The New Economy Accelerator (NEA), owned by the African Centre for a Green Economy (AfriCGE), has announced its second intake of entrepreneurs for its 10-month investment readiness incubation programme, commencing in February 2017.
This year, the NEA is focused on supporting enterprises that will transform rural economies in South Africa. A total of 12 start-ups have been selected.
The selection was preceded by an intensive three-day bootcamp, to determine the fit of the entrepreneurs for the programme.
“The aim of the NEA is to identify committed social entrepreneurs with innovative businesses that have high potential to transform rural economies in South Africa and the continent. Rural economies are critical for driving social transformation, yet face significant challenges resulting in high levels of youth unemployment and food insecurity. The NEA aims to promote inclusive business models that will help create opporuntities in rural economies to rejuvenate the sector,” says Dr Mao Amis, Convenor of the New Economy Accelerator.
“Women make a third of the intake and the majority are youth under the age of 35 years. We are delighted about that, because women continue to be under-represented in entrepreneurial development programmes and in many sectors of the economy,” he adds.
The entrepreneurs are building innovative solutions for various challenges such as nutrition and sustainable agriculture, renewable energy, digital inclusion and waste management amont others.
Akwande Farm – Agriculture (farming): Akwande Farm (a business idea at this stage) will be a project built around highly successful business and development training of skilled and semi-skilled staff in the hydroponics, livestock farming, dairy farming, aquaponics farming, food processing, alternative energy (bio energy) production. The project’s aim is to carry out intensive and high turnover production, off a small area, while providing work and leadership experience for locals. The business venture is not yet operational.
Bolimi Bokamoso – Agriculture (skills training): Having previously worked in the agricultural sector, the owner of Bolimi Bokamoso developed the business to offer training and mentorship to emerging farmers, as well as to sell agricultural products to farmers. Some aspects of the business are operational.
DigiTicket SA – online retail platform: Digiticket is an online ticketing solution which caters for internet and transactional solutions such as tickets for events, restaurant meal tickets, accommodation, travel, voucher coupons, and membership card access coupons. The app is also used to market and book for events. The company began trading in January 2016.
Gamagara Cape Solar: The company deals in the supply, installation and maintenance of all the following products:
- Solar Water Heaters
- Solar Pool Heaters
- Solar Street Light
- Un-Interrupted Power Supply (UPS)
- Generators (Installations and Maintenance)
- Solar Batteries (Supply and Maintenance)
- DIY Geyser Blanket
- Electrical Repairs and Maintenance
Kalahari Fire – Adventure Events Management – events management: The company organises family-oriented and alcohol-free outdoor events. Products on offer include go-karting, paintball, obstacle courses and quad biking.
Lamo Fuel Primary Cooperative – Biodiesel Manufacturer: The company produces biofuel from sunflower oil seeds. Has already developed prototypes. The owner is a biochemist. The venture is not yet operational.
Mthura Resources – Farming (egg retailer): The enterprise farms poultry for two purposes. Some chickens are sold to the public. Most produce eggs which are then sold to the local community.
Nutrifounder Consultants – Health & Wellness: The business is focused on educating the community about nutrition, with a special focus on schools. It also consults to private clients.
Pocket Tutor – Online education: An online education platform and app using mobile devices for use by educators and learners. The product can be viewed as part of the paperless classroom revolution underway in South Africa.
Roots Accommodation – Property Management – Student Accommodation: The enterprise plans to provide rental accommodation for students using reusable shipping containers. The target market is the local TVET collage in Kuruman, which draws students from neighbouring towns. The venture is not yet operational.
Tebatso African Eco Spa – Health & Wellness: A spa rooted in the use of authentically African healing and wellness methods, with locally-sourced products. The business venture is not yet operational.
Thebe ya Setshaba – Waste Management for Tyres: The business is a waste management centre. Operations include the storage and re-purposing of tyres.
The broad objective of the NEA Programme is to identify SMMEs in South Africa with a high potential for social and environmental impact, and provide them with the necessary support and development assistance. The programme seeks to activate local economies in South Africa to build an inclusive and prosperous society.