SMEs and Ventures

Green Pioneer Accelerator program leads to multiple investment deals

After the Green Pioneer Accelerator’s graduation last June, multiple investment deals and other partnerships have been closed and are in the works for the 21 innovative companies that participated in the program.

The inaugural Green Pioneer Accelerator, launched at the Seed Africa Symposium 2014 and completed a few months ago, focused on early stage enterprises contributing innovative solutions to environmental issues. Impact Amplifier, GrowthAfrica, VC4Africa and Hivos offered the 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. At the program graduation in June the companies were introduced to investors and strategic partners in Nairobi, Kenya and in Cape Town, South Africa.


Hivos investments

In the meantime, Hivos has announced one of the companies it invests in: the Lady Bonin’s Tea team from the Impact Amplifier program in South Africa. One of the companies from the Growth Africa program in Kenya will follow too. At the start of the program Hivos announced they would review the investment opportunities and had reserved Euro 100,000 for initial investments.

In the meantime already more investment deals and partnerships have been closed.

Boma Safi acquired

Soon after the Green Pioneer Accelerator the company Boma Safi was acquired! The Kenyan company, selling affordable solar products, clean cook stoves and briquettes to rural households, got acquired for an undisclosed amount.

Solaris & Mechanical Concrete: new contracts

Mechanical Concrete secured a huge number of new contracts and is now doing business in East Africa, where Growth Africa might play a part in their expansion. They secured road contracts for several thousand kilometers. Project Solaris is working in partnership with South Africa Airways to meet their goals of 20 million litres of jet fuel by 2018 and 500 million litres by 2023.

These are just a few of the success stories after the Green Pioneer Accelerator’s inaugural graduation.

The eleven entrepreneurs who graduated from the GrowthAfrica hosted programme in Kenya are Consumer Choice Limited (providing Bio-Ethanol Gel and eco cook stoves), 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 (producing power generating photovaltaic roofing tiles), Plexus Energy Limited (distributing off grid power solutions), Cobitech Solar Limited (providing solar kits on loan to rural poor households), Afrisol Energy Limited (produce clean energy with biogas), Classic Foods Limited (dairy products, juices, sauce and animal feeds), Sanivation (providing sanitation and energy services) and Kencoco Limited (producing charcoal briquettes from biomass material).

The ten entrepreneurs who graduated from the Impact Amplifier hosted programme in South Africa are Savvy Loo (offering a waterless sanitation and bio-energy solution), SolarTurtle (bringing electricity to off-grid communities), Lady Bonin’s Tea (sourcing sustainably farmed tea), Mellowcabs (providing electric mini-cab taxis), Mechanical Concrete (building roads with waste car tyres), Project Solaris (using a novel biofuel crop), Shakti Energy (offering recharging with a pedal powered generator), MySmartFarm (providing a farmer’s data cloud platform), Botanica Natural Products (cosmetics from indigenous African plans) and PhytoPro ( plant based protein products).

Accredited investors who are interested in the above mentioned ventures can get access to full details via their VC4Africa Pro Account. Registered investors are 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.

Partnership with VC4Africa

Hivos, initiating the Green Pioneer Accelerator in partnership with VC4Africa, Impact Amplifier and Growth Africa, was among the first to use VC4Africa’s Partner Pages for sourcing applications. Leo Soldaat of Hivos commented: ‘VC4Africa increasingly serves as an entry point to the ecosystem of African entrepreneurship. VC4Africa is a valuable partner, building a key resource for the ecosystem.’

Accelerators, incubators, investment funds and other startup ecosystem players can launch their programs and collect applications from entrepreneurs across Africa using VC4Africa’s Partner offering.

Entrepreneurs looking for opportunities (accelerators, competitions & challenges) should check out the VC4Africa partner pages for open and upcoming programs!

Miguel Heilbron – VC4Africa

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