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PepsiCo launches Greenhouse Accelerator in MENA in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment

 PepsiCo has announced the launch of its first MENA edition of the Greenhouse Accelerator program, active globally since 2017. The program was launched in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) at a ceremony that drew the participation of high-ranking government officials, including HE Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment.

As part of the partnership, MOCCAE will offer technical and strategic mentors to applicants participating in the program and amplified outreach into trusted local and regional networks, further increasing the number of innovators applying to the program.

“We are delighted to support the PepsiCo Greenhouse Accelerator: MENA Sustainability Edition that leverages innovation to optimize resource utilization, reduce waste, cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, and promote environment-friendly and sustainable production. This way, it helps to address the key priorities in our fight against climate change, one of the most pressing challenges facing the world. The initiative aligns with our Science, Technology and Innovation Policy, which aims to diversify the national economy, and foster sustainable innovation based on science and technology. We wish participating startups success in unlocking new opportunities that will help us secure long-term economic and environmental sustainability,” said HE Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri.

The Greenhouse Accelerator is another example of how PepsiCo is creating growth and shared value by operating within planetary boundaries and inspiring positive change for the planet and people – efforts it recently formalized as part of PepsiCo Positive (pep+), the company’s strategic end-to-end transformation framework. The Greenhouse Accelerator program will run as a six-month initiative, seeking to enhance innovation and sustainability through collaboration with purpose-driven brands from the MENA startup ecosystem that share PepsiCo’s vision for a more sustainable food system.

“We are proud to bring this collaborative program to the MENA region in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment. At PepsiCo, we believe great solutions can be built and launched through open innovation and collaboration with changemakers, and we look forward to supporting, mentoring, and connecting small startups that have big ideas to the resources they need to help create a more sustainable tomorrow. As the region’s largest food and beverage company, we have a critical role to play to advance this agenda and bring our pep+ strategy to life in key MENA countries. I look forward to engaging with the startups and our stakeholders to help build a circular and inclusive value chain and inspire people to make choices that create more smiles for them and the planet,” said Eugene Willemsen, CEO, Africa, Middle East and South Asia, PepsiCo.

The theme for the upcoming ‘2021- 2022 PepsiCo Greenhouse Accelerator: MENA Sustainability Edition’ will be sustainable packaging and circular economy solutions, followed by other priorities in later programs, to help achieve a sustainable food system. PepsiCo will choose and support 10 companies from the MENA region that are working on accelerating environmental sustainability in the food and beverage industry through disruptive technologies focused on nurturing innovation in the areas of environmentally sustainable packaging alternatives, packaging reduction and recycling options, and sustainable recycling behavior modification to help accelerate growth for companies with a mission to be stewards of environmental sustainability for our region and the planet.

Small startups and businesses with a product, service, or system in early growth stages meeting any of the edition’s specified themes can apply online for the program before the deadline of January 10, 2022.

Those chosen for the six-month program, will be challenged to demonstrate collaboration and measurable progress, based on a mutually developed action plan. Participants will receive support in the form of a $20,000 cash grant, one-on-one mentorship via access to PepsiCo’s experts, market activation advice, and business opportunities. At the end of the program, one winning company will be selected and awarded an additional $100,000 in funding to continue its expansion, and an opportunity to extend its partnership with PepsiCo to further expedite its growth.

The PepsiCo Greenhouse Accelerator is a global mentor-led accelerator program to help food & beverage entrepreneurs grow through collaboration and by nurturing innovation. The program was launched in Europe in 2017 and North America in 2019 and has already delivered five successful editions, supporting several startups around the globe.

Several local governments across the region, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt, are doubling down on efforts to create a supportive ecosystem for startups and entrepreneurs to thrive. According to a report by MAGNiTT[1], startups in the MENA region have attracted more than $1.2 billion in funding in the first half of 2021, a 64% year-on-year growth and a 12% increase from $1 billion raised in all of 2020 – a trend that indicates the potential of startups to drive wide-ranging economic growth.

In the MENA region, PepsiCo leads the effort to drive a circular economy approach to address the issue of plastic waste through aggressive collection and recycling targets across key markets, active stakeholder engagement, consumer awareness programs, and investment in more environment-friendly packaging, such as the recently launched Aquafina cans and Sunbites compostable packaging.

For more information on the Greenhouse Accelerator Program or to apply, please visit: https://greenhouseaccelerator.com/


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