New Course Launch! CirculaRise Expert Training in Just Transition for a Circular Economy.

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GrowUp Incubator

The GrowUp Incubator is a transformative program dedicated to supporting and advancing innovative solutions that have the potential to create substantial environmental and social impact. With a focus on social business entrepreneurs in the post-revenue stage, GrowUp provides a comprehensive 6-month incubation experience that equips participants with the tools and knowledge needed to scale their ventures and achieve self-sustainability. At the end of the program participants will have identified how to:

  • Refine partnerships and operational models
  • Analyse the product-market fit for multiple contexts
  • Find viable routes to scale and grow
  • Integrate impact evaluation into the operational model
  • Identify financial sustainability model and financial opportunities

Key Features of the GrowUp Incubator Program:

  • Tailored Mentorship: Entrepreneurs receive bi-weekly tailored mentorship based on their specific needs, ensuring personalised guidance and support throughout the incubation journey.
  • Capacity Building Workshops: Participants engage in five interactive capacity-building workshops, covering essential topics such as refining partnerships and operational models, analysing product-market fit for diverse contexts, finding viable routes to scale and grow, integrating impact evaluation into operational models, and identifying financial sustainability models and opportunities.
  • Networking Opportunities: The program facilitates five networking events with local partners, fostering connections that can enhance the entrepreneurs’ reach and impact. Additionally, peer-to-peer support is encouraged, allowing participants to share challenges and discover collaborative solutions.

Empowering Change: GrowUp Incubator's Impactful Journey in East Africa

2023 Circular Impact Cohort: Sustainable Tourism & E-mobility

How can we ensure that the development of local tourism and e-mobility is challenged in a way that these sectors flourish while conserving the natural environment and improving local livelihoods? Which circular and impactful environmental practices would contribute to solving issues like pollution, soil degradation, biodiversity loss, inequality, poverty and youth unemployment?

The 2023 Circular Impact Cohort successfully supported early-stage entrepreneurs within the sustainable tourism and e-mobility sectors in identifying and implementing potential ways for the circular economy to facilitate their growth. Additionally, it facilitated the assessment of the impact of their green social businesses. The cohort provided support to social business entrepreneurs in Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Burundi.

2022 Cohort: Sustainable Food Systems

The agriculture and food sector has an enormous environmental and social footprint in East Africa. It also is a proven engine for poverty reduction, with about 80% of the region’s population living in rural areas and depending on it for their livelihood. With the 2022 cohort, we addressed East Africa’s transformation towards sustainable food systems. The focus was on enabling sustainable agricultural production and supporting sustainable practices along the entire food value chain. This initiative aimed to mitigate climate change, build resilient communities, encourage the renaissance of rural territories, and enable the availability of nutritious and healthy food for the local population.

2021 Cohort: Solutions to Waste Management in East Africa

With the increasing urbanization, waste management has become a global issue – the overproduction of waste is causing negative impacts on our environment. Waste reduction, repurpose and recycling along the value chain need to be taken to the next level. Through the 2021 cohort, we focused on supporting and advancing innovative solutions for sustainable waste management.

2021 Incubator Bootcamp

In April 2021, we hosted our virtual GrowUp Incubator Bootcamp with 25 pre-selected social businesses improving waste management in East Africa

During the bootcamp the teams received capacity building through interactive workshops, peer-to-peer feedback as well as exchange with well-established social business entrepreneurs in the waste sector. A pool of facilitators and speakers offered their valuable experience and insights to the social business entrepreneurs. In the end, all 25 teams pitched their social business solutions and 10 teams were selected to be part of our 6-month GrowUp incubator program going forward.