12 startups transforming rural economies in South Africa and across the continent have been selected to take part in the second edition of the Next Economy Accelerator (NEA).
The aim of the accelerator is to, among other things, provide selected startups the necessary support and development assistance needed to scale successfully.
Following a three-day NEA bootcamp, the 12 startups were selected for the accelerator, which commences this month (February 2017) and will run for 10 months. They are described below.
Akwande Farm — a company aiming to build and develop skilled staff in hydroponics, livestock, farming, dairy farming, aquaponic farming and more.
Bolimi Bokamoso — agricultural retailer to farmers; aims to offer training and mentorship to emerging farmers.
DigiTicket SA — online ticketing solution which accommodates transactional solutions such as tickets for events, restaurant meal tickets as well as accommodation and more.
Gamagara — solar-energy startup; supplies installs and maintains solar water heaters, solar pool heaters, solar street lights, etc.
Kalahari Fire — events management startup; organis es family-friendly outdoor events such as paintball, go-karting obstacle course racing, and quad biking.
Lamo Fuel Primary — biodiesel manufacturer; aims to develop working models of biofuel from sunflower seeds. Some prototypes have already been developed.
Mthura Resources — produce retailer specialising in selling chickens to the public while their produce eggs are sold to the local community.
Nutrifounder Consultants — educational startup geared toward educating the public (specifically schoolgoers) about healthy nutrition.
Pocket Tutor — online education tool for educators and students.
Roots Accommodation — aims to transform reusable shipping containers into affordable rental accommodation for students.
Tebatso African Eco Spa — a startup using authentically African healing and wellness methods to treat whoever comes through their doors.
Thebe ya Setshaba — a waste-management service which stores and re-purposes disused tyres.
“The aim of the NEA is to identify committed social entrepreneurs with innovative businesses that have high potential to transform rural economies in South Africa and the continent,” said Dr Mao Amis, convener of the NEA.
He added, “Rural economies are critical for driving social transformation, yet face significant challenges resulting in high levels of youth unemployment and food insecurity. The NEA aims to promote inclusive business models that will help create opportunities in rural economies to rejuvenate the sector.”