East African accelerator GrowthAfrica has taken in 19 businesses from Kenya and Uganda for its its ninth cohort of startups for acceleration.

Since its founding in 2002, GrowthAfrica has worked with over 1,800 businesses, helping them to raise US$42 million and create 24,000 jobs in East Africa.

Previously, GrowthAfrica’s acceleration programme focused on startups and entrepreneurs in Kenya, but it is expanding to Uganda with the latest cohort.

The acceleration programme aims to equip entrepreneurs with skills and knowledge on business and growth strategies, business models, and access to investment.

Out of nearly 500 applications, 9 startups from Kenya and 10 startups from Uganda were selected to participate in the two acceleration programmes in Nairobi and Kampala respectively.

The selection process focused on the viability of their businesses, the strength of the teams, and their potential to solve challenges through innovative products and creative solutions.

Both programmes are already underway, and will continue over the next six months.

The cohorts selected this year come from a variety of sectors such as agribusiness, ICT, fashion and cosmetics. Half of the businesses taking part are run and/or founded by women.

For the 2016 GrowthAfrica accelerator programme, the selected startups are:

From Kenya,

  • Luxury Leather Kenya, a luxury leather goods line.
  • Africartrack International, an asset tracking, control and management system.
  • Mboga Masters, a green grocer that specializes in ethical farming and healthy eating.
  • WAYO Company a performance tracking, measuring and feedback service
  • Marini Naturals, Kenya’s first natural and organic haircare line.
  • The Haller Foundation, a charity that uses an app to scale and disseminate agricultural best practices to farmers in Kenya.
  • ZikoAfrika, a contemporary accessories brand
  • Ichaka Products, a line of dairy products targeting the health-conscious middle class.
  • Gaea Foods, a potato processing company that prepares potatoes for the local food service industry and restaurants.

From Uganda,

  • Amagara, a natural skin care product line.
  • SEB Engineering, a clean cooking stove producer.
  • Highland Tea, which produces tea from the highlands of western Uganda.
  • Trans African Clean Energy and Agriculture Solutions, a sales and distribution company that links renewable energy consumers with producers.
  • Tursam Investments, which produces fresh fruit juice.
  • Clinic Master International, a web and mobile platform for health care institutions to manage their client information.
  • Crested Superiour, which produces mozzarella and cheddar cheese with milk supplied by local dairy farmers.
  • Pure Products, which produces clean and affordable drinking water through a micro-franchise model.
  • Yoza, a location-based laundry service app that helps users with dirty laundry find washers in any location.
  • Round Bob is an online travel booking platform.

Upon successful completion, the participants will join GrowthAfrica’s alumni network, where they will continue to receive individualized support and strategic advice.

Eric Mugendi Author

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