African entrepreneurs receive a boost with unique capacity building to scale their businesses

Village Africa in partnership with Gearbox, a unique space for the promotion of innovative ideas in East Africa, has launched one of the first hardware accelerators on the continent. With support from The Lemelson Foundation, The Doen Foundation, SGII, and VC4Africa entrepreneurs from across Africa will be provided unique capacity building required to grow their businesses.

Technologies that increase the efficiency of energy and/or agricultural distribution systems will go a long way to solving some of the issues plaguing societies. Village Capital and gearbox will therefore enable some of these start-ups boost access to energy for all while providing increased agricultural productivity for small-holder farmers.

12 high-potential invention-based ventures will be selected to participate and will receive extensive feedback from their peers, potential customers, investors and industry experts, as well as the opportunity to peer-select two participating ventures to receive $50,000 each in pre-committed investment. These companies will also be judged based on a unique ability to draw upon business techniques in finding solutions to social.

The program is structured as three intensive 4-day sessions over 3 months with additional remote collaboration online between sessions. The application deadline is September 7th while travel stipends will be provided for selected applicants in need. Entrepreneurs headquartered outside of Kenya will be given special consideration as the program sessions will be taking place in Nairobi.

Social entrepreneurs are becoming increasingly popular within Africa, largely due to their unique approach to addressing societal issues using sustainable business models. The new breed of entrepreneurs have given themselves a mandate to rid the continent of Africa’s long list of socio-economic challenges hampering growth and development.

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