South Africa’s New Economy Accelerator (NEA) has selected its second cohort of 12 startups driving transformation within rural economies in South Africa and across the continent.
Disrupt Africa reported in September 2015 the African Transition To A New Economy (ATTANE) network launched the NEA programme, aimed at developing base of pyramid (BoP) businesses. The first cohort graduated at an investor showcase in June 2016.
12 South African startups have now been selected to form the second cohort of the NEA, which begins this month (February 2017) and will run for 10 months.
“The aim of the NEA is to identify committed social entrepreneurs with innovative businesses that have high potential to transform rural economies in South Africa and the continent,” says Mao Amis, convenor of the NEA.
“Rural economies are critical for driving social transformation, yet face significant challenges resulting in high levels of youth unemployment and food insecurity. The NEA aims to promote inclusive business models that will help create opportunities in rural economies to rejuvenate the sector.”
Amis highlights that a third of the new cohort is formed of female entrepreneurs, while the majority of selected participants are under 35 years old.
The startups selected for the programme cover a wide range of industries, from agribusinesses and energy producers, to ed-tech and e-commerce.
The cohort comprises Akwande Farm, Bolimi Bokamoso, DigiTicket SA, Gamagara Cape Solar, Kalahari Fire, Lamo Fuel Primary Cooperative, Mthura Resources, Nutrifounder Consultants, Pocket Tutor, Roots Accommodation, Tebatso African Eco Spa, and Thebe ya Setshaba.