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2024 Acumen Academy Energy for Livelihoods Accelerator - East Africa

Refine and prepare to scale your sustainable energy business and transform the livelihoods of low-income communities in East Africa.

 The program is designed to accelerate a cohort of early-stage social enterprises using clean energy and energy-efficient solutions to enhance job creation and income generation for low-income communities.  

Delivered by Acumen Academy, the Energy for Livelihoods accelerator aims to build an ecosystem of locally-led scalable social enterprises across East Africa committed to improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers, small businesses, and micro-entrepreneurs. Through the program, participants will develop and refine a scalable business model that has the potential to transform the lives of low-income people while conserving resources and protecting the environment. 

Aim and Benefits 

  • Transformational materials and a specially curated curriculum built around lessons from Acumen’s experience of investing in clean energy solutions
  • Facilitated Learning Labs to support your learning
  • One-on-one consultation calls with Acumen facilitators
  • Residential leadership seminar
  • Graduate into Acumen Academy’s global community, The Foundry


This accelerator is open to social entrepreneurs who:

Run a for-profit social enterprise in East Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda), using sustainable energy and energy-efficient solutions to positively impact the livelihoods of low-income people, through one of the following models/sectors: 

  • Agriculture & Allied sector – companies with clean energy solutions throughout the agriculture value chain to improve farm incomes/productivity or reduce costs and labour for smallholder farmers.
  • Energy for micro-entrepreneurs – companies enabling clean energy & energy-efficient solutions for businesses that reduce costs or unlock new business opportunities, for example in cooling, cooking, transport, or manufacturing.
  • Business enablers – companies providing supplementary services for enabling clean energy transition, including but not limited to distribution and financing solutions, skills development, data tools, and market-building approaches for farmers and businesses.

Additionally, all applicants should have: 

  • Local founding team members.
  • A deep commitment to the work of tackling poverty and injustice and an interest in being part of a global community bound by values. 
  • An operational track record of 12 months or more with existing customers. Preference will be given to companies who achieved >$40,000 in revenue in the last 12 months.
  • Able to demonstrate impact in job creation/enhancing income generation and reducing emissions.
  • A team with relevant sector experience and three or more full-time staff. Ideal candidates will have 5+ years of professional work experience.  

Application Deadline

March 11, 2024

How to Apply

Most of the assignments can be completed online at your own pace before the submission date every week. You will be expected to participate live during the weekly 2-hour Learning Lab sessions. The calls with the Acumen team can be scheduled at times that are mutually convenient for you and your facilitator.

For more details, visit Acumen Academy website.

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