Acumen/IKEA Social Entrepreneurship East Africa Accelerator Program 2021 for young Social Entrepreneurs.

IKEA Social Entrepreneurship East Africa Accelerator

Application Deadline: June 8th 2021

In partnership with IKEA Social Entrepreneurship, Acumen packaged an accelerator program designed to support social entrepreneurs to develop a scalable business model. This 19-week program will strengthen the capacity of social enterprises in East Africa to scale and improve the lives of the poor and vulnerable.

IKEA Social Entrepreneurship is an initiative within IKEA that’s all about making a positive impact. It works with pioneers and pathfinders who use their business as a way to make everyday life better for those who need it most and strives towards a more equal and inclusive society.


Social Entrepreneurs in East Africa who:

  • Run a social enterprise (nonprofit or for-profit) based in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, or Ethiopia
  • Have proven customer demand and demonstrate increasing annual revenue
  • Have a team equivalent to 3 full-time staff
  • Focus on promoting livelihoods, equality and inclusion

Most of the coursework can be completed online at your own schedule each week. There will be Learning Labs every other week that will be from 5-7pm Nairobi time where your team’s Lead Participant(s) will have to participate live. The calls with IKEA advisors can be scheduled at times that are mutually convenient for you and your advisor.

Where will the sessions be held?

This is an online program. The biweekly Learning Labs will be hosted virtually on the Zoom platform. You should have a stable internet connection and ability to participate in video calls.

What are the program dates?

The program runs from June 8th to October 8th 2021.

How it Works

You will have access to case studies from Acumen social enterprises and curriculum materials that package IKEA’s business knowledge. You will complete your own assignments to apply lessons directly to your business and then join biweekly interactive Learning Labs to give and receive feedback from your peers. You will also receive biweekly individualized coaching from IKEA coaches. 

You should expect to spend at least 8 hours per week working on your project. Most of this work can be done on your own schedule.

You will need 1-2 Lead Participants from the leadership team of your social enterprise to show up to the Learning Labs every other week and can have up to 10 people from your social enterprise access all of the curriculum materials. 

The program will culminate with a virtual Final Summit where you will attend final workshops and have a chance to network, pitch your venture, receive feedback from industry leaders, and be considered for up to $25k in seed funding.


  • 6 Peer Learning Labs
  • At least 6 sessions with an IKEA coach
  • Video tutorials
  • Case studies from East African social enterprises
  • Interviews that package IKEA’s business knowledge
  • Eligibility to compete for $25k per startup in seed funding

Learn How To

  • Refine and test hypotheses for developing a scalable business model
  • Develop a robust social impact and financial strategy
  • Gain best practices for forming partnerships to achieve scale
  • Learn from practical case studies of other East African social enterprises that have successfully scaled
  • Translate lessons from IKEA and apply them to your own enterprise
  • Pitch your business to investors and receive feedback from industry leaders at a Final Summit
  • Build networks with other social entrepreneurs and supporters in East Africa and beyond

    Key Dates
  • Orientation: June, 2021
  • Program Ends: October, 2021
  • Final Summit : October, 2021

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Acumen/IKEA Social Entrepreneurship East Africa Accelerator Program 2021


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