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PepsiCo Invites Applications for The Second Installment Of Its Greenhouse Accelerator Program: MENA Sustainability Edition PepsiCo's Greenhouse Accelerator Program: MENA Sustainability Edition will be accepting applications from startups with innovations capable of advancing sustainable practices in agriculture across the MENA region until April 10, 2023.

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PepsiCo Greenhouse Accelerator MENA 2022 program

PepsiCo has launched the second edition of its Greenhouse Accelerator Program: MENA Sustainability Edition.

Run in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) and Food Tech Valley, the program will be accepting applications from startups with innovations capable of advancing sustainable practices in agriculture across the MENA region until April 10, 2023.

The theme for the new edition -sustainable agricultural practices- is closely aligned with PepsiCo's end-to-end transformation strategy, PepsiCo Positive (pep+) and its underlying ambitions for positive agriculture, as well as aiding in the region's relief from food insecurity.

Following the success of its inaugural MENA edition, this second edition of the Greenhouse program will seek applications from established and revenue-generating startups that are developing business models related to processes, products, and/or technologies supporting the management of direct farming operations that will help both reduce the carbon footprint in the agricultural space and enhance food security in the region.

Aamer Sheikh, CEO - Middle East, PepsiCo, noted that innovation, a passion for sustainability, drive, and a solutions-oriented mindset are the values that the company would like to see applicants demonstrate throughout the program. "What will set them apart is a solid understanding of the geographical and food security challenges in the region, a unique perspective on the solution, the ability and technology to innovate, the desire to learn through mentorship, the flexibility to pivot, and ultimately, the ambition to scale," Sheikh said. "We believe this combination can create the kind of positive change that will benefit generations to come. Innovation is critical to us addressing some of the most pressing climate challenges we're facing. We want to encourage all startups or entrepreneurs who feel as passionately as we do for a sustainable future to apply to the Greenhouse Accelerator Program, and join us in shaping a better tomorrow."

Aamer Sheikh, CEO Middle East, PepsiCo. Source: PepsiCo

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 US$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 awarded an additional $100,000 in funding to continue its expansion, as well as a potential opportunity to extend its partnership with PepsiCo to further expedite its growth.

PepsiCo's 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 then in North America in 2019.The first regional edition of the Greenhouse Accelerator Program: MENA Sustainability Edition was launched in 2021 with the theme of sustainable packaging and recycling, with the winner being UAE-based Nadeera, a social enterprise that leverages technology to promote waste sorting at source.

Looking back on his participation in the program last year, Rabih El Chaar, co-founder and CEO, Nadeera, said that the experience was very different from any other initiative he and his team had partaken in. "An overwhelming corporate ownership was evident from the launch event until closing," he noted. "PepsiCo was mobilized in its entirety to ensure startups are well supported and pushed beyond their limits... Also, the exposure that Nadeera received as a result of this program is overwhelming. As such, this program catapulted Nadeera to be literally at the forefront of the waste diversion industry in the GCC and we are still experiencing the effects of this momentum until now."

El Chaar's advice for this year's applicants to the program is to focus on the results, and communicate them clearly and effectively. "PepsiCo is a results-driven organization," El Chaar pointed out. "They want to see tangible return on investment of the program to your startup. So, take the program seriously, and ensure you are able to specifically demonstrate the impact you were able to realize throughout the program."

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