Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the AfriCircular Innovators Programmes?

This program, sponsored by the African Development Bank in partnership with African Circular Economy Alliance (ACEA), Africa Circular Economy Facility (ACEF) and Impact Hubs (Kigali, Accra, and Abidjan) is dedicated to nurturing startups in the circular economy sector. It provides a comprehensive package of capacity building, technical assistance, financial grants, and networking opportunities aimed at catalyzing the growth of sustainable businesses.

2. Who is eligible to apply for the program?

Startups operating in Rwanda, Ghana and Ivory Coast with innovative solutions in the circular economy sector are eligible to apply.

3. How do I apply for the program?

Applications for the program can be submitted through typeform during the application period.

  • Click on the following link 
  • Review the Eligibility criteria
  • Click on the ‘Apply Now’ button
  • Complete the application form
  • Click on ‘Submit’ to submit your application.

 The finalists will be announced and will proceed to phase II: Capacity Building and Technical Assistance.

4. What are the key selection criteria for the program?

The program evaluates startups based on criteria such as viability of the business model, assessment of circularity, team leadership and skills, potential for job creation, gender/inclusivity considerations, and innovation in technology or data.

5. What support will selected startups receive?

Selected startups will undergo comprehensive business training tailored to the circular economy, receive financial grants for market exploration and product development, and participate in market linkage activities and showcase events.

6. How long is the program duration?

The program duration is from April 2024 to February 2025, and typically includes phases such as application, evaluation, technical support, Coaching and mentorship, financial support, market linkage activities and a regional demo day. Specific timelines will be communicated to selected startups upon acceptance into the program.

7. Will the program provide mentorship or networking opportunities?

Yes, the program offers mentorship, networking opportunities, and access to key stakeholders including investors, public and private sectors, and international organizations to support the growth and success of participating startups.

8. Where will the program be conducted?

The program will be conducted through three main Hubs: Impact Hub Abidjan, Impact Hub Accra, and Impact Hub Kigali, located in Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Rwanda respectively. In addition to the structured sessions, ventures participating in the program will have ample opportunities to connect, network, and explore collaboration. This will be facilitated through peer-to-peer sessions and on the demo day where ventures can showcase their progress and potential collaborations.

9. How will the program support ecosystem actors beyond startups?

The program will develop and disseminate essential tools and support materials designed to embed circularity within business support organizations. These resources are meticulously crafted to integrate circular practices into the operations of various business support organizations with the aim to be practical and impactful.

10. Is there any cost associated with participating in the program?

No, participation in the program is free of charge for selected startups. However, startups are expected to actively engage in program activities and fulfill program requirements.

11. How can startups access more information about the program and apply?

Startups can find more information about the program, including application details and eligibility criteria, on the program website or by contacting us through email: [email protected].

12. What is the focus of Phase II of the program?

Phase II focuses on capacity building and technical assistance for the top 10 entrepreneurs selected in Rwanda, spanning a duration of 4 months. They will receive intense training on circular economy business concepts, investment readiness, and so more. But that is not all, they will also have coaching, and peer to peer learning sessions.

13. What kind of technical assistance is provided to the entrepreneurs during this phase?

Entrepreneurs receive technical assistance through a customized Circular Economy-based curriculum, individual coaching sessions, peer-to-peer learning opportunities, and targeted market linkages activities, all designed to address their specific needs identified during the diagnostics.

14. Could you explain what peer-to-peer learning sessions entail?

Peer-to-peer sessions provide a platform for entrepreneurs to share experiences, discuss challenges, and explore collaborative opportunities with fellow participants across hubs. These sessions facilitate knowledge exchange and networking, both locally and internationally.

15. What are the key dates to keep in mind? OR What is the Program Timeline?

  • Applications open: April 29, 2024
  • Applications close: May 26th, 2024 at 11:59 PM CAT 
  • Announcement of selected startups: June,  2024 
  • Phase II: Capacity Building and Technical Assistance: July – November 2024
  • Phase III: Grant disbursement and Further Business Support: November 2024 – February 2025
  • Regional Demo-day and Roadshow: January 2025 – February 2025

Info sessions:

  • 1st Info session: Thursday, May 07th at 16:00 CAT. Register here to attend
  • 2nd Info Session: Monday, May  21th at 16:00 CAT. Register here to attend

16. Do we have to be based in Rwanda, Ghana or Cote D’Ivoire?

Yes, your venture needs to have active operations in one of the three countries. You will also need to be present to participate in the different activities of the acceleration program if you are selected to join the program.