Open Innovation challenge & call for youth led social entrepreneurship solutions addressing development challenges facing youth in Africa

Young people have the potential to act as agents of change and are significantly contributing to sustainable development globally and in Africa. Their innovations are making a difference in Africa, but their stories are yet to be heard to inspire others and strengthen political, policy and investment commitments by key stakeholders.

In efforts to support innovative youth entrepreneurs and facilitate knowledge management
and exchange, UN Women, in collaboration with its partners, will host the Africa Youth Conference 2018 on 23 – 25 October 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya.

The conference, under the theme of “Unleashing the Potential of Youth in Africa –Prioritizing Investment in Youth Development in the Post-2015 Agenda”, will offer a platform for young people and key stakeholders to showcase their work, share ideas,experiences and innovative approaches for effectively addressing youth challenges in Africa,with a special focus on addressing the challenges facing women and girls.

The SDG Challenge Within the Africa Youth Conference 2018, UN Women partners with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to conduct a challenge and award grant financing to help African youth entrepreneurs to develop and implement their innovative solutions that address SDG challenges in their communities, especially those targeted at bridging the gender gap in their countries.

The grants follow the Open Innovation Challenge of “YAS! Youth for Africa and SDGs”, which UNDP implements in partnership with Accenture. YAS! is a portal-platform for Africa’s youth entrepreneurial ecosystem. It supports the development and growth of youth entrepreneurship in Africa by creating a marketplace for eco-system players, namely investors, large corporates and governments.

This Challenge invites African youth entrepreneurs to step forward to help realise the Goals of Africa: We call on young people, especially women and girls, to present us with their innovations for SDG attainment in their communities and countries across Africa. Areas of
particular relevance for this Challenge include youth access to sustainable livelihoods,youth
engagement in governance / political participation, leadership and decision making, as well as youth action in preventing violence and other harmful practices against young women and girls.

Application deadline: September 18th 2018

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Are you African, aged between 15 and 35 years?
  • Do you have an innovative, replicable, scalable idea that could transform your community,country…or even Africa? Would you like to contribute towards the attainment of the SDGs and therein especially gender-related targets and indicators of SDG1 (poverty), SDG 5 (gender equality and empowerment of women and girls), SDG8 (decent employment) andSDG 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure)?
  • Do you have the passion to help Africa progress- but struggle to find the support you need to turn your idea into reality.

Benefits

Winning entries will receive funding to develop, validate and scale innovative ideas. The
grants will be awarded to entrepreneurs who would like to test their innovative solutions or
grow existing ventures, as per the following categories:

Idea Stage: 5,000 USD (seed grants)

Growth Stage: 10,000 USD (scale grants)

The innovators selected for the funds will be acknowledged and presented with awards
during the Africa Youth Conference in October 2018. In selected cases, UNDP and Accenture will also provide business development support to winning innovators, including access to mentors and capacity building to implement their solutions.

From the applications, UN Women, in collaboration with UNDP, will also identify additional
youth entrepreneurs that have particularly innovative solutions to also invite them to the
Africa Youth Conference, where their ventures will be profiled and exhibited. So, even if you
do not make it for the grants, you could still secure yourself a trip to Kenya to exchange
with other youth innovators on your solutions to support the attainment of the SDGs!

How to apply

To apply for the Challenge and stand a chance to win grant funding to pursue your
entrepreneurship venture and/or profile your innovative idea/solution, fill and submit the
form.

In addition to your written response, you are encouraged to make multimedia submissions. This can include a short video (which can be recorded using a phone) narrating in a
summary form your initiative or high-resolution action photographs of the solution

For More Information,please download http://www2.unwomen.org/-/media/field


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