Tourism Challenge

Are you a startup in the tourism sector with a solution to the UN SDGs? Apply for the Awake Tourism Challenge before 30 June 2022

Tourism Challenge

Are you a startup in the tourism sector with a solution to the UN SDGs? Apply for the Awake Tourism Challenge before 30 June 2022

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), a United Nations agency responsible for promoting responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism, invites applicants for the Awake Tourism Challenge. Through the Challenge, UNWTO seeks to support the most innovative startups working to advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The Challenge seeks solutions to six challenges: local and community involvement, green and blue economies, ecological and sustainable capita creation, tourism tech for good, tourism education, and women empowerment.

Successful applicants will benefit from the following:

  • Pitch at a UNWTO Demo Day
  • Curated mentorship programme including one-on-one and in-group sessions focused on Intellectual Property (IP), sustainability, business, and leadership
  • Connection to the UNWTO Innovation Network for meeting public and private stakeholders to explore funding and piloting opportunities
  • Potential matchmaking with partners to scale up the startups, including investors, corporations, and governments

The Challenge targets startups that meet the following criteria:

  • Innovative in nature, providing value-added solutions
  • Sustainability-driven
  • Scalable potential for international growth or to be applied by corporations and in other countries or regions
  • Early-stage or series A startup
  • Introduction or adoption of digital and technological elements
  • Have a tested pilot and business plan
  • Have been accelerated before
  • Have a full-time team including at least 2 members under 35 years; gender balance will also be considered.

Applicants will be subject to further evaluation to assess their contribution to SDGs, potential business impact, maturity of the product or technology, team and organisation maturity, and partnership readiness.

To apply for this Challenge, visit: Applications

For more information on the Challenge, visit: UNWTO Awake Tourism Challenge


early-stage venture

Are you an early-stage venture interested in scaling up? Apply for the e-Track Programme before 29 April 2022

early-stage venture

Are you an early-stage venture interested in scaling up? Apply for the e-Track Programme before 29 April 2022

The University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB) Solution Space, in partnership with Ayoba, a free instant messaging app, invites applicants for the e-Track Programme. The e-Track Programme is a three-phase early-stage venture accelerator and capacity-building programme for high-impact entrepreneurs in South Africa and beyond. It is designed to support participants in building scalable businesses with international potential.

Successful applicants take part in the following:

  • A five-week Venture Launch course that focuses on validating the venture concept
  • A twelve-week Venture Exploitation course aimed at accelerating the development of the validated venture
  • A twelve-week Venture Scaling course where ecosystem partners and investors support ventures to expand and thrive within their markets

Interested applicants should have solutions relevant to the African market and global potential. Applicants can apply in teams or as individuals as part of an existing venture. They should have a prototype or minimum viable product ready for early-market testing to further establish the product and market fit. Additionally, the initial concept should demonstrate a deep and intimate understanding of the problem and market need or opportunity.

Selected participants will benefit from the following

  • Access to technical support and mentorship from Ayoba field experts,
  • Workshops and clinics to learn fundamentals and core business skills
  • Access to pro-bono partners and a network of consultants to support with specialist expertise such as legal, human resource, digital user experience, and venture capital
  • Feedback from the Ayoba team and network of experienced mentors and industry partners
  • Networking with Ayoba’s community of vibrant entrepreneurs

To apply for this program, visit: E-track programme applications


Future to Work program

Are you an impact-driven company with a focus on solving unemployment? Apply for the Future to Work program before 29 April 2022

Are you an impact-driven company with a focus on solving unemployment? Apply for the Future to Work program before 29 April 2022

Village Capital, an impact investment company in partnership with Moody’s Foundation, invites startups across Sub-Saharan Africa to apply for the Future to Work 2022 program. Future to Work supports impact-focused startups leveraging highly sensitive data to improve quality and access to digital, financial, and healthcare services. Venture Capital aims to help entrepreneurs with investment readiness training through the program.

