Applications are now open for the GrEEn Incubation and Acceleration Programmes to support businesses and start-ups who are at early stages of development (pre-revenue) to make better use of natural resources, be energy efficient, properly manage waste and pollution, among others, and operate profitable business ventures.
The incubation programme will be run by four partner hubs in the Ashanti region and three partner hubs in the Western region. Priority will be given to women-led and -owned businesses or businesses that support the development and wellbeing of women. Women-led and -owned businesses are especially encouraged to apply.
What is a green business?
A green business is one which contributes to protecting and restoring the natural environment, and reduces any harm caused to it. In the context of the GrEEn project (insert link to the main GrEEn page), green businesses may include one or all of the following aspects:
- Efficient use of resources, e.g. energy, water;
- Protection of natural resources, e.g. soil, water, forests, biodiversity;
- Reduction of waste and losses (especially in relation to food crops) along the value chains: e.g. through solar drying, solar cooling facilities;
- Promoting the circular economy, e.g. re-use, upcycling, recycling;
- Reduction of carbon emissions;
- Resilience against climate change, e.g. conservation agriculture and climate-smart agriculture;
- Reduction of waste and pollution.
The GrEEn incubation and acceleration programmes aim at serving and strengthening enterprises in:
- Eco-inclusive business model development;
- Financial management;
- Product development;
- Access to Finance;
- Market development and linkages;
- Business regulatory compliance;
- Investment readiness (under the Acceleration Programme).
The programmes consist of:
- Online and offline training sessions in business model development, leadership, financial management, marketing and sales, etc.
- Coaching and mentoring by industry experts and successful businessmen/women.
- Pitching sessions with investors and financial institutions.
- Opportunity to compete for a matching grant from the GrEEn challenge fund.
- Agriculture, including climate smart agiculture, agri-businesses and agro-processing.
- Energy, including clean cooking, solar systems, energy efficiency.
- WASH, including waste management, water purification, recycling, production of cleaning and sanitary products.
- Get 6 months business development support from the partner hubs.
- Get access to industry experts and successful businessmen/women (local and international) who will serve as mentors.
- Improved access to funding – through innovative financial services as crowdfunding, concessional financing, etc.
- Market linkages to complementary service providers and actors in the green ecosystem.
- Peer-to-peer networking and exchanges.
- Expert support to achieve business growth and expansion (Acceleration Programme).
- The owner(s) of the business must be aged 15-35 years. (Women can be above the age of 35 but no older than 40).
- The business must have an innovative product or service in the Agriculture, Renewable Energy and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector.
- The entrepreneur must be resident and have their business located in the Ashanti or Western Region for at least 6 months.
- The business must have a green or eco-inclusive model.
- The start-up must have a high potential for job creation among youth.
- The business must have been registered for at least two years. Exceptions will be made for unregistered businesses with a proof of concept of an innovative solution or product.The business can be for-profit or not-for profit, but the product/service offered must be financially viable.
- The entrepreneur must be available for the duration of the programme and must be able to attend at least 80% of all programme activities.
- The entrepreneur must not be engaged in any conflicting programme for the duration of the incubation programme. A conflicting programme may be another programme providing incubation and acceleration and/or business development services.
For more information, visit https://snv.org/update/green-incubation-programme-call