€1M contribution will help accelerate climate start-ups across Africa

Stichting Climate-KIC International Foundation has entered into an agreement with the German Corporation for International Cooperation GmbH (‘GIZ’) exclusively on behalf of and for the account of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (‘BMZ’) to accelerate climate tech solutions for a net-zero Africa.

Africa is a vibrant and young continent, and the only region in the world today with a labour force expanding rapidly. However, the continent’s steady economic growth forecasts might be hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic effects. The continent needs a larger influx of capital, innovation and a new generation of entrepreneurs to secure a net-zero carbon economy. 

At the same time, Stichting Climate-KIC International Foundation has a formal objective to contribute to environmental conservation, including enhancing sustainability, by way of catalysing systemic change for climate action through innovation. The Climate-KIC Foundation is at the forefront of engaging in activities that benefit the climate mission, and most importantly, the public and communities across the globe.

Thanks to GIZ’s funding support, a new phase and scale starts for the Foundation’s diverse portfolio of entrepreneurship offerings in Africa and beyond. This partnership adds to GIZ’s portfolio of initiatives on the continent to offer a new response to climate change challenges.

The initiative will expand the entrepreneurial ecosystem in countries where climate start-ups are often overlooked and underfunded. A €1M contribution will support start-ups with training, mentorship and access to funding via the Foundation’s incubation and acceleration programmes, ClimateLaunchpad and ClimAccelerator.

“The power of a diverse, global, connected community of entrepreneurs has immense potential for Africa, where the labour force is expected to surge by 70 per cent before 2025. Innovative start-ups are laying the foundation for a prosperous, inclusive, climate-resilient economy and offering more opportunities for African youth – especially women – to succeed. We could not be more proud of this new partnership with the German government,” said Chris Roe, Strategic Programmes Orchestrator, EIT Climate-KIC.

The Foundation’s entrepreneurship portfolio covers the development pipeline that starts at the activation and ideation stages, and offers innovators the opportunity to incubate solutions into successful climate-positive start-ups. ClimAccelerator has a 10-year track record as the main climate innovation solution provider in Europe.

This year, the GIZ partnership will focus on scouting and supporting early-stage climate solutions with a chance to become viable businesses in the next stages of the acceleration programme. An international competition invites aspiring entrepreneurs from Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt, Rwanda, Zambia and Senegal to pitch climate-positive ideas in the first stage of this joint programme.

Additionally, the funding will support a dedicated open call and acceleration services for mature climate-positive solutions and cleantech businesses across Africa, an entrepreneurial showcase at COP-26 in Glasgow, and a regional accelerator for the top 15 climate-tech businesses in Africa via the ClimAccelerator programme. For more information and news about this partnership and open calls to start-ups, visit: https://climaccelerator.climate-kic.org.