SHAKE Climate Change: Entrepreneurs shake up the agri-food sector


We’ve all heard about Climate Change. But did you know that growing your food and getting it to your plate contributes nearly a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions – just one percentage less than electricity?

SHAKE Climate Change is a revolutionary entrepreneurship programme which aims to reduce climate impacts in the agriculture sector by finding entrepreneurs with innovative and sustainable solutions to food and farming. SHAKE was established with a £3.5 million investment from the SG UK Foundation, the bank’s corporate foundation in the UK, and it has been involved in the programme’s development over the past three years.

The programme is delivered by a consortium of leading scientific research and academic institutions, combining agricultural research expertise, technological know-how and strong business experience. Led by Rothamsted Research, SHAKE brings together experts from Cranfield University, University College London and the University of Hertfordshire, to provide an intensive, tailored programme of mentoring over an initial four-month period followed by the chance to pitch for funding investment and prolonged aftercare.

Since its launch in 2019, SHAKE has supported over 30 entrepreneurs to grow their business propositions and has directly invested in seven new ventures. Now part way through its third year, the programme is supporting a new cohort through the training and mentoring phase to prepare them for the investment presentations planned for later in the year.

SHAKE has to date invested nearly £1 million directly in ventures, helping seven companies to grow and creating jobs in this vital area. The range of ideas in the SHAKE portfolio is extensive, from a new system to feed hens to using sugar dots to increase crop yields and turning farm waste into renewable energy. Collectively, the portfolio is aiming to reduce three million tonnes per year of carbon dioxide by the medium term of market development. That’s equivalent to the emissions of 600,000 passenger cars annually.

“The Societe Generale UK Foundation has not only provided the vital funding to make this programme happen, they have been involved and supported us through every stage of its development. SHAKE Climate Change, the investments and future climate impact would not have happened without their enthusiasm and backing.”

Angela Karp, SHAKE Climate Change Programme Director and Director and Chief Executive of Rothamsted Research

You can read more about these new companies and their positive climate impact in the SHAKE Climate Change 2020 Annual Report. To stay up to date with SHAKE’s progress, follow their LinkedIn account here.