A section of Kenyans demonstrate in Nairobi streets for what they termed as negative climate change. [George Njunge, Standard]

The first edition of the Green Innovation Challenge is well underway with over three 350 applicants submitting their green business ideas.

The Green Innovation Challenge aims to identify and nurture at least 100 innovative entrepreneurs with sustainable business ideas that contribute to an eco-friendly lifestyle and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This is in line with the Glasgow Climate Pact, a key outcome of Conference of Parties 26 (COP26).

The pact kept alive the prospects of achieving what Paris Agreement promised, that is, limiting global warming to well below two degrees centigrade and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees centigrade.

Some 140 countries pledged to reach net-zero emissions which includes 90 per cent of current Global Green Gas Emissions. According to the United Nation, net zero refers to a state in which the greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere are balanced by removal out of the atmosphere.

Other key outcomes included nearly 100 countries pledging to halt and reverse deforestation, around 40 countries pledging to move away from coal and more countries promising to draw at least half of their energy requirements from renewable sources by 2030.

As countries strive to achieve their Nationally Determined Contributions, Kenya revised its own to a more ambitious target of reducing green house gas emissions to 32 per cent by 2030.

This is only going to be possible if organisations come together and develop strategic interventions. It is on this basis that The Standard Group Plc, KCIC Consulting and National Environment Trust Fund (Netfund) have developed an innovation challenge and investment forum on green solutions.

Renewable energy

The challenge is aimed at identifying and nurturing at least 30 innovations by Kenyan youth aged between 15-35 years in agribusiness, water and waste management, commercial forestry, renewable energy and sustainable tourism.

The four corporates at the fore front of climate action are giving applicants a platform to connect with global partners in the climate change and sustainability space. Netfund has been at the helm of facilitating the application process while business and technical support is provided by KCIC Consulting. In a bid to create a multiplier effect, the selection process will be administered through a Reality TV show on KTN Farmers channel.

While the application window closed on August 21 this year, the selection process is set to take off in due time. All the applications will undergo basic and technical evaluation to select 30 feasible innovations from a pool of over 350 applicants, 5 in each thematic area.

Once the selection is done, a one-week boot camp will then be conducted to help the innovators build on their business cases to prepare to pitch to a team of business experts on a Reality TV series on KTN Farmers channel The focus will be on presentation of the green business model and value proposition to investors on profits, people and planet. The boot camp will be facilitated by business coaches and trainers.

Competitive process

Soon after, the 30 candidates, selected and trained, will pitch their innovative green business ideas to a jury of potential investors, identified from the funding partners, who will judge and determine the best innovations in each thematic category. The judging will be achieved through a 12-part prerecorded series aired on KTN as a Reality TV show.

Finalists in each of the five thematic areas will receive a grant award from partners including Netfund and the best 10 innovations presented to a pool of investors during an investment forum to secure funding for their innovations.

Notably, while only 18 innovators will be rewarded as the finalists, all 30 innovators will be enrolled in incubation programmes for 12 months. This incubation programme will provide the young innovators with technical support in building and sustaining their businesses.

For more details on the challenge and the happenings so far visit our social media pages on

@FarmKenya254 - Twitter

@farmkenya254 - Instagram

@KTNfarmerstv - Facebook


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