Green Umbrellas

A specialist incubator for the Urban Township Green Economy

“The Green Economy presents enormous potential for our youth to participate” Dipuo Peters, Minister of Energy.

Green Umbrellas Incubator

The Green Umbrellas Incubator provides dedicated support to early-phase eco-enterprises, started out of the Green Economy Youth Programme.

The Green Economy in South Africa offers numerous viable business opportunities for our entrepreneurial-minded graduates. Green Umbrellas aims to help eco-preneurs successfully harness these business opportunities by providing critical support at their most vulnerable stage. The incubation programme offers eco-enterprises with mentorship, guidance and start-up capital for a period of three to five years.

We support two types of eco-enterprises:

SEED Enterprises: These enterprises generate a sustainable income for SEED, while also providing Green Economy Youth Programme students with job shadow opportunities and graduates with employment.

We currently incubate two SEED enterprises, the Gourmet Mushroom Project and Sustainable Lifestyle Tours.

Youth-led Enterprises: These businesses are established to harness opportunities in the Green Economy in Cape Town.

We currently incubate two graduates in the first two enterprises: Seeds and Vegetables.

The Incubation Process

  1. Recruitment & Selection

SEED invites youth participating in the Green Economy Youth Programme to apply for enterprise incubation.  This early “launchpad” stage is designed to build awareness of the opportunities for youth, have them understand the demands of developing and running a business and determine whether this is, indeed, a path they seek to follow.  SEED then conducts feasibility screenings and determines fit as well as aptitude of the eco-preneur.

  1. Pre Incubation (3 months)

In the pre-incubation phase, we determine the viability of the business idea, assess the market opportunity, and help the entrepreneur develop a clear business plan and financial model. Proposals are then submitted to a selection panel and the best business cases make it through to Ignition.

  1. Ignition & Integration (3 months)

In this phase, the business is established and positioned for growth. Eco-preneurs develop technical and business competency, as well as procurement, finance and market readiness support. Ultimately, this phase delivers an operational plan that takes the potential of the business and makes it a reality.  

At this stage, SEED identifies investors who will commit convertible grant or angel finance to help the businesses grow.

  1. Growth & Graduation (3-5 years)

Once the business is operational, Green Umbrellas then focusses its efforts on providing business advisory support, connecting entrepreneurs to various networks, and developing capacity through tailored skills training and financial management.