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Kenyan And Ethiopian SMEs To Benefit From The O-Farm Agribusiness Accelerator Program

Startups

April 27, 2021, 11:58 a.m.

Bopinc and Village Capital with support from IKEA Foundation has launched its first circular agribusiness accelerator, O-Farms, to research, identify, and support entrepreneurs.

O-Farms will be the First Circular Agribusiness Accelerator in East Africa that will help entrepreneurs develop innovative solutions to circular agriculture in the region.

In the second half of 2021, 10 SMEs in Kenya and Ethiopia will be chosen to participate in the accelerator’s first cohort.

Emile Schmitz, Managing Director, Bopinc explains that this soon-to-be-launched accelerator is a first for the African continent.

“SMEs are one of the key drivers for change in the food system; 64% of all food consumed in Africa is handled by SMEs, and the number of agribusiness SMEs is steadily growing. By making their business models circular, we hope to create a ripple effect across the wider sector, helping to move food production throughout the region to go from a linear to a circular approach. O-Farms will be the first of its kind for Africa, never before have food-producing SMEs been challenged in this way.”

The accelerator includes several capacity-building events that will be focused on business model development, technical skills, how to become investor-ready, networking with a group of investors and mentors within the food ecosystem.

Allie Burns, Village Capital CEO explains that a key focus for the accelerator is supporting local leaders.

“We want to build a circular agriculture ecosystem that is sustainable – which means that it needs to be locally-led. Throughout this project, we will focus on lifting local leaders who can provide the contextualized support that African entrepreneurs need to grow and scale.”

According to reports, at the end of the accelerator, two selected SMEs from each country will receive €25 000 in growth funding.

The accelerator program aims to make a concerted difference in the food sector in Africa by creating new products from food losses and by-products.

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Verny Joy Author

Verny loves to write poetry, fiction and quotes. Her love for writing landed her in journalism. She loves gadgets and travelling to explore new places.

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