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The Green Pioneer Accelerator focused on early stage enterprises contributing innovative solutions to environmental issues such as climate change, energy insecurity, loss of biodiversity and degradation of ecosystems. Over the past four months Impact Amplifier, GrowthAfrica, VC4Africa and Hivos offered the Green Pioneer Accelerator programme to selected businesses, taking them from ‘market proof’ to ‘ready for investment’. Twenty one committed entrepreneurs were selected for the programme in Kenya and South Africa.
See an overview of all the companies below, and click on the company name for the company’s venture profile:
The eleven entrepreneurs who graduated from the GrowthAfrica hosted programme in Kenya are:
- Kencoco Limited – producing charcoal briquettes from biomass material
- Boma Safi Limited – selling affordable solar products, clean cook stoves and briquettes to rural households
- Green Pencils Limited – making customized pencils and ball pens from old newspapers
- Skynotch Energy Africa – running a mini-hydro power generation plant and distributing solar energy tools
- Strauss Energy – enabling home owners and companies to earn income from power generating photovaltaic roofing tiles
- Plexus Energy Limited – distributing off grid power solutions such solar lighting, solar water heating and UPS systems for network masts
- Cobitech Solar Limited – providing solar kits on loan to rural poor households for repayment within one year
- Afrisol Energy Limited – using biogas digesters to produce clean and cheaper energy for institutions
- Classic Foods Limited – processing dairy products, fruit juice, tomato sauce, honey, flour milling and manufacturing animal feeds
- Sanivation – installing portable toilets and providing sanitation and energy services to household in congested areas
- Consumer Choice Limited – providing economical Bio-Ethanol Gel and environmentally friendly clean cook stoves
The ten entrepreneurs who graduated from the Impact Amplifier hosted programme in South Africa are:
- Savvy Loo – a waterless sanitation and bio-energy solution for rural areas and temporary settlements
- SolarTurtle – bringing electricity to off-grid communities with woman-run franchises
- Lady Bonin’s Tea – sourcing organic, sustainably farmed tea from across South Africa
- Mellowcabs – providing electric mini-cab taxis
- Mechanical Concrete – using waste car tyres to build roads greener, faster and cheaper
- Project Solaris – providing a novel biofuel feedstock crop for aviation fuel
- Shakti Energy – offering a pedal powered generator for recharging lights and electronics to off-grid informal settlements
- MySmartFarm – a one-stop-shop solution for farmer’s data on one cloud platform and user friendly interface
- Botanica Natural Products – producing natural ingredients from indigenous African plans for the skin-care and cosmetic industry
- PhytoPro – producing plant based protein products made from peas, for consumer and medical consumption
The Green Pioneer Accelerator graduates have been working closely with mentors and partners in preparation for the Venture Forums. The participants are positioning their companies for growth and select enterprises will be showcased to a group of investors including impact-focused as well as impact-agnostic angel investors and early stage venture capital funds. In addition to the Venture Forums, the entrepreneurs will also be showcased to the Hivos, VC4Africa, GrowthAfrica and Impact Amplifier networks of investors.
The entrepreneurs were identified after a rigorous multi-phase selection process which focused on the viability of their businesses, the strength of the teams, and their potential to solve huge challenges through innovative products and creative solutions. The Green Pioneer Accelerator program combined a rigorous curriculum with practical experience shared by successful entrepreneurs, mentors and investors.
Accredited investors who are interested in the above mentioned ventures should register a VC4Africa Pro Account to get access to full details. Registered investors are also able to follow hundreds of other ventures gaining traction in over 40 African markets, network with fellow members, coordinate due diligence, and co-fund deals with fellow investors.
This article by Miguel Heilbron originally appeared on VC4Africa, a Burn Media publishing partner.