GrowthAfrica Announces 11 top entrepreneurs for the 2015 Green Pioneer Accelerator Program

Nairobi, Kenya. — 22/o1/2015

For immediate Release

GrowthAfrica is pleased to announce 11 top entrepreneurs selected to participate in the 2015 Green Pioneer Acceleration Program.

  • The Green Pioneer Accelerator is a comprehensive business accelerator program that seeks to support social enterprises with innovative products and services mitigating the effects of climate change.
  • The 11 entrepreneurs selected for the program in Kenya have a working prototype with clear market demand and/or are already generating revenue.
  • The uniqueness of this batch is the diversity of the social enterprises tackling some of Africa’s most pressing sustainable agriculture, renewable energy and environmental concerns.
  • The 16 week acceleration program begins on the January 22, 2015. The entrepreneurs will receive deal making support for the rest of 2015.
  • GrowthAfrica will take the entrepreneurs through a unique combination of facilitated learning, peer-based learning and mentoring by some of Africa’s most experienced entrepreneurs, C-suite executives and technical specialists. All this is leveraging GrowthAfrica’s innovative methodology and learning, discovery and planning tool – the ImpactCompass™.’
  • Upon successful graduation, Hivos will make Euro 50,000 in financial capital available to the best companies in the cohort and be showcased to a group of investors and early stage Venture Capital funds to tap into the combined networks and knowledge of the participating partner organizations.
  • Program partners – Hivos (Funder), GrowthAfrica (Kenya), Impact Amplifier (South Africa) and VC4Africa.

The selected 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 eleven entrepreneurs selected for the program in Kenya are listed below!

1. Strauss Energy (Kenya) – Tony Nyagah
Strauss Energy is building an integrated Photo voltaic roofing tile for residential houses and commercial units. The excess power generated will be fed into the national grid so that home owners can earn income from the feed-in-tariff. More here

2. Afrisol Energy Limited (Kenya) – Amos Nguru
Afrisol specializes in design, installation and maintenance of biogas digesters to produce clean and cheaper energy for institutions. More here

3. Boma Safi Limited (Kenya) – Joyce Gema
Boma Safi sells affordable solar products, clean cook stoves and briquettes to rural households through a hub-spoke and promoter distribution model. More here

4. Classic foods Limited (Kenya) – Wachira Kariuki
Classic Foods processes dairy products, fruit juice, tomato sauce, honey, flour milling and manufactures animal feeds. More here

5.  Cobitech Solar (Kenya) – Samson Gichia
Cobitech works with MFIs and SACCOs who provide the solar kits on loan to rural poor households for repayment within one year. More here

6. Consumer’s Choice Limited (Kenya) – Mohammed Kadhi
Consumer Choice replaces the use of fossil fuels with more efficient, more economical Bio-Ethanol Gel and environmentally friendly clean cook stoves. More here

7. Green Pencils Limited (Kenya) – Ivan Ochieng
Green Pencils sources old newspapers from registered groups like the disabled, women and youth groups to produce customized pencils and ball pens. More here

8. Kencoco Limited (Kenya) – Dr. Said Twahir
Kencoco uses coconut shells, husks and other biomass material to produce charcoal briquettes and sells to households and institutions. More here

9.  Plexus Energy Limited (Kenya) – Edward Kinyanjui

Plexus distributes off grid power solutions such solar lighting, solar water heating and UPS systems for network masts for telcos and data centres for ISPs. More here

10. Sanivation (Kenya) – Andrew Foote
Sanivation installs portable toilets and charges a monthly fee to provide household sanitation and energy services to people living in congested areas. More here

11. Skynotch Energy Africa (Kenya) – Patrick Kimathi
Skynotch Energy runs a mini-hydro power generation plant, and works with small dealers to provide last mile distribution for solar lanterns and solar energy applications. More here

Asked about why Hivos initiated this collaboration, Program Manager Leo Soldaat explained, ‘Hivos is very concerned about the environment. We see many problems such as climate change, loss of biodiversity and degradation of soils. In order to address these issues, Hivos wants to co-create private sector driven green innovation. We continue to support green pioneers working to tackle these constraints by positioning them for growth and improving their access to capital. We see the Green Pioneer Accelerator Program as an important next step in developing ventures in these markets, further extending our work into these areas.’

‘We are delighted to be part of Africa’s first Green Pioneer accelerator designed to accelerate growth of businesses in the green space” says Johnni Kjelsgaard, the Group CEO of Nairobi based accelerator Growth Africa. “We believe each one of the 11 early stage enterprises selected has huge potential to have significant impact.

Supporting this program is another way VC4Africa seeks to connect entrepreneurs with quality opportunities and investment leads. Ben White of VC4Africa says, ‘The entrepreneurs selected for this program are working on some really impressive ventures. These companies have received very little attention to date and we plan to change that with this program. We are keen to scale these businesses and help put some success stories on the map. We feel this program only starts to scratch the surface on an area of entrepreneurship that has so much potential.’

About GrowthAfrica
GrowthAfrica strategically accelerates high-impact, high-growth businesses that innovatively contribute to Africa’s social and economic progress in different sectors through cohort based programs, strategic advice and access to funding.