The inaugural 2015 SPRING Accelerator cohort has handpicked eighteen startup entrepreneur from the East Africa region whose products promises to transform the lives of adolescent girls. These eighteen startups were part of an initial group of over 250 startups that applied for selection into the accelerator program.
The selected eighteen startups have an already developed and innovative product with demonstrated ability to solve the challenges facing adolescent girls. Take, for instance, the ability to empower the girls by enabling them to learn, earn and save without harm. The following are some of the 18 startups selected for the accelerator program:
Sanivation – This startup provides hygienic sanitation by collecting waste and turning them into low-cost fuel briquette.
Jibu – Empowers the youth through the sale of affordable water in a franchising model of business.
Totohealth – This is a health startup that provides personalized SMS messages giving advice on health matters.
To view the full list of all the 18 startup entrepreneurs, click here.
The startups will be taken for a two weeks training at a boot camp location in Nairobi, Kenya. The boot camp seeks to identify the challenges, opportunities and device a working formula. After which, the will embark on a mentorship program spanning nine-month, during which they will have access to vast array of world-class mentors, business networks, advisors and funding to scale up their products.
“This is an innovative pilot in market driven social change. We’ve spent months identifying businesses which offer products or services that could transform the lives of girls. Now, with the final 18 businesses selected, we can start implementing our revolutionary human-centered design program and working to build and scale these organizations to start reaching girls,” said Roo Rogers, a member of the SPRING consortium and Partner at FuseProject.
SPRING was launched in January and became the first business accelerator targeting the empowerment of adolescent girls living in developing countries. The accelerator wants to achieve this by nurturing early-stage business ventures with products to empower the girls. The accelerator is said to give the selected startup entrepreneurs customized support to their respective venture. SPRING expects the results will be a scale up of the startups’ production and tremendous impact on the lives of the adolescent girls within their respective communities.
SPRING is funded through a collaboration between the UK Department for International Development, USAID, and the Nike Foundation.