Accelerator launched for waste-to-value enterprises in East Africa

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Philanthropic organisation Bestseller Foundation has launched an accelerator programme for waste-to-value enterprises in East Africa.

In December of last year, the Denmark-based Bestseller Foundation partnered Intellecap to launch the Waste to Value Challenge in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda, and received over 400 applications from which six enterprises were finally selected. 

These enterprises will be part of the Waste to Value Accelerator in East Africa and thus receive technical and financial support of up to US$100,000 in the form of convertible debt, as needed. Intellecap will manage the accelerator and provide technical assistance to the enterprises over a period of eight months.

Innovative startups are developing alternative solutions for better waste management to catalyse cleaner and more circular economies in the region. However, these enterprises face multiple constraints that hamper their growth and scale, which the implications of COVID-19 have only made greater. 

“We need to be much more circular and efficient in our use of resources and materials and much smarter in managing waste, in reaping value from waste. Otherwise, we cannot sustainably support the exponential population growth over the next decades – expected to especially occur in Africa. It’s been said that “waste has always been someone’s problem”,” said Jannek Hagen, managing director of Bestseller Foundation.

“We’re making it our problem. Bestseller Foundation is committed to supporting innovative startups working at the frontline to convert waste to value with the ultimate goal of creating sustainable businesses and sustainable economies.”

The accelerator will cover topics such as waste sector market analysis, market development, product refinement, business planning and operations, financial management and financial modelling. Intellecap will address the specific gaps at enterprise level with a focus on ensuring that the investment received is transformational to the enterprise while also contributing to the strengthening of the waste sector in the region.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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