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Ayanda Allie throws down some facts!

Ayanda Allie throws down some facts!

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    AAF and Grindstone partner to accelerate green economy, startups can apply now

    A partnership between the Anglo American Foundation (AAF) and startup accelerator Grindstone will identify and nurture 15 tech and tech-enabled startups by providing them with an opportunity to raise funds and gain market access. The collaboration aims to foster sustainable practices and promote environmental stewardship, with a large focus on job creation for South Africa's youth.
    Anglo American Foundation and Grindstone partnership launch. Source: Supplied
    Anglo American Foundation and Grindstone partnership launch. Source: Supplied

    Enterprises started by green entrepreneurs embody responsible practices and environmental sustainability in various areas, including green buildings and the built environment, sustainable transport and infrastructure, clean energy and energy efficiency, resource conservation and management, sustainable agriculture, and food production, as well as sustainable forestry, waste management consumption, and production.

    The 2023 Grindstone accelerator, in partnership with AAF, will run as a six-month programme designed specifically for post-seed to series A green sector startups.

    Selected startups will receive dedicated funding readiness support, including a comprehensive gap assessment; workshops covering strategy and people, marketing and sales, and funding and valuation; and monthly in-depth coaching sessions.

    The winning company will also receive a cash incentive at the end of the programme. Additionally, startups will graduate with a lite data room and access to a network of potential funders.

    "Over the past 24 months we have seen a large increase in green economy startups applying to our programmes," said Catherine Young, managing partner at Grindstone. "We have also dramatically increased the percentage of youth and female-founded businesses, with an intentional strategy to balance our cohorts from a diversity perspective."

    Building resilience

    Aside from providing green startups with market access and funding opportunities, the partnership aims to find three to five partners committed to supporting the broader AAF strategy to foster collaboration, drive sustainable business practices, and contribute to job creation, particularly for youth.

    “Our goal is to work with youth to co-create opportunities and break down barriers while improving their communities and changing their futures,” commented Maike von Heymann, head of AAF.

    “Climate change both threatens future livelihoods and creates opportunities for innovation and employment. By working with partners like Grindstone, we aim to combine fresh thinking and hard evidence to support entrepreneurs' work in the green sector while strengthening green value chains and the ecosystem more broadly.”

    For more information about the programme and to apply, interested green sector startups can visit Grindstone.

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