Deadline: March 31, 2023
Applications are open for the World Resources Institute (WRI) Land Accelerator 2023. In 2018, World Resources Institute (WRI) launched the Land Accelerator Africa, the world’s first training and mentorship programme targeted specifically toward businesses that restore degraded forests, farmland and pasture.
To support the AFR100 Initiative’s goal of restoring 100 million hectares of land by 2030, the Land Accelerator provides entrepreneurs across Africa with mentorship and networking opportunities, technical training and workshops to build up their storytelling and pitching skills.
Participants leave the programme more empowered to connect with potential investors so that they can take their business to the next stage of growth. The programme has attracted nearly 3,400 applicants in Africa since 2018, and its 196 alumni from 45 countries report that they have created 9,000 jobs, worked with 250,000 farmers and restored 201,000 hectares.
The Top 100 will benefit from:
- 3 months of exclusive weekly trainings from experts.
- 3 months of access to Fledge’s online lessons for start-ups.
- Templates to create content to help your business thrive.
- Weekly office hours with mentors who will lend their expertise.
- Weekly networking sessions to speak with and learn from other entrepreneurs in your cohort.
- Those who meet all programme attendance requirements will receive a $5,000 innovation grant.
By the end of the programme, entrepreneurs will have access to trainings and tools to complete:
- A compelling one-minute pitch to hook investors, customers and potential partners.
- A 10 to 12 slide pitch deck targeted toward investors.
- An environmental indicator measurement, management and marketing plan.
- A three- to five-year financial model to visualize their growth projections and to identify capital needs.
- Increased confidence in their business’s mission and operations.
The top 100 entrepreneurs who complete the virtual training are invited to apply for a Land Accelerator investment pack, which will be awarded to the Top 15 entrepreneurs.
Recipients of the investment packs will benefit from:
- An innovation grant of at least $5,000 each.
- A coaching meeting with a Land Accelerator organizer to develop an investment and innovation grant plan.
- A 90-minute group session with members of the Land Accelerator mentor network, who provided tailored feedback.
- A one-on-one call with a Land Accelerator mentor to provide feedback and a thorough review of all the materials submitted throughout the program.
- The opportunity to present a three-minute business pitch at the virtual or in-person Land Accelerator Demo Day, that brings together the awardees and investors from across the continent.
- The opportunity to meet fellow entrepreneurs in-person at the Land Accelerator Impact Days in Malawi to be held Oct 16-20, 2023 to learn from both leading entrepreneurs and trainers.
- Open to businesses based anywhere in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Applications must be written in either English or French.
- All entrepreneurs whose business model clearly centers around land restoration — through practices such as sustainable agriculture, reforestation and agroforestry — are invited to apply.
- Entrepreneurs are expected to attend all of the weekly, 90-minute live webinars and the other networking events.
- These will be scheduled on Tuesday or Thursday evenings across African time zones. Many of the online lessons will include homework assignments to be completed by the participant and/or the management team of the company.
- The more entrepreneurs put into the programme, the more they will get out. Expect to spend a minimum of four hours per week, but plan on spending more time than the minimum. Attendance will be taken, and assignments will be graded according to the timeliness of submission, completeness and effort demonstrated.
- Entrepreneurs who miss sessions or who skip assignments will be disqualified from consideration for the investment pack.
Businesses are selected based on five criteria:
- Environmental impact
- Social impact
The selection committee will also consider other aspects of the company, including uniqueness, quality of the team and current progress.
For more information, visit Land Accelerator.