Social Entrepreneurship East Africa Accelerator

Learn to scale your Business with IKEA Social Entrepreneurship and Acumen

Learn to scale your business with IKEA Social Entrepreneurship and Acumen

In partnership with IKEA Social Entrepreneurship, we’ve packaged an accelerator program designed to support social entrepreneurs to develop a scalable business model. This 19-week program will strengthen the capacity of social enterprises in East Africa to scale and improve the lives of the poor and vulnerable.

IKEA Social Entrepreneurship is an initiative within IKEA that’s all about making a positive impact. It works with pioneers and pathfinders who use their business as a way to make everyday life better for those who need it most and strives towards a more equal and inclusive society.



We’ve packaged the steps to support social entrepreneurs to develop a scalable social enterprise model. Over 19 weeks, you and your team will learn the essentials of building a business model that can achieve both social impact and profitability. You will have access to case studies from Acumen social enterprises and curriculum materials that package IKEA’s business knowledge. You will complete your own assignments to apply lessons directly to your business and then join biweekly interactive Learning Labs to give and receive feedback from your peers. You will also receive biweekly individualized coaching from IKEA advisors.

You should expect to spend at least 8 hours per week working on your project. Most of this work can be done on your own schedule. You will need 1-2 Lead Participants from the leadership team of your social enterprise to show up to the Learning Labs every other week and can have up to 10 people from your social enterprise access all of the curriculum materials. After the program, you can continue to access the online learning materials and peer community. The program will culminate with an in-person Summit hosted in East Africa where you will attend final workshops and have a chance to network and pitch your venture for a chance to win up to $25k in seed funding.


This is an intensive program delivered primarily online for social entrepreneurs in East Africa who:

  • Run a social enterprise (nonprofit or for-profit) based in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, or Ethiopia
  • Have demonstrated market traction and are post-revenue
  • Have a team equivalent to 3 full-time staff
  • Focus on promoting livelihoods, equality and inclusion

  • Refine and test hypotheses to developing a scalable business model
  • Develop a robust social impact and financial strategy
  • Gain best practices for forming partnerships to achieve scale
  • Learn from practical case studies of other East African social enterprises that have successfully scaled
  • Pitch your business to investors and other stakeholders at a final showcase
  • Build networks with other entrepreneurs and supporters in East Africa and beyond

  • Practical online tutorials
  • Dynamic peer community of social entrepreneurs
  • Individualized coaching from IKEA advisors and Acumen facilitators
  • Final summit to network with investors and supporters

  • 6 Peer Learning Labs
  • At least 6 sessions with an IKEA advisor
  • Video tutorials
  • Case studies from East African social enterprises
  • Travel to and accommodations for a Final Summit in East Africa
  • Certificate from Acumen
  • Eligibility to compete for $25k per startup in seed funding


January 14, 2020
Organizer Acumen
Website Visit website
Targets Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda
Sectors Sector agnostic