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KCIC launches the first cohort of entrepreneurs tackling climate change

  • By Pamela Okutoyi
  • October 22, 2021
  • 0 Comment
  • 308 Views

The Kenya Climate Innovation Centre (KCIC), backed by the Embassy of Denmark in Kenya, has announced the selection of the first GreenBiz cohort of early-stage startups, building solutions to curb our climate crisis. The startups are developing new technologies across renewable energy, agribusiness, water, commercial forestry and waste management. 

The launch of this new cohort comes at a pivotal moment; the country works to recover from a year full of challenges and look to implement resilience-focused solutions. 

“At KCIC, we are committed to supporting climate-smart technologies and bringing forth great impact for our planet and community,” said Dr. Edward Mungai, CEO of KCIC. “In the face of a warming climate and a myriad of challenges brought on by the pandemic, we are proud to welcome this new cohort of startups. We look forward to working side-by-side on their journey to product-market fit.”

Unlike other countries, Kenya is uniquely positioned to grow its economy and industries using climate-smart strategies that limit future extreme climate effects and adapt to current climatic conditions. Thus, the collaboration between KCIC and Denmark-Kenya to put climate-smart entrepreneurs at the front seat is ideal for offering a more sustainable societal response to climate change. 

The GreenBiz program was made possible by a five-year grant from the Embassy of Denmark in Kenya with technical support from KCIC. The program will see 300 businesses awarded from 2021 – 2025. These businesses are selected from all over the country and apply substantive climate-smart technologies to address pressing climate change issues relevant to Kenya. 

“The Embassy of Denmark in Kenya is today delighted to extend our heartfelt congratulations to the first cohort of climate-smart technologies. These projects are expected to add significantly to our understanding of climate change and its impacts and develop and implement innovative policies and strategies for mitigation, adaptation, and resilience. We look forward to great businesses from these outstanding entrepreneurs,” said H.E Ole Thonke, the Ambassador of Denmark in Kenya.

The businesses selected from among 600 competitive applicants will be immersed in a one-year intensive incubation programme. Beyond the formal training, they will be provided with services to help them commercialize and scale up their innovations. KCIC will assess the needs of the onboarded entrepreneurs and give them the required resources. In addition, it will provide the businesses with business advisory, mentorship, access to financing, access to facilities, access to information and an enabling environment to grow.  

The startups have access to KCIC’s expansive network of experts throughout the program, including global business leaders. In addition, the businesses will receive intensive practical training and business coaching to prove their concepts in the market and progress towards commercialization. Clients who complete this program graduate to the KCIC GreenBiz Accelerator Program.

 The GreenBiz Accelerator Programme is an 8-month programme in which clients receive highly individualized services aimed at: 

  1. a) Setting the clients on a rapid business growth path.
  2. b) Preparing clients to be investor ready as well as raising investments.

KCIC will also offer funding in the form of grant capital to businesses whose ideas successfully show the potential to grow 

The GreenBiz program is part of the broader KCIC’s focus on increasing the commercialization of climate-smart innovations that creates decent jobs, increases access to low carbon energy sources, increases community and household resilience to climate change, and benefits other environmental and social factors.