UNICEF in Ghana, in collaboration with KOICA and MEST Africa, have opened applications for the next cohort of the UNICEF StartUp Lab accelerator programme.
UNICEF StartUp Lab supports impactful tech-driven startups in Ghana working to advance the SDGs for children and young people.
Up to GHS25,000 in prototyping funding is available for each participating startup.
The StartUp Lab aims to enhance the business, technological, and communication skills of participating entrepreneurs, and advise on the product-problem fit of their social impact, tech-driven solutions.
It delivers a six-month curriculum to startups through intensive bootcamps in Accra, known as Work Weeks, as well as incubation hosted at partner hubs, mentorship, and virtual learning sessions.
UNICEF StartUp Lab again provides a unique product by integrating business incubation and wide-reaching technical expertise and systems knowledge in the social sector, amplified by the reach of UNICEF’s and KOICA’s partnerships.
While participating in the programme, young innovators will interact with UNICEF and KOICA programme experts, and learn about supporting tools available from United Nations agencies.
Participants also get the opportunity to ensure that their impact-focused business is aligned with existing development needs, while they gain access to networks that can support their work.
The UNICEF StartUp Lab is supported under the KOICA-UNICEF Accelerating Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Ghana Project. It is implemented by MEST Africa.
Besides the financial and priceless technical support from UNICEF, KOICA and MEST experts, participants also stand to gain free AWS credits, Developers’ support, to be featured on UNICEF blogs and websites,
Opportunity to present product at UN events,
Dedicated support to apply for a Digital Public Good status and a Dedicated support to apply for the $100,000 equity-free UNICEF Venture Fund funding.
To qualify for the programme, each start-up must meet the the following eligibility criteria:
– Must have been operational for one year or more
– Must be registered business in Ghana (no NGOs, foundations, or individuals)
– Must have technology as the core enabler of the business
– Must have a business model with a social impact that addresses at least one of the Sustainable Development Goals Open-source solutions.
The programme brochure said startups that are willing to open-source their solutions and startups with female founders/co-founders are particularly encouraged to apply.
It added that the program is designed to include startups from all regions of Ghana.
Applications will remain open till October 21, 2022 but actual onboarding of qualified startups is in December and the programme will come off between January and June, 2023.