12 Ventures Enter the 1st Edition of African Social Investment Accelerator

Ashoka launches the maiden edition of their African Social Investment Accelerator to support social entrepreneurs across the continent to refine their business model and become investment ready.

This first edition of the African Social Investment Accelerator seeks to identify social entrepreneurs needing support to access the right type of financing to grow their social impact, provide these entrepreneurs with tailored advice and the necessary tools to develop and validate their business strategies, and link them with funding sources and support to negotiate successful investments.

Starting from September 10th, 2018, Ashoka kick-starts the 2018-19 African Social Investment Accelerator with a two-day Bootcamp in Johannesburg, South Africa, bringing together for the first time the 12 selected ventures and 36 top-tier experts from the highest levels of business, finance, and consulting. There, the ventures are set to complete the first four modules of the Social Investment Toolkit, led by its developer Mark Cheng, a social impact investor and Director of Ashoka Europe.

The Ashoka accelerator lasts for five (5) months and within this period, the social entrepreneurs will virtually complete four more modules, in addition to dedicated mentoring and advising sessions from a cohort of experts designated to each venture. These tailored support services will prepare the social entrepreneurs to pitch in front of angel and major social impact investors at a high-level closing event in March 2019.

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After a rigorous competition and three rounds of judging, the following 12 ventures, representing countries across the African continent and various sectors, were selected to participate in the accelerator:

Exportunity GBC2 –  Mauritius 

 Exportunity Global Trade hub is an exclusive virtual market which connects vendors and sellers by organizing and managing B2C and B2B trade in and between African countries

TruTrade –  Uganda 

TruTrade is a social enterprise providing smallholder farmers with a reliable route to market and fair prices for their produce through digitizing informal agricultural value chains, bringing transparency and transaction security to ‘first mile sourcing’.

UjuziKilimo Solutions –  Kenya 

UjuziKilimo is an agriculture technology company that assists farmers with crop-yield optimization through soil analysis and farming recommendations. 

Last Mile for BoP –  South Africa 

Last Mile for BoP is an early stage profit-for-purpose social business which aims to transform informal grocery stores into efficient one-stop shops in the Base of the Pyramid (BoP) market, the poor living in townships and rural areas with less than 4$ a day. 

mumm –  Egypt 

Mumm is an online platform and delivery service empowering and connecting entrepreneurial female home-chefs in Egypt to consumers and replacing junk food with nutritious options.

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Nampya Farmer’s Market –  Uganda 

Nampya Farmer’s Market is a local mobile-based enterprise that offers a tech-enabled sourcing and distribution platform for agricultural produce to retail outlets, kiosks, and market stalls in urban centers.

NUCAFE –  Uganda 

 National Union of Coffee Agribusinesses and Farm Enterprises Limited (NUCAFE) is a member-based organization and promoter of the farmer ownership model in the coffee value-chain development.

Project Maji –  Ghana 

Project Maji designs, develops and builds solar-powered water kiosks across sub-Saharan Africa designed to work reliably in the harshest environments with minimal running costs and damage to the environment

Farmers Pride –  Kenya 

Farmers Pride is linking marginalized rural farmers and agro-dealers to high-quality and certified agricultural inputs, key services, and information through the innovative and comprehensive agrovet franchise model, village youth agents, and mobile technology. 

Maintenance and Sustainability Africa –  Ghana 

Through the Edupay model, Maintenance and Sustainability Africa makes quality education financing affordable for rural poor parents earning less than $ 4 PPP daily whose wards are enrolled in low-cost private schools (LCPSs). 

Safi Organics –  Kenya 

Safi Organics offers farmers a unique fertilizer blend tailored to the African soil at 40% cheaper than what they currently have to pay, counteracting against soil acidity, and leading to better crop yield and higher income for farmers. 

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Totohealth –  Kenya 

Totohealth is a social venture that utilizes a web-based mobile solution as an informative and communicative tool that allows timely, targeted, and vital information to flow between expectant mothers, mothers with young children, community-health workers, and health institutions.

Ashoka is the world’s leading community of over 3500 social entrepreneurs. They champion the most important new social change ideas and support the innovators behind them by helping them get started, grow, collaborate and reshape whole systems.

Credit: VC4Africa


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