Accelerator

Pakistan Agriculture Accelerator

Learn to scale your business and help smallholders rebuild from climate crises and protect against future shocks.

Free

7 February 2023

12 Weeks

Is your enterprise passionate about making sustainable change within agriculture in Pakistan?

Acumen Academy’s Pakistan Agriculture Accelerator offers a unique package of support for agri-entrepreneurs looking to develop a scalable social enterprise model. We’re looking for our next cohort of innovative social entrepreneurs who are looking to scale up and make an outsized impact on Pakistan’s food security by building the climate resilience of smallholder farmers.

The Problem

Climate change and poverty are inextricably linked. Climate change has disproportionately harmful effects on the world’s most vulnerable people, particularly smallholder farmers. The effects of climate change on agriculture will reverberate throughout the food supply chain: As crop yields decrease, the world could see food shortages and skyrocketing costs.  

The recent flooding in Pakisan has only.made only made the importance of creating sustainable solutions even more pressing and clarified the need for agri-entreneurs to step up and find solutions

To help smallholder farmers rebound from climate crises and protect against future shocks, all stakeholders — including agri enterprises, funders, and public institutions — must rise to the challenge of building a more climate-smart agriculture sector.

Acumen’s Pakistan Agriculture Accelerator program will guide a cohort of agri-leaders who have the grit, character, and competence to build truly scalable and sustainable solutions, and help them reimagine the agriculture ecosystem and empower Pakistan’s smallholder farmers.

Learn How To

  • Refine and develop a profitable and scalable business model
  • Test your key hypotheses for scaling
  • Build your leadership capacity and learn tools to help you be an effective agent of change
  • Develop robust strategies to bolster your financial sustainability
  • Pitch your business to investors and other stakeholders at a final showcase
  • Build networks with agri entrepreneurs and supporters in Pakistan and beyond
  • Develop the hard-edged leadership skills necessary to build better, truly inclusive, sustainable solutions

GRADUATE INTO THE ACUMEN FOUNDRY

Upon completing the 12-week program, participants are admitted to The Foundry, an invite-only community designed to accompany entrepreneurs and leaders from around the world by connecting them with the social capital (resources and relationships) to amplify their work in building a just, inclusive, and sustainable world.

Foundry members have exclusive access to:

  • Events to learn and connect with fellow foundry members
  • Professional development opportunities that may include pro-bono consulting services and professional leadership coaching
  • Experts within the Acumen Ecosystem for mentorship or advisory sessions
  • Referrals to affiliated leadership programs and platforms
  • Access to funding, grants offered ad hoc by other organizations, or referrals within the Acumen network

 

Refine Your Business Model

Determine the best next steps to reach financial sustainability.

Accelerate Your Impact

Change more lives, faster, by focusing on activities that work.

Gain Valuable Feedback

Tap into the expertise of peers—and Acumen—to solve problems in real-time.

Join A Lasting Community

Build meaningful relationships with a community of like-minded innovators.

How it Works

Over 12 weeks, you and your team will learn the essentials for building a business model that can achieve both social and environmental impact and profitability, all while connecting with a supportive network of peers and experts.

During the accelerator, you’ll dive into a curriculum that leverages Acumen’s investment strategy and our pioneering moral leadership practices to help you develop the competence and character needed to build solutions that improve the livelihoods and climate resilience of smallholder farmers across the country. As a member of the accelerator cohort, you’ll be accompanied by and empowered through a community of expert advisors, investors, and peer mentors. 

At the end of the program, the cohort will celebrate with a virtual closing ceremony, which will include an opportunity to pitch for a share of $50,000 in grant funding.

Time Commitment and Course Access

You should expect to spend up to 8 hours per week on the readings and assignments. Most of this work can be done on your own schedule.

One or two participants from the senior leadership or founding team of your social enterprise (“Lead Participants”) will be required to take part in weekly Learning Labs, workshops and consultation calls. Up to 10 colleagues from your wider team can also access the curriculum discussion boards, readings and videos via the program platform NovoEd.

