BrandArena: Ten African Startups to Receive Funding for Blue and Green Economy Innovations

Monday 1 July 2024

Ten African Startups to Receive Funding for Blue and Green Economy Innovations

BFA Global, FSD Africa, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) have announced the ten innovative startups selected as part of the Africa Blue Wave and Regen Wave initiatives. Each of the startup will receive $55,000 in funding to develop their solutions aimed at advancing the blue and green economy in Africa.

In recognition of the immense potential and creativity of Africa's young innovators, BFA Global, FSD Africa, and the IUCN launched the Africa Blue Wave and Regen Wave initiatives. These programs were designed to foster solutions for sustainable livelihoods, efficient use of ocean and freshwater resources, and landscape restoration. Implemented by TECA (Triggering Exponential Climate Action), with support from OceanHub Africa and funding from FSD Africa and the Canadian Government, the initiatives featured a fellowship program that supported founders in developing their ideas. The fellowship concluded with a final pitch day, where the startups presented their solutions to advisors, industry experts, and peers, demonstrating their potential to drive sustainable economic growth in Africa.

Founded in seven African countries — Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa and Tanzania - the startup ideas were rigorously evaluated and chosen for their innovative approaches to addressing critical challenges in the fish trade, environmental pollution, renewable energy certification, eco-friendly fertilizers, waste reduction and management, clean cooking, cold storage and sustainable drainage solutions. Notably, 50% of the selected startups are women-led companies.

“We are proud to support these visionary entrepreneurs who are tackling some of Africa's most pressing environmental and climate-change-related challenges. The diversity and ingenuity of these startups reflect the continent's potential for sustainable development. With the funding and support provided, we are confident they will drive significant positive change in their communities and beyond,” said Rasima Swarup, TECA Director, BFA Global.

The selected startups and the solutions they are developing include:

ARK [Kenya]: facilitating new revenue streams for renewable energy projects by assisting them to enter the market and trade international renewable energy certificates.

Eco Guardian [Rwanda]: developing a digital device and service for environmental pollution monitoring.

Khwezi Innovations [South Africa]: creating a biodegradable, 2-in-1, hand glove sanitizer.

Mada Fia [Madagascar]: utilizing Japanese techniques (Himono) and establishing a marketplace for drying and smoking fish.

Lima Aja [Rwanda]: specializing in organic fertilizer production in Rwanda, utilizing IoT sensors to create pH-correcting fortified organic fertilizers for smallholder farmers.

PETsPoint [Nigeria]: providing a digital platform enabling both formal and informal waste collectors to efficiently manage recyclable waste collection.

Plas Tech [Kenya]: converting plastic waste into safe cooking gas, offering a more climate and forest-friendly cooking energy source.

Samaking [Kenya]: establishing a chain of franchisable and tech-enabled fish retail shops, combined with upstream capabilities to aggregate produce from farmers and fisherfolk at scale.

Sunwave [Tanzania]: designing and manufacturing solar-powered ice makers for fish storage.

Xi Bassile [Mozambique]: providing sustainable drainage solutions with its Bioswale and Planter Box technology by utilizing soil, plants, repurposed solid waste, and biomaterials to filter and retain stormwater, thereby mitigating flooding and improving water quality.

“Africa’s talent is at the heart of a successful green transition on the continent. It is an honor to work alongside our partners to support innovators who are working towards solving critical climate challenges. The 10 selected startups have the potential to significantly improve the lives of climate-vulnerable communities while maintaining biodiversity, reducing waste and improving climate outcomes. We look forward to walking alongside them as their journeys unfold,” said Mary Kashangaki, Assistant Manager for Digital Innovation, FSD Africa.

“The triple planetary crisis is not waiting for us. It's up to us to catch up and turn things around. Unleashing the regenerative potential of our economic engine represents the best chance for the world to address this crisis at both the scale and speed required. The Africa Blue Wave and these startups are the perfect illustration of how to walk the talk and represent an incredible source of blue hope for the continent and beyond!” stated Thomas Sberna, Regional Head, Coastal and Ocean Resilience, IUCN Eastern and Southern Africa.

These startups represent a different group of entrepreneurs with the potential to make substantial contributions to Africa's blue and green economy. The financing will allow them to further develop and grow their ideas, resulting in good change in their respective industries while also encouraging environmental sustainability. TECA and OceanHub Africa will provide hands-on venture development assistance as well as access to investors, advisors, and support networks to help them advance their ideas.

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