Working with young entrepreneurs to transform the African continent through the green economy.
Young entrepreneurs have a chance to transform the African continent, especially when they invest their energies in the green economy. Applying their innovation to reinvent how economic growth happens will improve not only their own lives but also those of future generations.
BeGreen Africa is a partnership that aims to help green youth entrepreneurship flourish across Africa. Economic transformation and green growth depend on doing things differently, and young entrepreneurs are ideally placed to drive change through their innovation and risk-taking.
The BeGreen Africa Entrepreneurship Programme will help marginalized young people to prosper socially and economically while speeding up efforts to combat the climate crisis. Globally, the green economy could create 24 million jobs by 2030, if only the current supply and demand mismatch in green skills can be overcome. The programme will give African youth the knowledge, skills and support to set up and sustain thriving green businesses – making for a healthier planet and prosperity for all.
Africa’s economic growth has so far relied heavily on resource- and energy-intensive sectors, with damaging effects on the environment. Young entrepreneurs can get innovative and explore novel ways to do business, whether by investing in new sectors or products, or using new processes, technologies or business models. But they need training, coaching and the support of mentors and financial institutions to be able to realize their green ideas.
BeGreen Africa aims to help youth-owned green enterprises and start-ups that have the potential for growth and job creation but lack the capacity and funding to achieve these goals. Together, the BeGreen Africa partners – the IKEA Foundation, Tony Elumelu Foundation and GenU – will work to strengthen entrepreneurial support for such businesses across Africa.
Entrepreneurship that drives green growth will transform the African continent, bring prosperity and make for a healthier planet. BeGreen Africa will help to give young people the entrepreneurial knowledge, skills and support they need to sustain thriving green businesses of their own.
How it works
The BeGreen Africa Entrepreneurship Programme will address issues raised directly by young people who were asked to share their goals, challenges and needs as aspiring green entrepreneurs.
The programme aims to empower entrepreneurs by taking them on an in-depth entrepreneurial skilling journey and providing seed capital to set up or grow their enterprise. Participants will also benefit from peer-to-peer mentoring and business management training and access to networks and virtual support.
Youth with a green business idea or start-up already spotted through GenU programmes will be first to take part in the programme. An initial two-year pilot will support green entrepreneurs in Kenya.
While the programme will be open to all young people, its main focus will be marginalized youth. In particular, BeGreen Africa seeks to empower adolescent girls and young women as well as youth with disabilities to become green entrepreneurs.