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Youth-led Innovation Challenge For Young People, Startups And SMEs (Win €10,000 Awards)

Youth-led Challenge

Application for the Youth-led Innovation Challenge is ongoing. This is an Innovation Challenge that supports locally-led innovations to address challenges heightened by COVID-19. It is for young people, startups, and small businesses registered in Nigeria, Egypt, and Somali land.

So, if you are motivated to address the crisis in creative ways that can help your immediate community, customers, suppliers, and business model during this outbreak, this innovation challenge is for you.

See Also: YLEAD Virtual Fellowship 2020 For Aspiring Young Leaders In Nigeria

Start Your Business in 30 Days Even If You Don't Have An Idea
Start Your Business in 30 Days Even If You Don’t Have An Idea

About The Youth-led Innovation Challenge

The Work in Progress! Alliance is an initiative that seeks to enable young people from diverse backgrounds to generate sustainable living wages and create optimism about their future in Egypt, Nigeria, and Somalia. Sponsored by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Alliance consists of Oxfam Novib, Venture Capital for Africa, Butterfly Works, and a number of national partners in the project countries.

The Work in Progress! team believes that locally-led innovations should be harnessed and supported to solve the challenges that the Coronavirus outbreak has heightened. The Innovation Challenge is a competition that Oxfam is launching in Egypt, Nigeria, and Somalia. It will provide two €10,000 awards in each country.

Additionally, the winners of the challenge will be eligible for technical support from partners including the possibility of mentorship from Innovation Challenge participants in the other project countries. The award is meant to assist each winner to develop, implement, and put in full operation an innovative solution to help alleviate their community or business from the impact of the Coronavirus.

Majorly, through the innovation challenge, The Work in Progress! project aims to support and learn from youth-initiated innovative action that addresses a common challenge across all the three project countries. Then, successful project experiences and lessons learned will be shared through the Work in Progress! and Oxfam networks.

See Also: Rainforest Alliance’s Africa Cocoa Fund (ACF) For Certified Cocoa Farmers

Selection process

This innovation challenge is for young people, startups, and small businesses registered in Egypt, Nigeria, and Somali land. Candidates will apply online by completing an application form (below), elaborating plans for the innovation project, presenting a proof of concept and budget. A panel of judges will review and score all applications and invite the best applicants to pitch their ideas and proposals through a virtual presentation. The panel will then select two winners (per country).

Youth-led Innovation Challenge Eligibility criteria

You are eligible to apply if you meet the following requirement;

  1. As a principal applicant, you should be under 35 years of age. Preference will be given to female-led innovators.
  2. In the case of a startup or SME, you must be a registered company in Egypt, Nigeria, or Somaliland.
  3. Confirms that the individual or company is not in any way involved in activities such as arms, tobacco, alcohol, and gambling industries, registered in so-called tax-havens, or involved in environmental or human rights abuses or corruption.
  4. The proposed innovation project can be implemented in the period of Oct 2020 – Feb 2021.

See Also: Transforming Nigerian Youths Program For Young Nigerians

Youth-led Innovation Challenge Assessment Criteria

Your applications will be judged based on the following;

  1.  Creative Covid-19 related solution (25%): Your project idea clearly demonstrates a new or innovative approach to tackling the impacts of the coronavirus. Identifies a specific challenge and applies a creative social or technical solution that is not widely being applied elsewhere in the country. The idea does not have to be original, but it should be creative (a fresh take on an old idea can be worth as much as a brand new idea). The impact of focus on youth and women is important.
  2. Viability of proposal (25%): Your proposed project is described clearly and is relevant to addressing the problem or the need identified. It is viable and feasible to implement the project in a short time frame. The budget is realistic considering the proposed activities and time frame. Your own contribution (financial or material) will be considered a plus.
  3. Strength of team/entrepreneur (25%): Your team has the qualifications and experience to implement the project successfully. Motivation and ideas are clearly communicated. The team has unquestionable integrity. More so, having women on the team is considered a plus.
  4. Potential for sustainability (25%): The ability to recreate the innovation/approach is crucial to helping other affected regions or communities. The innovative proposal should, therefore, be potentially replicable or scalable either through effective demonstration or documentation. In the case of applications by business enterprises, the innovation should show a clear business model with a realistic growth strategy.

See Also: GSMA Innovation Fund For Assistive Tech In Africa And Asia


Go from idea to starting your business in 30 days
Go from idea to starting your business in 30 days
  1. The deadline for applications is 24 September 2020.
  2. Thereafter, you will be invited to pitch your idea after the shortlisting by the judges.
  3. Winners will be notified shortly thereafter, following which grant contracts will be processed.
  4. The innovation projects will be implemented from October 2020 – February 2021.

See Also: McKinsey Young Leaders Programme Fellow – Africa Delivery Hub

The deadline for the application is September 24, 2020. If you are interested in the Youth-led Innovation Challenge, read more and apply using this link; https://vc4a.com/wip/work-in-progress-innovation-challenge-nigeria/

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