Fund Partners with Village Capital on Accelerator Program to Advance Climate Justice for Migrants and Communities of Color

Tuesday April 25, 2023

Seeking 10-12 early-stage startups supporting immigrants, refugees, and communities of color disproportionately impacted by climate change

Village Capital, with support from the World Education Services (WES) Mariam Assefa Fund, today launched an accelerator program for startups creating inclusive solutions for immigrants, refugees, and communities of color disproportionately impacted by climate change in the United States.  

As a funder committed to advancing economic and social inclusion for immigrants, refugees, and communities of color, the WES Mariam Assefa Fund is proud to partner with Village Capital on this initiative. This accelerator program seeks to support and empower entrepreneurs and leaders that are building more inclusive solutions to climate resilience in their communities. As climate change continues to disproportionately impact migrants and communities of color, there is an urgent need to ensure that these communities can prepare for and respond to the impacts of natural disasters. 

Applications close on May 25, 2023. Full details and eligibility criteria can be found on the Village Capital website. 

The call for applications is open to startups in the United States building high-growth, scalable solutions to help immigrants, refugees, and communities of color mitigate and adapt to challenges related to climate change. In particular, we are looking for ways to help communities and their leaders prepare for, respond to, and recover from climate-related and other natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, droughts, air pollution, heat waves, extreme cold, and more. Village Capital is looking for 10 to 12 solutions focused on addressing: 

  • Disaster Preparedness and Recovery (Climate tech, Insurtech, Fintech) by measuring climate data and insights, forecasting climate needs, offering affordable insurance solutions, or providing tools and access to necessary financing   
  • Public Action and Efficient Response (Civic tech) by advocating a more coordinated, efficient, equitable, and rapid response to natural disasters from communities and governments, and helping immigrants, refugees, and communities of color navigate the government and its processes 
  • Resilient Housing and Cities (Proptech, Urbantech, Fintech) through access to equitable housing and fair amenities as well as upgrading to more resilient housing, including financing and design  
  • Welcoming and Supporting Immigrants and Refugees (Fintech, Healthtech, Edtech, RefugeeTech) through offering language support, upskilling or reskilling immigrants, facilitating the transfer of education credentials, or providing credit history data solutions 

From July through October 2023, the selected entrepreneurs will participate in three interactive virtual and in-person workshops to work on a milestone achievement plan and develop the necessary networks and tools to scale their impact. They will also receive one-on-one coaching and participate in mock board meetings with representatives from relevant institutions, corporations, and investors. A founder/C-suite member of each selected startup will travel with all expenses included to an in-person program summit in November 2023 to interact with one of the biggest ecosystems of the region, location to be confirmed later. 

All startups that apply to the program will be invited to join Abaca, Village Capital’s online global network that helps entrepreneurs articulate their investment and expansion readiness. The 10 to 12 selected startups will receive an equity-free grant fund of around US$20,000 for their participation and completion of the accelerator program. The exact grant amount will be determined by the final number of selected startups. The top two peer-selected startups will receive an additional investment of US$100,000 each from the WES Mariam Assefa Fund to further scale their work. 

About Village Capital  

Village Capital is reinventing the system to back the entrepreneurs of the future. Known for its groundbreaking approaches to supporting founders who are building solutions to emergent social, economic, and environmental challenges, VilCap unlocks critical social and financial capital for early-stage companies to maximize business and impact growth. 

Village Capital has operated in the US since 2009 by running over 45 accelerator programs. VilCap has supported more than 897 startups from over 43 states and 23 entrepreneur support organizations (ESO) working in sectors such as financial health, health equity, justice tech, and sustainability. Learn more at and follow @villagecapital.  

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Thank you for your interest in the WES Mariam Assefa Fund. We’ll share updates on the Fund’s efforts, what we’re learning, and opportunities through our email list.