This initiative links African entrepreneurs in the blue economy with international investors, applications open

Leonard Sengere Avatar

Does one need to live by the ocean to be able to understand the so-called blue economy? Probably. However, some of us, including myself just a minute ago, do not know what the blue economy is.

First, get your mind out the gutter, it has nothing to do with blue movies. The blue economy refers to the “sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and the preservation of ocean ecosystems.”

To clear it up, it’s key components include fisheries and aquaculture, shipping and maritime transport, tourism and recreation, renewable energy etc.

Hardly something us landlocked Zimbos would know much about, right? I can’t speak for you and so I have to let you know about this opportunity. Besides, they say the blue economy includes inland water environments and we do have experience with those.

In any case, what I’m sure of is that you entrepreneurs are looking for financing and so when there is a chance to pitch to potential investors, you would want to know.

I’m sure everyone will love the objective of BlueInvest, the organisation we are talking about today. They say they exist to “facilitate meetings between African entrepreneurs seeking financing and international investors seeking opportunities.”

Just last month, we talked about Emerging Valley, which focuses on helping African startups collaborate with Europe.

As most of you tell us, even when not asked, there are limited funding options within the country and the continent and so initiatives like these are more than welcome.

BlueInvest Africa is calling for African entrepreneurs eager to venture into the blue economy. Thirty outstanding projects will be handpicked for presentation to a panel of investors at the second edition of BlueInvest Africa, scheduled to take place in Kenya on 3 and 4 July 2024. The deadline for applications is 26 January 2024.

BlueInvest Africa 2024 marks the second edition of this important business event, initiated by the European Commission in 2022 . The objective of BlueInvest is to facilitate meetings between African entrepreneurs seeking financing and international investors scouting for opportunities, all centred around projects capable of propelling Africa’s blue economy forward.

The term “blue economy” encompasses all sustainable economic activities occurring in marine or inland water environments, spanning traditional pursuits like fishing, tourism, and transport, as well as cutting-edge domains such as biotechnologies, aquaculture, and renewable energies. 
BlueInvest Africa is also committed to promoting equitable and sustainable development, ensuring food security, and enhancing resilience to climate change.

Showcasing 30 Projects

The event will spotlight 30 “blue” projects to a panel of investors and stakeholders both physically present and online. The primary goal is to attract partners willing and equipped to foster the development of these projects.

Drawing inspiration from the past edition of BlueInvest Africa in the Seychelles, the project presentations will be attended by various investor categories: international, regional, and national financial institutions; public and private institutional investors; international, national, and regional organizations; as well as diverse collective entities like business platforms, incubators, and business angels.

Calling on African Entrepreneurs

The call for projects targets companies established in Africa, officially registered, and already active in one or more sectors of the blue economy. BlueInvest Africa 2024 is also reaching out to African small, micro, and medium-sized enterprises (SMMEs) whose innovative ideas require support to flourish in African markets.

Projects submitted to the BlueInvest Africa selection committee must be under development. They should fall within a blue economy sector and be set for deployment in one or more African countries. Additionally, they must incorporate sustainability objectives, covering production, implementation, and the life cycle of the project.

An Engaging and Impactful Presentation

Each company will designate a representative or pitcher to present its project in a dynamic and persuasive manner. The event organizers will cover the travel and accommodation expenses of this representative, who will also benefit from coaching to ensure the quality, effectiveness, and appeal of their presentation. The best presentation will be honored with an award at the closing ceremony of the event.

Applications must be submitted online on the BlueInvest Africa website before 26 January 2024. Prepare your arguments, visit the registration site, and submit your application promptly.

How to proceed, if you’re interested:

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