Refine and develop a scalable business model that advances sustainable livelihoods for forcibly displaced populations in East Africa.
To assist social entrepreneurs who work in or seek to expand into this space, this accelerator will equip leaders with the moral leadership lessons, business skills, and learnings from our portfolio companies to confidently scale their enterprises and build scalable, inclusive, and sustainable solutions.
Supported by the IKEA Foundation and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and in partnership with the Refugee Investment Network
This accelerator is open to entrepreneurs who:
- Run a for-profit social enterprise based in Kenya, Uganda, or Ethiopia
- Are advancing self-reliance in and between forcibly displaced populations and their hosting communities in at least one of the following ways:
- Serving communities vulnerable to displacement, forcibly displaced populations and/or hosting communities as customers
- Providing decent work and employment to communities vulnerable to displacement, forcibly displaced populations, or hosting communities
- Sourcing from communities who are affected by displacement, communities vulnerable to displacement, or hosting them
- Have a demonstrated track record of at least 1-3 years, some market traction, and are preparing to scale
- Favorable consideration will be given to teams promoting climate resilient solutions
- Refine and develop a profitable and scalable business model
- Identify key opportunities for growth while supporting either displaced or hosting communities through market, workforce, and value-chain entry points
- Develop the hard-edged leadership skills necessary for building better, inclusive, and sustainable business solutions
- Sharpen your presentation skills and practice pitching to an audience of investors and entrepreneurs — with a chance to receive a share of US $75,000 of grant funding
- Build a professional network and community of social entrepreneurs in East Africa who are committed to tackling displacement and inequality
- Over 10 weeks, two members of your leadership team will learn the essentials for building a scalable business model that achieves both profitability and impact. Working virtually alongside a close-knit cohort of entrepreneurial peers, you’ll examine how your business model currently serves forcibly displaced people and their host communities and test strategies to further access the FDP market. You’ll learn how to finance your business as it scales, practice pitching, and receive feedback and tips from Acumen’s network.
- As a participant, you’ll also have access to industry and impact-specific case studies, video tutorials and practical readings, and receive invaluable one-on-one support and guidance from our team. Each week, you’ll complete assignments designed to help you think critically about your business model and introduce best practices to reach and serve forcibly displaced populations, and then join weekly interactive Learning Labs alongside your cohort members to give and receive feedback and learn together.
- Throughout the journey, you’ll dive into Acumen’s Moral Leadership practices, like Listening to Voices Unheard and Partnering with Humility and Audacity. These skills are vital for any leader looking to reimagine what society and the workforce can look like and drive actionable change.
- The program will culminate with a virtual closing session where you’ll have the opportunity to pitch your venture. The top three ventures selected will receive a share of US $75,000 of grant funding.
- Applications Open: March 15, 2022
- Orientation: June 21, 2022
- Final Showcase: August 25, 2022
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