2020 Oxfam Work in Progress Alliance youth Innovation Challenge

Youths are invited to apply for 2020 Oxfam Work in Progress Alliance youth Innovation Challenge.  The aim of the challenge is to enable young people from diverse backgrounds to generate sustainable living wages and create optimism about their future in Egypt, Nigeria, and Somalia. The challenge is 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 our project countries.

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Challenge details

  • Eligible countries: Egypt, Nigeria, and Somalia
  • Benefits: €10,000 for 2 persons in each country, technical support from our partners
  • The deadline for applications is 24 September 2020.


  • The principal applicant should be under 35 years of age. Preference will be given to female-led innovators.
  • In case of a startup or SME, the applicant must be a registered company in Egypt, Nigeria, or Somaliland.
  • The applicant 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. The proposed innovation project can be implemented in the period of Oct 2020 – Feb 2021.

Selection process

  • This Innovation Challenge is for young people, startups and small businesses registered in Egypt, Nigeria and Somaliland. 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).


Applicants will be invited to present their pitches after the shortlisting is done by the judges.

Winners will be notified shortly thereafter, following which grant contracts will be processed.

The innovation projects will be implemented from October 2020 – February 2021.

Assessment criteria

  • Creative Covid-19 related solution (25%): The project idea clearly demonstrates a new or innovative approach to tackling the impacts of the coronavirus. The project 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 focus on youth and women is important.
  • Viability of proposal (25%): The proposed project is described clearly and is relevant to addressing the problem or 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. The applicant’s own contribution (financial or material) will be considered a plus.
  • Strength of team / entrepreneur (25%): The team has the qualifications and experience to implement the project successfully. Motivation and ideas are clearly communicated. The team has unquestionable integrity. Having women on the team is considered a plus.
  • 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.

How to apply

Whether you are an impact-driven startup, SME or an energetic individual, you can apply online to the youth-led innovative challenge and receive support for your ideas.

For More Information, Visit the Official Webpage


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