Greenovations – Africa 2023

Blended incubation and mentorship support for green entrepreneurs

Are you a business with an innovative solution in Africa that tackles existing challenges in one of the following green sectors:
  • Smart agriculture
  • Renewable energy
  • Waste management
  • Water management
  • Climate action
Apply to our program to receive tailor-made support, mentorship, as well as a seed grant funding to bring your innovation to market and scale.

Advancement of the green sector within an ongoing context of transition to a low-carbon economy in Africa has the potential to foster entrepreneurship development and faster growth potential, particularly for youth-and women-led entrepreneurial initiatives.

By expanding the portfolio of bankable, concept-proofed green business models that are both market- and investor-ready, we can create job opportunities and contribute to the continent’s economic welfare. The ensuing creation of job opportunities bolsters the continent’s GDP growth potential, currently valued at $500 billion/year over the next 30 years.

With this in mind, the Greenovations Africa program combines incubation and post-incubation programs, providing participants with sector-specific skills, entrepreneurial knowledge, and the resources needed to boost their chances of success through the maturation process of their business concept or solution. In turn, we help you turn your concept into a viable and market-ready product ready to showcase its high growth potential.

The Greenovations consortium brings together strategic stakeholders of the ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship in the green sector in Africa: AfriLabs, VC4A, the United Nations University, the Regional Collaboration Centres of the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the Pan African University institute for Water and Energy sciences including. Climate change (PAUWES) of the African Union.


April 24, 2023
OrganizerGreenovations – Africa
Website Visit website
Targets Africa
Agribusiness, Clean technology and energy, Renewable energy, Waste management and recycling, Water, sanitation and hygiene
SDG (6)
11. Sustainable Cities and Communities, 13. Climate Action, 2. Zero Hunger, 6. Clean Water and Sanitation, 7. Affordable and Clean Energy, 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

The program – At a glance

  • 6-months incubation and 3-months post-incubation program using a blended approach encompassing online capacity-building training with online courses to develop hard skills and competencies needed to understand the selected sector/market segment and strengthen the innovative product and /or service development;
  • Integration in local tech hubs/Fab labs from the AfriLabs community/network across the continent, with access to facilities including physical space for co-working, labs, etc. to support the development of the prototypes and MVP;
  • Mentoring support with one-on-one coaching conversation, dedicated technical expert support and business coaching from experts from the ecosystem;
  • Access to market places, Africa-focused investors, and funding opportunities through UNFCCC’s investment mechanisms for the deployment of the viable business models for the products/services;
  • Exposure to international institutions and forums supporting the implementation of green /climate solutions:
  • Open for innovators across the continent.

Why choose the program?

1. Technical expertise in the selected green sectors

  • Cutting edge technical knowledge and skills to implement innovative solutions in climate action, renewable energy, smart agriculture, water management, and waste management sectors to drive the economic development of the continent.
  • Latest entrepreneurship concepts and tools for the development of successful businesses and start-ups on the continent.

2. Dedicated mentorship and access to network of Entrepreneurship Support Organizations (ESOs)

  • One to one mentoring with successful entrepreneurs and internationally renowned experts from across the continent and beyond to accompany selected participants in their business solution maturation journey:
    • Technical expert support in the selected sectors;
    • Live and interactive business advisory and coaching sessions; 
  • Network of partners in the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Africa and beyond;
  • Cooperation with local Entrepreneurship Support Organization (ESOs) on the continent for dedicated physical support including the development of the Minimum Viable Product (MVP).

3. Integration into local hub with state-of-the-Art facilities

  • Incubation space with dedicated services to support participants in the maturation of their start-ups/business solutions;
  • Access to a co-working space and facilities of AfriLabs hub members for the maturation of your solution;
  • Online learning environment with dedicated digital tools to strengthen your knowledge in selected sectors, and entrepreneurial skills;
  • Connection with local actors from the start-up scene;
  • Access to business information database and other resources from the tech hubs space.

4. Exposure to international institutions and forums supporting the implementation of green /climate solutions

  • Exposure to regional forum of UNFCCC such as the Africa Climate Week, the Conference of Parties;
  • Exposure to regional forum of the African Union and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) such as the SDG Conference;
  • Exposure to regional, Pan-African and institutions supporting the implementation of green solutions (African Development Bank, African Union Development Agency AUDA–NEPAD, UNFCCC,  United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), UNECA, etc.).

5. Seed funding.

  • The thirty (30) successful applicants to the program will receive seed grant funding of 3,300 Euros to bring their projects to fruition and market ready;
  • Exposure to Africa-focused investors;
  • Connection to funding scheme and mechanism of UNFCCC.

Eligibility criteria

  • Be a young African aged below 35 old, holding a passport of one of the member countries of the African Union.*

  • Be based in one or more countries on the African continent.

  • Have an innovative green business in an early stage of development.**

  • Be digitally literate (know how to use the internet, computers, etc.)

  • Be fluent in English.

* Young African women are encouraged to apply.

** The stage of your product must be any of these or ahead of the below.

Selection criteria

  • Innovative business solution in the defined green sector with high impact potential
  • Practical feasibility of the product/service
  • Commercial potential of the product/service
  • Growth potential of the innovative business solution

Sector focus

What do we expect?

Dedicated participants that will commit to fully undergo the program.

With the support of the stakeholders of the entrepreneurship ecosystem, participants in the programme will mature innovative business products/services and set a strong basis for the development of successful start-ups addressing challenges in the green sector on the continent.