CEIP Africa

Chasing Unicorns in African Circular Economy Business Models - a WCEF 2022 Accelerator Session.

08 December 2022 | 04:00-05:00PM (WAT)

Entrepreneurship is a cornerstone of the Circular Economy story in Africa. A broadly accepted view globally is that Circular Economy business models are disruptive, so it is more likely for newcomers than industry incumbents to stimulate this disruption. In the African context however, entrepreneurial programming is also driven by concerns about youth skills development and employment: of 18 countries in the world with official unemployment rates above 20%, 13 are in Africa.

Faith in new ideas and a sense of urgency to change the status quo has in short facilitated the development of a range of Circular Economy-oriented entrepreneurship programmes at universities and incubators across Africa. This accelerator session launches a workshop series that is designed to explore what we have learned from the nascent CE entrepreneurship research and educational programming in Africa and to consolidate this learning to collectively improve access to resources, funding and advocacy for Circular Economy entrepreneurs working in Africa. The session organizer has recently wrapped up a pilot CE incubation programme and works closely with other CE-oriented innovation hubs in Nigeria.

The focus of this session will be on addressing how we look at investing in circular economy businesses. Through a venture capital lens, investment in circular economy business models should be limited to entrepreneurial projects that have capacity to scale. However, many entrepreneurial projects that can be classified as circular may not ever be in a position to scale. Should projects that are unlikely to scale be abandoned? If not, what are the optimal ways to finance uncertain or unscalable projects? 

“This event is an Accelerator Session at the World Circular Economy Forum 2022 (www.WCEF2022.com)”

Main Organizer: Circular Economy Innovation Partnership, CEIP.

Collaborators: African Circular Economy Network and Footprints Africa