Small logo Subscribe to leading news on impact investing. Learn More
The Brief Originals Dealflow Signals The Impact Alpha Impact Voices Podcasts Agents of Impact Open
What's Next Capital on the Frontier Measure Better Investing in Racial Equity Beyond Trade-offs Impact en las Americas New Revivalists
Local and Inclusive Climate Finance Catalytic Capital Frontier Finance Best Practices Geographies
Slack Agent of Impact Calls Events Contribute
The Archive ImpactSpace The Accelerator Selection Tool Network Map
About Us FAQ Calendar Pricing and Payment Policy Privacy Policy Terms of Service Agreement Contact Us
Locavesting Entrepreneurship Gender Smart Return on Inclusion Good Jobs Creative economy Opportunity Zones Investing in place Housing New Schooled Well Being People on the Move Faith and investing Inclusive Fintech
Clean Energy Farmer Finance Soil Wealth Conservation Finance Financing Fish
Innovative Finance
Personal Finance Impact Management
Africa Asia Europe Latin America Middle East Oceania/Australia China Canada India United Kingdom United States
Subscribe Log In

Land Accelerator helps close financing gap for African soil startups

ImpactAlpha, Sept. 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 in sustainable agriculture and forestry.

Launched in 2018 by World Resources Institute (WRI) in partnership with global accelerator network Fledge, the program addresses the dual challenges of climate change and poverty by supporting sustainable businesses that create local jobs. Sustainable land and farming practices are key to reducing emissions and meeting climate goals. They also add up to an estimated $2.3 trillion economic opportunity that could provide over 70 million jobs globally by 2030, with much of that opportunity being centered in developing countries, according to a recent report.

The 14 startups from eight countries include Niger-based E3D, the neem products producer, Shoots & Roots, a South African commercial nursery, and Rejuvenate Umhlaba!, a Zimbabwe-based company creating a market for land restoration offsets in Africa.

The startups all fall in the “missing middle,” Sofia Faruqi, who designed and manages the Land Accelerator program for WRI, told ImpactAlpha. Yet they need capital to scale. The four-month program, anchored by a week-long in-person workshop, offers a mix of technical support and mentoring to help the companies become investor ready. On Thursday, the program culminates with a Demo Day in Nairobi where the companies will present to investors.

More than 300 startups applied to the program this year. “That signals to us there is a strong interest in being part of the solution and working towards a sustainable Africa by tackling climate change and at same time creating jobs,” says Faruqi.

The Accelerator is also backed by the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100), an alliance of countries dedicated to beginning the restoration of 100 million hectares of degraded land by 2030, and the The DOEN Foundation, which provides each attendee with a stipend to cover costs.

You might also like...