Social entrepreneurs are making significant efforts to improve the quality of life and economic prospects of underserved people and communities in Africa.
If you are a social entrepreneur, is your venture committed to promoting the well-being and welfare of children? Are you willing to scale your innovation to the next level? If yes, then the Duke-UNICEF Innovation Accelerator 2021 might just be for you!
About the Duke-UNICEF Innovation Accelerator
A joint initiative of Duke University and UNICEF, the program was founded to equip social entrepreneurs with the knowledge, tools, and networks needed to improve the lives of children across the globe.
In line with UNICEF’s mission to give every child a fair shot in life, especially the most marginalized, the accelerator is on the lookout for social entrepreneurs who are passionate about addressing the most challenging problems children face globally.
The goal is to boost the effectiveness, sustainability, and scale of impact of some of the most promising solutions to critical challenges facing children all over the world. Six outstanding social enterprises working on sanitation and hygiene issues in Africa will be selected to participate in the program.
Benefits of participation
Throughout the duration of the 2-year Accelerator, chosen enterprises will receive:
- One-time $25,000 in grant funding;
- Personalized coaching from social enterprise experts at Duke University and field experts from UNICEF;
- Customized capacity-building curriculum;
- Duke University student support;
- Access to broad networks.
What you should expect
- Participate in online communities and webinars.
- Participate in regular calls for coaching, mentoring, and peer learning.
- Participate in the week-long Duke-UNICEF Virtual Forum on Social Innovation, held twice yearly.
- Develop a capacity-building plan for scaling their impact, with support from the Accelerator team.
- Implement and track the progress of a customized capacity-building plan, with support from the accelerator team and other mentors.
- Report relevant program performance and financial data on a semi-annual basis.
- Share insights, promising practices, lessons learned, and other knowledge with other social enterprises participating in the accelerator.
The Duke-UNICEF Innovation Accelerator invites any impact enterprise, working in or across Africa, that meet the following criteria:
- Is a for-profit, hybrid, or non-profit social enterprise.
- Based in any country, or multiple countries, in Africa.
- Has two founders/executives/senior leaders that can represent the enterprise during the period of the 2-year Accelerator and are comfortable working in English.
- Has strong proof of impact over at least 3 years and has a plan on how to utilize the Duke-UNICEF award to scale that impact in the next 3-5 years.
- Deploys a promising sanitation and hygiene product and/or service, innovative supply chain model, business model, or other approaches that have a potential for widespread, sustainable impact.
- Enterprise innovation must adhere to UNICEF Innovation Principles.
- Preference for social enterprises that have an existing working relationship (formal or informal) with UNICEF or a UNICEF country office.
- Preference for a diverse, gender-equitable team.
If you think you are a good match for the Duke-UNICEF Innovation Accelerator 2021, click here to take the eligibility quiz to find out. If you are eligible for the program, their team will send you the full application.
Entries are open until 11:59 pm ET on Friday, March 5, 2021.
Don’t miss important articles during the week. Subscribe to techbuild weekly digest for updates.