Startups with innovations capable of advancing sustainable practices in agriculture can now apply online for a spot on the 2023 PepsiCo Greenhouse Accelerator: MENA Sustainability Edition
Beirut, Lebanon – PepsiCo is inviting startups and entrepreneurs from the MENA region, including Lebanon, to apply for the upcoming regional edition of its Greenhouse Accelerator Program. The theme of the upcoming round is sustainable agricultural practices, which closely aligns with PepsiCo’s end-to-end transformation strategy, pep+ (PepsiCo Positive) and its underlying ambitions for Positive Agriculture, as well as aiding in the region’s relief from food insecurity.
The initiative is supported by the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) and the Food Tech Valley. As part of the program with PepsiCo, the entities will offer technical and strategic mentorship to applicants participating in the program, as well as access to local and regional knowledge networks.
“We understand the crucial role of innovation and sustainability in driving forward our pep+ strategy. With the region heavily reliant on imports, it’s essential that we support the passionate changemakers working to make a significant impact through positive agricultural practices. The private sector has an important role to play in addressing the major challenges facing the MENA region, such as food security, arid climate, scarce arable land, and limited water supply, and our goal is to lead by example. PepsiCo has been extending efforts to reinforce food security in the region, specifically in Lebanon, and we hope this program allows us to take it a step further and find disruptive solutions to sustainability priorities,” said Aamer Sheikh, CEO – Middle East, PepsiCo.
Through pep+, the company is working to source crops and ingredients in ways that restore the soil and strengthen farming communities, and the Greenhouse Accelerator Program is intended to unlock innovative and disruptive agricultural solutions in partnership with purpose-driven start-ups from the region.
Established and revenue-generating start-ups that are developing business models related to processes, products, and / or technologies and support the management of direct farming operations to reduce the carbon footprint in the agricultural space and enhance food security in the region are invited to apply via the Greenhouse Accelerator Program Website before the deadline of 10th April 2023.
The participants that are chosen for the six-month program, will be challenged to demonstrate collaboration and measurable progress, based on a mutually developed action plan. They will receive support in the form of a $20,000 cash grant, one-on-one mentorship via access to experts from PepsiCo and partners, market activation and access to networks, and business opportunities. When the program ends, one winning company will be selected and awarded an additional $100,000 in funding to continue its expansion, and a potential opportunity to extend its partnership with PepsiCo to further expedite its growth.
Lebanon had a strong run in the inaugural MENA edition of the program. Last year’s theme – sustainable packaging and circular economy – struck a chord among young entrepreneurs in the aftermath of the country’s 2015 waste crisis. The winner was Nadeera, a social enterprise that leverages technology to promote waste sorting at source. Through its ‘Yalla Return’ product, Nadeera drives a trash-for-cash model, providing cash rewards based on the quantity of recyclables consumers turn in. Two Lebanese companies also made it to the top 10, namely, Live Love Recycle and Diwama.
About the PepsiCo Greenhouse Accelerator Program:
The PepsiCo Greenhouse Accelerator Program is a global mentor-led initiative to help entrepreneurs in the sustainability space grow through collaboration and knowledge sharing. The program was launched in Europe in 2017 and North America in 2019. The first regional edition of the Greenhouse Accelerator Program: MENA Sustainability Edition was launched in 2021, where 10 selected finalists came from variety of countries across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and brought a diversity of new solutions for reducing food and beverage packaging waste and promoting the circular economy. These innovative companies worked with PepsiCo mentors and subject matter experts to further develop their new products and services to launch or scale their innovation.
PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $86 billion in net revenue in 2022, driven by a complementary beverage and convenient foods portfolio that includes Lay’s, Doritos, Cheetos, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Mountain Dew, Quaker, and SodaStream. PepsiCo’s product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including many iconic brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.
Guiding PepsiCo is our vision to Be the Global Leader in Beverages and Convenient Foods by Winning with pep+ (PepsiCo Positive). pep+ is our strategic end-to-end transformation that puts sustainability and human capital at the center of how we will create value and growth by operating within planetary boundaries and inspiring positive change for planet and people.