Impact Amplifier, Growth Africa, VC4Africa and Hivos have announced the entrepreneurs selected to participate in the 2015 Green Pioneer Acceleration Program. The Programme aims to support and help scale green innovations in Kenya and South Africa. The final selection includes 11 Kenyan and 12 South African green businesses. Included are two talented young women entrepreneurs, Joyce Gema the founder of Boma Safi in Kenya, and Jessica Bonin the founder of Lady Bonin’s Tea Parlour in South Africa.
The Green Pioneer Accelerator is a comprehensive business accelerator that seeks to support early stage green enterprises contributing innovative solutions to environmental issues such as climate change, loss of biodiversity and degradation of soils. The selected entrepreneurs were identified after a rigorous multi-phase selection process which focused on the viability of their businesses, the strength of the teams, and their potential to solve huge challenges through innovative products and creative solutions. The programmes will commence early February and participants will have access to over 600 private sector investors and can tap into the combined networks and knowledge of the participating partner organizations.
Program Manager, Leo Soldaat, describes the motivation for the initiative as follows, "We are very concerned about the environment. We see many problems such as climate change, loss of biodiversity and degradation of soils. In order to address these issues, Hivos wants to co-create private sector driven green innovation to tackle these constraints by positioning them for growth and improving their access to capital.”
Meet two of the talented young women entrepreneurs selected for the Programme.
Boma Safi, Kenya
Boma Safi is a woman-led social enterprise that innovates in the distribution of life improving and poverty solving goods. Boma Safi sells affordable solar products, clean cook stoves and briquettes to rural households through a hub-spoke and promoter distribution model. Founded in 2010 by Joyce Gema as an offshoot of her ethical and fairtrade consultancy, React Africa Ltd, Boma Safi serves rural and peri-urban populations in Kenya through a network of producer organisations and local level women groups and faith based organisations.
Lady Bonin’s Tea Parlour, South Africa
Lady Bonin’s Tea Parlour is a South African born company providing herbal teas sourced from South Africa as well as traditional loose-leaf tea from around the world. Green, Black, Oolong, Puehr and White Tea is sourced from China, Japan, Sri Lanka and India. Lady Bonin’s Tea sources tea from biodynamic, organic, cooperative and fair-trade farms and packs throughout South Africa. The company has adapted loose-leaf tea drinking to suit a modern lifestyle, making tea an accessible, fun and tasty adventure. It provides an alternative to coffee without compromising on quality, cost, experience, sustainability and the health benefits of the products. Lady Bonin’s Tea Parlour has a transparent value system and honesty that resonates with its customers, evident in its goal to inspire people toward positive change and conscious living by providing tools for life betterment. Lady Bonin promotes sustainable farming practices, sources organic wherever possible, hand blends her own loose-leaf recipe’s and is environmentally accountable.
The Lionesses of Africa community wish both women well as they seek to scale their businesses and advance them further down the road to success.