We are all familiar with the glaring gaps between the number of people entering the labour market every year vis-à-vis number of jobs available. At the same time, we are witnessing rapid depletion of natural and environmental resources. The pandemic and the climate crisis have made it imperative to accelerate the shift towards a green economy, where people and planet thrive together.
These challenges provide opportunities to look beyond formal jobs, at solutions that can generate employment, contribute to local economies and address environmental problems.
Boosting green entrepreneurship opportunities
Green entrepreneurship offers a pathway to create employment while addressing challenges such as pollution, waste and natural resources degradation. And increasingly, young entrepreneurs are showing the enthusiasm to innovate, set up and grow green enterprises.
Small and growing entrepreneurs have great potential to respond to local needs, use local resources to benefit their communities and boost local economic development.
Green incubators and accelerators: charting the path
However, small and growing business often need a range of advisory and support services to help them ideate, set up and grow their businesses. Such services are even more relevant for green and climate entrepreneurs. To develop their businesses in a niche area, they need specific expertise and tailored approaches to environmental solutions.
This is where climate incubators and accelerators play a critical role. They can help green entrepreneurs think out of the box and test locally relevant solutions to pressing environmental problems. Climate incubators can focus on areas such as waste, renewable energy and recycling. They can also provide seed climate capital, bring in expertise from climate mentors and help entrepreneurs access markets and private capital. Their support helps green entrepreneurs move ahead, take risks and increase revenues and employment.
Kenya Climate Innovation Centre
That’s why we are proud to share that the IKEA Foundation is partnering with the Kenya Climate Innovation Center (KCIC).
KCIC supports climate technology enterprises through incubation and acceleration to create green employment opportunities for young people in Kenya.
Organisations like KCIC give a much-needed boost to green entrepreneurship opportunities. All of us working in government, private sector, aid agencies and philanthropies must collaborate to create a conducive environment for locally tailored climate incubators and accelerators to thrive, as key actors in the green entrepreneurial ecosystem.
“Our experience in managing and supporting green enterprises has resulted in many success stories and helped young entrepreneurs break into the green economy sector. We are pleased to be working with IKEA Foundation to help Kenyan green entrepreneurs overcome barriers to entrepreneurship. This program is a win-win for all and will greatly contribute to economic growth and create jobs that directly contribute to preserving or enhancing environmental quality.”
Dr. Edward Mungai, CEO, Kenya Climate Innovation Center