Successful applicants will benefit from the following during the program:

  • Networking with fellow impact-driven founders in their cohort
  • Mentorship from investors
  • Interactive, tailored training sessions to support startup companies identify early milestones and preparing them for the next round of capital
  • Coaching from an investment analyst on building a financial model, identifying unit economics, and using financial metrics
  • Feature on Village Capital’s program website and other collateral

Interested applicants must have ventures addressing unemployment through the following:

  • Technical, professional, upskilling, or reskilling programs
  • Testing and credentialing programs
  • New approaches to apprenticeship or employment matching, such as gig, job matching, and distributed manufacturing platforms
  • Financial health for informal workers and/or
  • Edtech for post-secondary and tertiary institutions

To apply for this program, visit: Future to Work Applications


Are you a social entrepreneur with an innovative idea/project that focuses on one or more of the 17 SDGs? Apply for the Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition before 15 September 2022

Are you a social entrepreneur with an innovative idea/project that focuses on one or more of the 17 SDGs? Apply for the Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition before 15 September 2022

The Entrepreneurship Campus, a foundation that empowers social entrepreneurs globally to create a culture of entrepreneurship, invites applicants to their Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition. The Competition seeks participants with innovative ideas and projects with societal impact, focusing on one or more of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Competition comprises two categories – the Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship category and the Adult Citizen Category. Interested participants between 13 and 29 years can apply to the Youth Citizen category, and interested participants with 30 years and above can apply to the Adult Citizen Entrepreneurship category. All applications have to be made in English.

Interested participants will have the opportunity to take two voluntary free courses before applying to the Competition to help them develop a sustainable business model from their ideas. The two courses (Brain versus Capital and Sustainable Entrepreneurship Course) will aid participants in changing or upgrading their existing ideas or projects.

Applicants who pass the preliminary will be invited to provide more details about their idea/project in a second entry form. Ideas/projects that will pass the initial screening will be published on the competition website to be voted on, commencing on 1 June 2022.

To apply for this Competition, visit: CEC Registration


Startup

Are you a tech startup interested in scaling up your business? Apply for the Microsoft for Startups challenge before 23 May 2022

Are you a tech startup interested in scaling up your business? Apply for the Microsoft for Startups challenge before 23 May 2022

Microsoft for Startups, a global program supported by a team of startup veterans and industry experts, invites applicants for the Microsoft for Startups Challenge. Microsoft for Startups aims to provide a customized set of offerings and resources to support tech startups grow from ideation to scale.

Through the challenge, participants will gain:

  • Opportunity to unlock up to $150,000 in free Azure credits (a perk offered by Microsoft to save money on your cloud bill)
  • Access to robust development and productivity tools, including GitHub and Microsoft 365
  • Mentorship guidance from business and technical experts
  • Startup-friendly offers from Microsoft partners
  • Access to VivaTech onsite event (annual networking event for tech entrepreneurs)

Interested applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a startup engaged in developing a software-based product or service that will form a core piece of your current or intended business – this software must be owned, not licensed
  • Have a startup that has not already received more than a total of $10,000 in free Azure
  • Have headquarters residing in the countries covered by our Azure global infrastructure (including…[insert ones relevant to us in Africa])
  • Have a startup that has not gone through a Series D or later funding round
  • Have a for-profit business that is not an educational institution, government entity, personal blog, dev shop, consultancy, agency, bitcoin or crypto mining company

To apply for the Microsoft for Startups Challenge, create an account at Challenge Signup


Clean energy

Are you looking for funding for your climate or clean energy project or to scale up your existing business? Apply for the PFAN’s climate and clean energy program before 1 May 2022

Are you looking for funding for your climate or clean energy project or to scale up your existing business? Apply for the PFAN’s climate and clean energy program before 1 May 2022

 

The Private Financing Advisory Network, a global network of climate and energy financing experts, invites applicants to the climate and clean energy program. PFAN provides free business coaching and investor matchmaking to promising climate and sustainable energy entrepreneurs globally.

