Three startups have been named by Seedstars as finalists for the DOEN Land Restoration Prize, the winner of which will take home US$10,000 in grant funding.
Offered by Seedstars in partnership with DOEN Foundation, the prize highlights young entrepreneurs solving environmental, social and financial challenges that are focusing on land restoration activities.
More than 220 applications were received for the competition, with three startups named finalists. These companies will pitch at the Seedstars Africa regional summit in Johannesburg next week for the US$10,000 prize money.
The selected startups are Ethiopia’s Zafree Papers, which manufactures a 100 per cent tree-free unbleached paper pulp and paper products using agro waste; South Africa’s GreenFingers Mobile, a mobile-first Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) technology platform that allows organisations working with smallholder farmers (SHF) to meet the criteria of food corporations and provide a transparent value chain; and Ivory Coast’s Lono, which improves soil fertility through the development of an affordable, solar-powered composting box for smallholder farmers.
All three startups have been awarded nine months of access to the Seedstars Investment Readiness Programme, while the winner of the US$10,000 main prize will be announced at the Seedstars Summit Africa, which takes place in Johannesburg on December 3-5.
“We congratulate the finalists! Landscape restoration is a vital part of a regenerative economy and social entrepreneurs play an important role in establishing innovative business models to counter land degradation and deforestation. Through this challenge, DOEN wants to highlight the work of early stage restoration enterprises and inspire other frontrunners to follow suit,” said Saskia Werther, programme manager at the DOEN Foundation.