New Economy Accelerator Announces 2015 Cohort of the best BoP start-ups in South Africa

  • NEA announces the 10 startups targeting or operating at the Base of the Pyramid in SA program
  • BoP business acceleration program convened by the African Centre for the Green Economy (Africege) and supported by Stichting Doen (Doen Foundation) and New Economics Foundation (NEF).

Cape Town, 16 September 2015The African Transition To A New Economy (ATTANE), a community of new economy practitioners – citizens who are innovating and finding ways to build bridges and networks to challenge the status quo, to promote an inclusive sustainable development pathway –  has today announced the 10 South African enterprises selected to join its inaugural New Economy Accelerator program.

The finalists, which include enterprise from Gauteng, the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and KZN, have been chosen following a 2-week selection process by new economy experts, including members of the ATTANE community exco and its partners.

All the enterprises are actively trading in the local economy, and are generating annual turnover ranging from R120 000 to R16 million. After receiving a higher than anticipated number of applications, the selection panel considered a variety of factors, namely scalability, new economy fit, employment creation, innovation and investment readiness.

Details of each of the 10 selected enterprises are listed below.

Over the course of the next 9 months, the 10 enterprises will receive expert one-on-one coaching, high-quality skills training workshops and intensive business support, as well as access to finance to grow their businesses. Expert webinars and fireside sessions will also be offered with experts in variety of topics related investment readiness, global expansion, media, government engagement and business development. The program commences in October 2015, and will be led by Dr. Mao Amis and program manager Nikiwe Solomon.

Included in the program will be a business coach, 6-contact sessions in Cape Town, business development support and access to a variety of products and services through the ATTANE community network.

At the end four month business acceleration period, the 10 enterprises will be receiving 2-months of one-on-one coaching and mentorship, followed by 1-month of investor roadshows (including an investor Demo Day). The programme will run from the 1st of October 2015 until 28th of April 2016.

Program convenor, Dr. Mao Amis commented: “These enterprises form the building blocks of an inclusive and prosperous society’’

“The NEA is such an important initiative because it supports radical experimentation…a space to carve out a different way of doing. It creates the space for a different definition of economic activity and does so with practical examples on the ground. People are crying out for actual examples of doing things differently and the activities of the programme participants provide those examples of how to support a flourishing society within planetary limits.” said Michael Weatherhead, New Economy Foundation.

The 2015 NEA Cohorts:

Geza Jozi (Waste and Transport, Gauteng)

Khona Cafe (Digital Inclusion, Western Cape)

Last Mile for BoP (Localized Retail, Western Cape)

Let’s Go Trade (Skills and Mass Employment, Gauteng)

Naturally Good (Eco-friendly Consumer Products, Western Cape)

Sidingulwazi Co-Op (Recycling Co-Op, Gauteng)

Umgibe (Urban/Community Farming, KZN)

Use-It (Sustainable Housing, KZN)

Y-Waste (Upcycling – Food waste, Western Cape)

Zuka (Organic Fertilizer, Eastern Cape)

(*more details and profiles of these enterprises will be released shortly)


Media Queries:

Vuyisa Qabaka           chief@abaphumelelibc.co.za             072 354 4630 / 021 713 4390

Dr. Mao Amis              mao@africancentre.org/AfC                              NEA Programme Convenor

Nikiwe Solomon          nikiwe@africancentre.org/AfC                           NEA Programme Manager

About the NEA:

The New Economy Accelerator (NEA) aims to activate local economies in South Africa to build an inclusive and prosperous society. Social and environmental high impact startups serving the low income or BoP sector stand a chance to be a part of the NEA programme that aims to accelerate the growth of such enterprises. The growth and acceleration of grassroots enterprises is critical for addressing the significant challenges of unemployment in South Africa. The concept of a ‘New Economy’ is anchored around creating local solutions to address local problems. In this regard new economy entrepreneurs recognise their mission is to serve their local communities, to create job opportunities, upskill their community, and use natural resources sustainably.

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