Ashoka is excited to launch the African Social Investment Accelerator to support social entrepreneurs across the continent to refine their business model and become investment ready.
The 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.
On September 10th, 2018, Ashoka will kick-start 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 will 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.
For the following five months, 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.
Meet the 12 ventures in the cohort
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 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 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 is an agriculture technology company that assists farmers with crop-yield optimization through soil analysis and farming recommendations.
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 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.
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.
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 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 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.
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 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.