2024 AfriFOODlinks Circular & Inclusive Business Coaching Program

2024 AfriFOODlinks Circular & Inclusive Business Coaching Program

05/03/2024
in News

Call for Applications: 2024 AfriFOODlinks Circular & Inclusive Business Coaching Program

Are you a food company in Mbale city committed to making a positive impact on your city and the environment while fostering inclusivity? We invite you to apply for our one-year AfriFOODlinks Circular & Inclusive Business Coaching Program, designed to help you maximize your inputs and minimize your waste while saving money and supporting your community.

About the program

The Circular & Inclusive Business Coaching Program aims to support food companies that are locally influential in Mbale City and aim to have a significant impact on their communities in terms of food security , waste reduction , environmental sustainability and inclusive employment.

The Program will take place in two phases: (1) Looking inward, and (2) Looking outward. The first phase will help companies develop a baseline analysis; analyzing their food supply chain to identify barriers and starting points for inclusivity and circularity. The second phase will identify the kind of support you might need from and map possible partnerships to enhance city-business collaboration.

By participating in this program, companies will have the opportunity to:

Receive a tailored guidance on how to incorporate circular, inclusive and nutrition-sensitive practices in your business operations with the guidance of just transition and circular economy experts and based on international best practices;

Participate in incubation programs of your city to collaborate with entrepreneurs and learn about finding innovative revenue streams;

Network with other like-minded food companies to explore synergies and share resources along the supply chain in your city;

Understand the food policy context of their city and put forward suggestions for improved city-business collaboration that will be taken to city officials; and

Receive information on accessible financial models to scale-up their business operations and enhance circularity.

Selection criteria

We are looking for food businesses that have the commitment and potential to excel in several of the following aspects:

Local influence and food production

A locally-influential food company that has or aims to have a significant impact on the local community. Key attributes include several or all of the below:

➔ The employment of women and youth;

➔ The potential for and interest in exchange of outputs and inputs with other food businesses along the supply chain;

➔ The production of healthy food products that are locally accessible and affordable;

➔ The sourcing of inputs from the city region, benefiting primary producers such as farmers or fisher(wo)men;

➔ A commitment to climate sensitivity and sustainable practices; and

➔ A specialization in staple foods primarily consumed in the city (or for export).

Social inclusion

We encourage all businesses to apply, with priority given to those led or owned by women or youth (18-35 years old). Preference will also be accorded to businesses with women or youth in key leadership decision-making positions, those actively engaged with women or youth groups, or those whose primary beneficiaries include women and youth. In essence, we are particularly interested in businesses that have the potential to provide equitable benefits to diverse populations without causing disadvantage or discrimination within society.

Key attributes include several or all of the below:

➔ A commitment to gender equality and inclusivity, both within your business and as a benefit to your community; and

➔ Employment of women and youth.

Circularity

A framework for examining your business, aimed at identifying ways to MINIMIZE production inputs and waste, while MAXIMIZING the nutritional and socio-economic value of your operations. This involves using and wasting as little as possible while saving money and improving your environment. Your company is already undergoing operations or is interested in the following circularity entry points:

➔ Clear potential to rethink and redesign your food value chain and introduce closed-loop systems;

➔ Openness to design infrastructure, processes and products to minimize material inputs, water, energy use and waste generation from production to end of use;

➔ Willingness to embrace regenerative inputs that are environmentally-friendly, such as renewable energy sources and supporting regenerative agriculture sourcing;

➔ Readiness to extend, intensify and share the use of existing resources, products, spaces and infrastructure;

➔ Intention to make waste history by maximizing the recovery of resources and reintroducing them into production processes; and

➔ Interest in supporting local circular systems through output and input exchange with other food businesses in your city.

Business responsibilities

o Bi-montly meetings with the project board to carry out the Coaching Program, online.

o Two engagements with city incubators and circular entrepreneurs, in-person.

o One engagement with city officials to explore policy needs for inclusion and circularity.

o Total commitment of approximately 0.5 days / month until 2025.

How to apply

Please submit your application by 5 April 2024 here: <Submission link>

Include a detailed description of your business, its current practices, and how you excel in the applicable selection criteria mentioned above. Participants will be shortlisted in May 2024. Join us in shaping a brighter and more sustainable future for food businesses in our city!

For inquiries or further information, please contact:

Wilber Kakaire Email: <Wilber.kakaire [at] rikolto.org> Mobile: +256 705 408 439

María Alonso Martínez Email: <maria.alonso-martinez [at] iclei.org>