What is the Land Accelerator and
how does it support global restoration goals?
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 65 percent of land in Africa is impacted by degradation every year. This degradation can incumber economic growth and exacerbate the impacts of climate change. However, African nations have pledged to take action to reverse the tide of deforestation and land degradation.
Through global initiatives such as the Bonn Challenge and regional partnerships like the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100), countries across Africa have pledged to restore millions of hectares of land.
To help countries achieve this ambitious goal, the World Resources Institute (WRI) launched the Land Accelerator, the world’s first accelerator program targeted specifically
towards businesses that restore degraded forests and farmland. First launched in Africa in 2018, the Land Accelerator provides entrepreneurs with mentorship and networking opportunities, technical trainings, and workshops to build storytelling and pitching skills.
Participants will leave the program more empowered to connect with potential investors so they can take their business to the next stage of growth.
Since its first iteration, the Land Accelerator has expanded globally to Latin America and South Asia, attracting over 1,600 applicants. Alumni of the program report that they have raised $500,000, created 2,500 jobs, worked with 120,000 farmers, restored 92,500 hectares of land, and grown 2.7 million trees. What will your impact be?
In 2021, WRI and our partners at Fledge are taking a novel approach to the
Land Accelerator Africa. This year, we are expanding the size of our cohort and selecting 100 entrepreneurs from across the continent to join us for an all-virtual business creation and growth accelerator. By the end of the program, entrepreneurs will have accessed the trainings and tools need to complete:
• A compelling one-minute pitch to hook investors, customers, and potential partners
• A 10-12 slide pitch deck targeted towards investors
• An environmental indicator measurement, management, and marketing plan
•A 3-5-year financial model to visualize growth projections and to identify capital needs
• Increased confidence in your business’s mission and operations
• And more!
All restoration entrepreneurs are invited to apply, free of charge.
All restoration entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply to the Land Accelerator. The top 100 applicants will be accepted to the program and receive access to:
• 3 months of exclusive, weekly live trainings
• 3 months access to Fledge’s online e-learning lessons
• Templates to create content to help your business thrive
• Weekly office hours with mentors who will lend their expertise to discuss how to integrate new concepts and tools into your business strategy.
• Weekly networking sessions to speak with and learn from other land restoration entrepreneurs in your cohort.
Additionally, all participants
will have the opportunity to apply for a Land Accelerator Investment Pack, which will be awarded to the top 10 entrepreneurs. Recipients of the investment packs will receive:
• A $5,000 Innovation Grant
• A 90-minute group mentorship session with members of the Land Accelerator mentor network who will provide tailored feedback and suggestions to further develop your business
•An investment coaching meeting with a Land Accelerator organizer to develop your investment and innovation grant plan
• The opportunity to present your 3-minute business pitch at the virtual Land Accelerator Demo Day, an event that brings together the 10 grant recipients and business and social investors from across the continent.
How to Apply
Eligibility Requirements –
Frequently Asked Questions
• What geographic presence is covered by the Land Accelerator
We welcome applications from businesses based anywhere on the African continent. Applications must be written in either English or French.
• What types of businesses can apply?
All entrepreneurs whose business model clearly centers around land restoration – through practices such as sustainable agriculture, reforestation, agroforestry – are invited to apply. Businesses whose activities result in the conversion or destruction of natural forests or other ecosystems will not be accepted. Learn more about what types of companies have participated in past accelerators here.
• What stage of growth does my business need to reach before I can
We seek to scale companies who restore land. Therefore, we prioritize companies that at least have a prototype, if not a product or service in the market with customers. Idea-stage companies may apply, as novel, highly impactful ideas will be considered but the programming is tuned toward growing operational businesses. Small- and medium-sized enterprises that are showing success and in need of growth capital are especially encouraged to apply.
• Do I need to pay to apply or participate?
No. The Land Accelerator is a completely free program supported by generous private and public donors.
• How are businesses selected?
Businesses are selected based on five criteria: scalability, replicability, profitability, environmental impact, and social impact.
The selection committee will also consider other aspects of the company, including uniqueness, quality of the team, and current progress.
To Learn more click HERE