At its Luzira headquarters, Nile Breweries Limited (NBL) today unveiled its “100+ Accelerator,” Cohort 2023 social entrepreneurship program, which is geared toward promoting start-up companies that are devoted to sustainability.
The program, a project of NBL’s parent company, AB InBev, will give successful applicants the chance to receive funding opportunities worth up to $100,000 (UGX 370,000,000) if their business ideas address one of eight challenge areas, including climate action, inclusive growth, smart agriculture, biodiversity, the circular economy, water stewardship, health, and wellness.
“First launched in 2018, the 100+ Accelerator seeks to assist social entrepreneurs with cutting-edge solutions to problems affecting the globe and supply chains. We support the startups by providing mentoring, funding, and opportunities to pilot and scale their ideas within our business and value chain anywhere around the world,” said Adu Rando, Managing Director of NBL.
“As a company, we have great potential to execute transformational social impact. To us, a future with more cheers is a shared prosperity for our communities the planet, and our company. It is growth that is inclusive and value that is shared and wins for the world that is truly worth celebrating,” he added.
Now in its 5th Cohort, the 100+ Accelerator was created as an innovation-driven platform to exponentially fuel the growth of sustainability startups and to help the company reach its sustainability goals for 2025.
Starting last year, 35 Ugandan entrepreneurs had a chance to apply in the hope of joining the already over 80 companies implementing their solutions in 20 countries around the world. Former winners currently operating in Uganda under Sustainable Agriculture Solutions include Oko Finance, BanQu, and Agri Friend.
Through the 100+ Accelerator, AB InBev is committed to partner with others, as well as to contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. With current partners such as the Coca-Cola Company, Colgate-Palmolive, and Unilever, who face the same core sustainability challenges, AB InBev purposes to share knowledge and resources to accelerate cost-effective solutions.
Start-ups with products that are either already on the market or are well suited for the market and that can show transactional information in terms of IP, clients, revenue, pilots, or contract are encouraged to apply, according to Flora Aduk, Communication Manager NBL.
“This is a much needed opportunity and challenge for Ugandan social entrepreneurs to be the solution. Applications for Cohort 5 are open here until 30th June 2023,” she revealed.
Applicants will be evaluated on a rolling basis. Scoring will be assessed based on the following values; fit with identified sustainability challenges, ability to demonstrate traction/product market fit, Market expertise and team, and capacity to carry out a pilot in selected global zone among others.
About the NBL 100+ Accelerator Programme:
The 100+ Accelerator program was launched by AB InBev, NBL’s parent company, in 2018 to help the company reach its ambitious sustainability goals faster by finding start-ups that could deliver breakthrough advancements across five key sustainability pillars, which include water stewardship, smart agriculture, circular packaging, climate action, and upcycling.
During the first two cohorts, more than half of the startups secured long-term contracts with AB InBev. In 2021, the Coca-Cola Company, Colgate-Palmolive, and Uniliver partnered with AB InBev’s 100+ Accelerator to fund and pilot sustainable innovation in supply chains. In its first three cohorts, the programme has worked with 70 start-ups in over 20 countries. The 100+ Accelerator offers size and scale to passionate entrepreneurs to help bring their solutions to market faster. These startups have raised more than US$300k and are scaling globally to achieve the programme’s mission: ‘’to accelerate the world’s shift towards sustainable solutions and to business the right way, not the easy way’’.
In 2023, AB InBev has concentrated and increased the focus challenge areas to 8 across a wide range of areas that help the company contribute towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 100+ Accelerator partner companies’ sustainability goals, which are climate action, inclusive growth, smart agriculture, biodiversity, circular economy, water stewardship, health, and wellness.