Through the program, selected participants undergo intensive one-on-one coaching to perfect their business plans, financial structures, and investment pitches. Additionally, successful participants may be invited to present their projects at the PFAN and partner events or receive tailored investment facilitation services.

Interested applicants must fulfil the following criteria to apply:

  • Be from low and middle-income countries, click here for a complete list
  • Provide climate change adaptation benefits
  • Offer or use sustainable energy technologies, products or services that fall within PFAN’s areas of work

To apply, visit: Climate and Clean Energy project Applications


SDGs

Are you a social entrepreneur with a solution aligned with the UN's SDGs? Apply for the UNLEASH Plus incubation program before 10 April 2022

Are you a social entrepreneur with a solution aligned with the UN’s SDGs? Apply for the UNLEASH Plus incubation program before 10 April 2022

UNLEASH, a non-profit organisation founded in 2016 with the aim of developing solutions to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and building capacity for youth globally, invites applicants for the UNLEASH Plus incubation program. UNLEASH Plus is a 6-month incubation program for entrepreneurs working on social and environmental challenges in line with the UN’s SDGs. Through the program, participants will receive skills development training, tools, and mindsets to test their early-stage solutions and design for large scale impact.

Through a partnership with Chemonics International, UNLEASH Plus supports teams with existing prototypes to become impactful social ventures. Additionally, participants will have access to learning materials, the opportunity to join interactive workshops, receive direct support from experts, and make connections to investors and partners during the program to accelerate intended impact.

The program will be implemented in 3 phases, including:

The Basecamp: Basecamp is a practical two-day event where participants meet and witness pitches from other teams in their cohort. Participants also engage with their mentors and align on the vision, business model and priorities for their 6-month plan during the program.

The Ascension: The second phase is the core 21-week virtual program that focuses on team development, solution testing and refinement, strategy, and pitching. During this phase, the goal is to launch the first complete solution that will attract the right customers, partners, and funders to accelerate the participant’s journey. Teams will also have direct access to Potentialife, a leadership and team effectiveness program that also serves as a core part of the program.

The Bootcamp: in-person program in India for top 25 teams.

The last phase is the in-person finale of UNLEASH Plus during the Global Innovation Lab Karnataka (India). During this phase, teams will receive intensive support from world-class experts to refine strategies, meet with potential partners and pitch their solutions to investors awarding cash prizes at the Dragon’s Den.

Interested applicants should fulfil the following to apply

  • Have at least 2 active team members participating throughout the program
  • Be willing to commit at least 4 hours per team per week throughout the program
  • Have at least half of the team members aged 35 years or younger
  • Have a validated, working prototype of a solution that addresses one or more of the SDGs
  • Have documented feedback, references, or testimonials from early testing with actual users or prospective customers that demonstrate market demand for the solution
  • Have a solution responsive to one or more of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Be a legal entity with the ability to receive funds
  • Have raised a maximum of 50,000 USD raised to date

To apply for the program, visit: Submit application


advisory services

Are you an early-stage social enterprise interested in scaling? Apply for the BfE Incubation Programme before 1 April 2022 or 1 October 2022

Are you an early-stage social enterprise interested in scaling? Apply for the BfE Incubation Programme before 1 April 2022 or 1 October 2022

Bridges for Enterprise, a non-profit organization that provides pro bono advisory services to social innovators in the developing world, invites applicants for the BfE Incubation Programme. The programme lasts for 6 to 8 months, with multiple implementation stages customized to best support participants to scale their social enterprises. Recruitment will happen in two separate cohorts with deadlines of 1st April for spring applicants and 1st October 2022 for autumn applicants.

Through the programme, participants will be offered consulting and financial advisory services as well as optional legal and technical advisory services. The consulting, financial and legal advisory services will each have a 3 to 4 months timeline, while the technical advisory services will have a timeframe of 3 to 6 months.