Resilient, optimised agriculture value chains have a transformative impact on our planet and our people. We need to do more and we need to do it now.
Dr. Ayesha K Khan, Acumen Pakistan Country Director
For disruption and innovation in any society, specifically in the emerging markets, it's necessary to have like-minded individuals come on board and join together for a better future. I think accelerators like these are a perfect platform for this purpose
Ibrahim Qadir, Founder & CEO at Khaalis
We need leaders that are willing to do the work of reimagining our systems to put shared humanity and the sustainability of the earth at the center.
Jacqueline Novogratz, Acumen Founder & CEO

What's Included

  • Seven Learning Labs
  • One-on-one consultation calls with Acumen facilitators
  • Lessons on customer discovery, sales and marketing, financial modeling, and pitching 
  • Readings and lessons from Acumen Founder and CEO Jacqueline Novogratz’s Principles of Moral Leadership
  • Opportunity to compete for a share of $50,000 
  • Graduate into Acumen’s global Foundry community

 

 

Schedule

Module 1

Polarities Management

  • Prepared to engage in conflictual conversations, diagnose a polarity, and leverage it to drive towards a purpose
  • Diagnose and identify moments when values are in tension
  • Engage in difficult conversations and manage systems of values in tension using tools and frameworks

Module 2

Visions of Scale

  • Understand models for how impactful enterprises can scale
  • Develop a business model canvas that isolates key hypotheses for how your business model currently comes together
  • Learn about moral imagination and adaptive leadership

Module 3

Customer Insights

  • Clearly define your core customer and value proposition
  • Design customer experiments to test your most critical hypothesis

Module 4

Aligning a Pricing Marketing and Sales strategy to Your Value Proposition

  • Build a value proposition canvas using data from customer interviews and experiments
  • Begin to develop pricing models that are aligned with your value proposition
  • Build a customer funnel and identify marketing activities that bring your customer closer to the desired action

Module 5

Financial Model

  • Identify your major revenue assumptions and cost assumptions
  • Define major financial milestones for the next two years

 

Module 6

Pitching The Strategic Story of Your Business

  • Articulate a vision for scaling your enterprise that pulls together key metrics associated with your operational model, financial model, and customer insights
  • Practice pitching your business to stakeholders

Applications Open

November 2nd

Orientation

February 8th

Showcase

April 26th

Who is Qualified to Apply?

This accelerator is open to agri-entrepreneurs who:

  • Run a social enterprise (for-profit or not for-profit) based in Pakistan that is positively disrupting the agriculture sector in Pakistan and has a climate focus 
  • Have a demonstrated track record of at least 18 months and market traction (must have evidence of customer demand, for example increasing revenues)
  • Have three or more full-time staff

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FAQ

How to Qualify?

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How will participants be selected?

All applications will be reviewed once the application deadline passes. If you are selected for an interview, a member of the Acumen team will reach out to schedule a 45-minute video call with you on the Zoom platform..

What stage does my enterprise have to be in order to participate?

The curriculum focuses on preparing to scale and the program is designed for enterprises with demonstrated market traction and a team equivalent to at least three full-time staff members. The program is not relevant for startups who are still in the idea validation stage.

What types of business models will be considered?

We are looking for models that focus on a more climate resilient agriculture system in Pakistan. This includes building adaptation by working in supply chain innovations, reducing food wastage, access to markets, and finance for farmers. Here are a few examples of business models that would be a good fit:

  • Energy-efficient irrigation (e.g. solar pumps)
  • Eco-friendly inputs (e.g. organic fertilizer)
  • Water conservation technologies (e.g. low-cost borewell recharging)
  • Greenhouse models
  • Soilless farming
  • Precision agriculture, soil sensors, and satellite technology
  • Storage and/or processing solutions

Do I need to be from Pakistan to apply?

You need to be an agri-entrepreneur running a business with primary operations in Pakistan that caters to the Pakistan market. But you do not need to be a citizen of Pakistan to apply.

When and Where?

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When will the sessions be held?

Most of the assignments can be completed online at your own pace before the submission date every week. Your team’s Lead Participants will be expected to participate live during the weekly 2-hour Learning Lab sessions. The calls with the Acumen team can be scheduled at times that are mutually convenient for you and your facilitator.

Where will the sessions be held?

This is an online program. The weekly Learning Labs will be hosted virtually on the Zoom platform. You should have a stable internet connection and the ability to participate in video calls.

What are the program dates?

The program runs from February 7th until April 25th 2023.

About Acumen Academy

Acumen Academy is the world’s school for social change. Our mission is to unleash a new generation of social innovators and leaders with the character and competence to build a more just, inclusive and sustainable world. Blending the best of online and offline learning, we offer anyone, anywhere access to the practical tools, practices, resources and supportive community they need to achieve positive social change. The Acumen Academy community represents a new generation of social innovators and leaders committed to doing what’s right in a world that loves easy.

Learn more at www.acumenacademy.org.