Participate in SME Empowerment Innovation Challenge for a shot at $40k Seed Investment

by | May 28, 2015

Towards helping Small and Medium Enterprises in Africa tackle some of the challenges they face, HiiL Innovating Justice in partnership with Global Agenda Council on Justice and the Ford Foundation is calling on East and West African SMEs to participate in the SME Empowerment Innovation Challenge.

Up for grabs for the winners of the SME Empowerment Innovation Challenge is $70,000.

Despite the part that SMEs play in economic development as well as employment generation, they still face challenges. The SME Empowerment Innovation Challenge look to help these important players curtail some of these challenges.

“The SME Empowerment Innovation Challenge is geared towards finding and strengthening new initiatives that can empower startups and SMEs.”


Through the challenge, the organisations behind the idea are keen on supporting the best innovative ideas, while also helping out with regulatory hurdles that youths faced on the regions.

The Challenge

Do you think you have what it take to get up to $40,000, then you might want to consider the following:

  • How innovative is your idea? What is your unique selling proposition?
  • Is there potential for scaling-up? Even up to international level
  • Is the innovation financially sustainable? Is it commercially viable?
  • What is the (potential) impact of the innovation?
  • The extent of the problem you are trying to solve -Does it transcend borders?

Challenge Schedule

1 – 17 September, 2015: Innovations will campaign online on Innovative Justice and the top online campaign top three will be invited to the Innovating Justice Boostcamp in Lagos. Three wildcards will also be invited.

October 2015: HiiL will host an Innovating Justice Boostcamp in Lagos where speakers will share their insights. Incubation sessions will boost the progress of the attending innovators, through coaching and they would also get to pitch their innovations.

“Six innovators will be invited to the Boostcamp- three winners of the online campaign and three wildcard nominations. The six innovators will be hosted in the same accommodation so that they can continue to work together, exchange lessons learned and share opportunities during the rest of their three day stay.”

The innovations would be evaluate according to


  • the online campaign
  • the outcomes of the Boostcamp
  • and the innovations’ inherent strenghts.

And after evaluation, three most promising innovations will be announced as winners of the challenge at the Innovating Justice Forum on 3 & 4 December 2015 where they would receive the Innovating Justice Award.

The Cash

The top three SMEs gets $40,000, $20,000 and $10,000 for first, second and third place respectively, as seed funds.

Aside that, the finalists have access to an international network towards international partnerships while also learning from other attendants at the two-day Innovating Justice Forum, where they would pitch to an international audience.

Apply here

Feature Image Credit: Watch Dog Wire

Yinka Awosanya
Yinka Awosanya

Mobile & African Tech Enthusiast │ Data Analyst │ Music

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