2014 Ashoka Future Forward: Youth Innovations for Employment in Africa Challenge ( $1,500 USD Funding & all-expenses-paid trip to the Ashoka Globalizer Summit in South Africa)

Ashoka Future Forward Challenge

 

Application Deadline

  • Early Entry Deadline: October 15, 2014, 17:00h GMT
  • Final Entry Deadline: November 5, 2014, 17:00h GMT

 

If you are from sub-Saharan Africa and between the ages of 18 and 30, Ashoka and The MasterCard Foundation invite you to share how you are increasing employment opportunities for young people in Africa.

By entering this challenge, you will join a community of fellow innovators that are transforming the landscape of youth employment in Africa. Top entrants will be eligible for $1,500 USD in unrestricted funding as well as an all-expenses-paid trip to the Ashoka Globalizer Summit in South Africa where they will receive training, support, and visibility critical to their growth and to realizing the full impact of their social innovations.

As part of the Future Forward partnership, Ashoka and The Mastercard Foundation have launched the Future Forward: Youth Innovations for Employment in Africa challenge to find bold new ideas—for young people and by young people—that will address the big picture issues around youth employment in Africa.

By creating new solutions, young people can equip themselves with the right 21st century tools and skills that will lead to more meaningful, stable, and long-term careers. Through these solutions, African youth can be the leaders and changemakers that are powering a future that meets the demands of a rapidly evolving workplace.

Eligibility

  • The challenge is open to all individuals, and their organizations (not-for-profit organizations, social enterprises, businesses, schools, etc.) that are implementing, or plan to implement, the work described in their entry in sub-Saharan Africa. (This includes all African countries EXCEPT Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Western Sahara, and Sudan.)
  • Entrants must be from an eligible country in sub-Saharan Africa and between the ages of 18 and 30.
  • Entrants based outside of sub-Saharan Africa must be explicit in their entry about their plan to implement their solution in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The top five entrants that will receive an all-expense paid trip to the Ashoka Globalizer Summit in South Africa must be able to travel to South Africa for an event in early February, 2015 (this includes having a valid passport).
  • Solutions should reflect the theme of the challenge Future Forward: Youth Innovations for Employment in Africa.
  • Ashoka wants to hear how your solution is addressing youth employment in sub-Saharan Africa. Solutions that increase employment opportunities for young people, and/or increase the employability of young people are eligible. The types of solutions that are eligible could include, but are not limited to:
    • Triggering new industries, including innovations in the informal sector
    • Improving access to more inclusive and dynamic work environments for marginalized young people
    • Helping young people acquire changemaking and entrepreneurship skills to recognize and create new opportunities around market-driven solutions
    • Creating opportunities for youth employment in rural areas to decrease rural-to-urban migration
    • Creating relationships of trust and collaboration between businesses and young people that advance market-driven training and skills development programs
    • Prioritizing effective role modeling and mentorship to help young people identify careers based on interest and passions
    • Improving the models of collaboration between governments, businesses, and citizen-sector organizations for greater impact
  • Entries must be written in English, French, or Portuguese.

Prizes

Challenge Winners

The top five entries in the challenge, determined by a panel of expert judges, will receive the following prizes:

  • Ashoka Globalizer Summit: An invitation and all-expense paid trip to South Africa for the Ashoka Globalizer Summit in early February, 2015. There they will be joining an ecosystem of, and networking with, other top innovators, thought leaders, Ashoka Fellows, and potential investors that can help them scale and increase the impact of their work.
  • Funding: $1,500 USD in unrestricted funding to be used towards the implementation of the work described in their challenge entry.

Early Entry Winners

The top three entries that enter the challenge by October 15, 2014 will receive the following prize:

  • Early Entry Prize: More information about the Early Entry Prizes will be available soon.

Challenge Finalists and Semi-Finalists

The top entries in the Future Forward Challenge will be publicly recognized as semi-finalists and finalists on the Future Forward website.

Why You Should Enter

In addition to the challenge prizes, entrants in this challenge will:

  • Join a community and network of like-minded peers that are working to increase employment opportunities for young people in Africa. Participating in the challenge gives you the opportunity to forge relationships with, and gain visibility, among like-minded innovators, impact partners, sector experts, and potential investors.
  • Receive constructive feedback about your work and how you present it in your entry.
  • Explore other innovations in the field, so you learn more about what others are doing, and how your work fits into the sector.

How to Enter

  • Complete the entry form and submit it by the entry deadline: November 5, 2014 at 17:00h GMT. If you submit your entry early, you may continue to edit and modify it until this deadline

Challenge Deadlines

  • Entry Stage: September 17, 2014 – November 5, 2014, 17:00h GMT
  • Early Entry Deadline: October 15, 2014, 17:00h GMT
    • Entries received by 5 p.m. GMT on October 15, 2014 are eligible for an early entry prize. Receiving an early entry prize does not preclude you from being selected for other Challenge prizes.
  • Final Entry Deadline: November 5, 2014, 17:00h GMT
  • Judging and Evaluation: November 5, 2014 – January 14, 2015
  • Finalists Announced: January 5, 2015 (specific date to be confirmed)
  • Winners Announced: January 14, 2015 (specific date to be confirmed)
  • Ashoka Globalizer Summit: Early February, 2015 (specific date to be confirmed)

 

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Ashoka Future Forward Challenge

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