The programme will accept social enterprises that demonstrate the following:

  • A unique minimum viable product (MVP) that addresses key development challenge
  • Revenue-generating business model with at least months in operation
  • Generates positive environmental or social impact in the communities you serve
  • Leadership team that demonstrates a track record of commitment

Additionally, the programme is suitable for social enterprises which fulfil the following:

  • Be a for-profit or non-profit social enterprise
  • Be an early-stage start-up at the pre-seed or seed stage
  • Have an existing product or service and have started earning revenue
  • Be legally established in Africa, Asia, Latin America or the Middle East
  • Demonstrate a clear path to financial returns and impact

To apply for this programme, visit: Submit Application


Katapult Africa

Are you a business in the Agritech or Foodtech industry interested in scaling your business? Apply for the Katapult Africa Accelerator Program

Are you a business in the Agritech or Foodtech industry interested in scaling your business? Apply for the Katapult Africa Accelerator Program 

Katapult, an investment company focused on highly scalable impact tech startups, has opened applications for the Katapult Africa Accelerator Program for startups in Agritech and Foodtech. Selected participants will benefit from training from experts, local and international mentorship, and access to a global network. Additionally, a select group of participants in the Accelerator program will receive seed capital.  

All startup businesses in the Agritech and Foodtech industry are encouraged to apply. 

To apply for Katapult Africa Accelerator Program, visit: Application Form  


empower women

Are you a social entrepreneur with an innovative solution focused on empowering women and girls? Apply for the Innovations to Empower Women and Girls Challenge before 30 March 2022!

Are you a social entrepreneur with an innovative solution focused on empowering women and girls? Apply for the Innovations to Empower Women and Girls Challenge before 30 March 2022! 

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in partnership with World Intellectual Property Organizational (WIPO), and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) are launching the Innovations to Empower Women and Girls Challenge (the Challenge). The Challenge was launched to develop further and position innovative solutions to scale to help combat inequalities and advance the empowerment of women and girls in all their diversity. 

Through the Challenge, UNFPA aims to support social enterprises registered in UNFPA programme countries to pivot from grant-making models to self-sustaining financial models. Participants in the Challenge will receive mentorship, technical assistance in key focus areas including intellectual property management and business modelling, and grants of up to USD 60,000.  

Interested applicants must fulfil the following to apply: 

  • Company, including any joint venture/consortium members and any of its individual members, must not be under procurement prohibitions derived from the Compendium of United Nations Security Council Sanctions Lists at the time of application 
  • Company, including any joint venture/consortium members and any of its individual members, has not been suspended, debarred, sanctioned, or otherwise identified as ineligible by any UN Organization or the World Bank Group 
  • Innovation must be implemented in the UNFPA programme country in which the company is registered  
  • The proposed innovation should promote the empowerment of women and girls and contribute to one of the following challenges: 
  • Ending unmet need for family planning 
  • Ending preventable maternal deaths 
  • Ending gender-based violence and harmful practices 

(See descriptions here) 

  • Company must have already tested a prototype, undergone proof of concept, and have a minimum viable product (MVP) that has been piloted and is ready to be positioned to scale; the MVP must belong to the submitting organization 
  • Innovative solution must have a viable pathway to scale and sustainability via the market or public sector (definition as per UN Innovation Toolkit: driving adoption beyond the initial pilot’s target population) 
  • No similar solution to the one being proposed, or the proposed solution delivers more development impact per dollar or is more cost-effective than other ways of achieving the same objectives; there must be evidence to support this claim 

 

Interested applicants must register on the UNFPA platform to submit an expression of interest to be shortlisted for proposals.  

 

To register on the UNFPA Innovation Challenge platform, visit: Registration 

To submit an expression of interest for this Challenge, visit: Applications  

For more information on the Challenge, visit: Innovations to Empower Women and Girls Challenge