PepsiCo launches $300K startup accelerator in the MENA region

PepsiCo launches $300K startup accelerator in the MENA region

Global food and beverage giant PepsiCo is calling Middle East and North Africa-based entrepreneurs to join its sustainability-focused accelerator program.

The program, which was first launched in 2017, will deploy up to 1.1 million dirhams ($300,000) to startups who will meet the criteria, Eugene Willemsen, chief executive officer of PepsiCo Africa, Middle East, and South Asia revealed at a press conference on Sunday.

It was launched in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, which has been active in forging partnerships with the private sector to achieve its sustainability targets.

The program comes as governments and big corporates globally face mounting pressure to adopt more environmentally-friendly initiatives, more particularly to reduce carbon emissions based on internationally-agreed standards.

Called the Greenhouse Accelerator Program, the PepsiCo initiative taps into the “disruptive” capacities of startups, specifically giving them funding and other resources to scale their ideas.

The 6-month program will admit 10 startups who will each get $20,000 “to create new business initiatives focused on reducing, recycling, and reinventing the packaging supply chain.”

One company will eventually named a winner and will receive $100,000, PepsiCo announced.

The initiative also plays into the region’s hyperactive startup scene, which data platform MAGNiTT said attracted investments worth $1.03 billion ion 2020 - a 13 percent year-on-year increase.

Aamer Sheikh, president and general manager at PepsiCo MENA and Pakistan, said,

“We are creating an ecosystem where we bring funding and mentorship that can help them fast track initiatives,”

News Source: Arab News

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