GrindstoneX is a social impact accelerator program that started in early 2023 to help female entrepreneurs in South Africa. It aims to create more job opportunities for women by choosing ten female-led startups each year to join Grindstone's 12-month growth engineering program. Naspers Labs, the youth development arm of Naspers, provides funding and support for the program. The program's interventions are tailored to make women-led startups more investible, scalable, and ready for exit. These interventions include assessments, analyses, and targeted support in areas such as business strategy, go-to-market planning, funding readiness, networking, and expert business coaching. The coaching is provided by Grindstone alumni companies who have successfully scaled or exited their businesses and includes mentorship and advice.
A closer look at Grindstone’s own Impact and ESG Goals:
We help entrepreneurs grow their businesses responsibly by providing capital and effective portfolio management. Our focus is on creating jobs to alleviate poverty, and our past Accelerator programs have resulted in 31 jobs on average and a 50% revenue increase for participating SMEs. We're proud to have increased the percentage of female founders in our cohorts to 50% and will launch our first 100% female-founded Grindstone X cohort in 2023.
Our business, investments, and processes are governed using the collective experience of our ecosystem and partners, which are our main strengths. We provide governance training and skills transfer to investees and portfolio companies to prepare them for the next funding round. Our approach is based on conscious capitalism, responsible fund management, and sustainable business growth, which guide all our actions.
Our values are inclusivity, compassion, and conscious capitalism, which motivate us to support the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs. Giving back to the community is important to us, and we dedicate our resources, such as funding, time, networks, and expertise, to create an ecosystem that cultivates a fair, just, and equitable future for the continent. We aim to achieve this by helping one entrepreneur at a time.