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Funding agribusiness for food security

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Kenyan youth and women-led agribusinesses have been awarded an opportunity to access USD 100,000 as investment for their companies through the FoodTech Africa accelerator. The accelerator is a project commissioned by GIZ Make-IT in Africa, a project on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by @iBizAfrica, Strathmore University’s business incubator and Pangea Accelerator, a Norwegian based accelerator and an investment platform operating in East Africa that matches African startups with investors, foundations and development agencies to reach a global scale.

The accelerator is inviting post revenue level agribusinesses in Kenya to apply for the program in order to meet the growing demand and challenge of food security in the country. This comes at a time where a recent report by the Kenya Food Security 2019 Steering Group revealed that, approximately 1.3 million people in Kenya are currently facing crisis or worse levels of acute food insecurity, which has been further exacerbated by Covid-19.

Speaking during the launch of the accelerator, Jonas Tesfu, CEO and Co-Founder of Pangea Accelerator highlighted that, “we are grateful to GIZ Make-IT in Africa for appointing this project to Pangea and Strathmore University to drive food security in Africa through the FoodTech Africa program. We believe Kenya and East Africa are at a critical time and that innovation and young entrepreneurs have a big role to play in creating resilient and local food systems.”

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Additionally, the accelerator’s recent webinar, where agripreneurs had one-on-one interactions with agri-focused investors, made it apparent that there is significant interest and support in the sector particularly for agri-based enterprises looking to expand. The webinar event also presented a unique opportunity for agri based enterprises to interrogate and find out investor due diligence processes in the country as well as financing options for their businesses. Moderating the event, Linda Kwamboka, Entrepreneur in Residence and Manager @iBizAfrica pointed out that the program is looking to identify and support these innovations toward possible investment from a pool of diaspora and international investors and encouraged those solving food challenges in the country to apply to join the program ahead of its deadline on August 21st at midnight.

Selected businesses who will be accepted into the program are looking at a 10-week intensive training on business coaching and mentorship, B2B sales opportunities as well as the opportunity to interact with investors with leading high potential companies getting investment of up to USD 100,000. Adding to this, Tracy Weru, Program Coordinator for GIZ Make-IT in Africa stated, “We are positive that this program will provide access to skills, market and finance to the selected Agtech start-ups.”

iBizAfrica is the business incubator of Strathmore University, a leading private University in Kenya. The incubator since 2012 provides a nurturing environment that builds on the potential of the youth to develop innovative solutions and businesses that work for the common good in society. @iBizAfrica over the years has provided over 400 startup companies with training, advisory, mentorship, coaching, networking opportunities, access to seed capital and investors.

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