Last fall, 300 businesses took part in the Beyond Tourism in Africa Innovation Challenge to earn a place in the African Leadership University’s Incubator Program. Only 15 organizations were accepted and GCC is proud to share that it is one of them.
The Beyond Tourism in Africa Innovation Challenge is a joint project with the Luc Hoffmann Institute, the African Leadership University’s School of Wildlife Conservation, and the WWF Regional Office for Africa.
The Beyond Tourism in Africa Innovation Challenge
The initiative was founded to seek out new and innovative sources of income from nature that go beyond tourism. The judges were particularly interested in businesses that protect nature while also providing sustainable livelihoods and economic stability for the communities who manage the land or live close to wildlife.
The African Leadership University’s Incubator Program
The challenge took place between September 1st and October 15th, 2020 and the winners will begin an eight-month virtual incubator program at the African Leadership University in February 2021. The incubator program aims to turn young businesses and their innovative ideas into investment-ready companies. These ideas come at a critical time when the global shutdown caused by COVID-19 has shown how vulnerable the communities reliant solely on tourism are.
The Application Process
The challenge received over 300 applications which came from individuals and teams from all over Africa. There were 54 nationalities (mostly from Africa) and a vast age range from 16 to 87. The applications were reviewed by a diverse panel of judges with a vast range of expertise.
The winners and their ideas covered several areas, such as education (in the case of GCC), music and dance, finance, technology, farming, carbon markets, and communications. GCC is honored to take part in this important incubator program and learn from the African Leadership University’s experience as well as connect with other entrepreneurs who also put conservation at the heart of their business.
Matt Lindenberg, GCC’s Founder and Executive Director shares how this opportunity will have a positive impact on GCC: “This high-level access to a revolutionary cohort, international academic mentorship, and world class organizations will empower our Future Rangers Program to scale in a more efficient, impactful and integrated manner. We stand on the precipice of cultivating widespread change, and this transformational opportunity couldn’t have been better timed. We cannot wait to kick off in February, and are even more excited about the global impact this program will generate. A massive thanks to the African Leadership University, the Luc Hoffmann Institute, and the WWF Regional Office for Africa for this tremendous opportunity.”