore the land and also provide financial benefits to farmers, forest dwellers, and land owners. Are you a land restoration...