Women Powering Work competition – $25,000 Prize for the Most Innovative Projects (for North Africans)

Application Deadline: November 6 2013

GE and Ashoka Changemakers are seeking your innovative solutions that will advance economic opportunities for women in MENA, strengthen their families and communities, and enable them to benefit equitably from economic growth.

Three winners of Women Powering Work: Innovations for Economic Equality in the MENA Region will each receive US $25,000 in unrestricted funding to support their innovations. Enter before the early entry deadline (October 2, 2013) to be eligible to win one of two additional cash prizes of US $1,000. The entry period closes on November 6, 2013.


The competition is open to all individuals, organizations, and partnerships from around the world.

Entries may originate in any country, but must have their primary point of impact within one or more of the following countries:

  • Afghanistan
  • Algeria
  • Bahrain
  • Egypt
  • Iraq
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Morocco
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Yemen

Idea phase entries are eligible, and we encourage their entry. However, the judges are better able to evaluate programs that are beyond the conceptual stage and have demonstrated a proof of impact. Entries must be submitted in English, Arabic, or French.


Three prizes, each totalling US $25,000 in unrestricted funding to support your innovation.

Early entry prizes, one of two US $1,000 prizes (if you enter before October 2, 2013).

How to enter:

Read these step-by-step instructions or watch this video. Read these tips about how to create a better entry and boost your chances of winning.

Please complete the entry form in its entirety and submit by the deadline, 6 p.m. EST on November 6, 2013.

Assessment Criteria

Winners of the Women Powering Work: Innovations for Economic Equality in the MENA Region competition will be those that best meet the following criteria:


The best entries will be those that demonstrate a substantial difference from other initiatives in the field. Distinctiveness will be given a high ranking by the judges. Innovation does not necessarily involve inventing something entirely new. It may comprise new products or processes, as well as new applications or hybrid combinations of existing tools. Entries should describe how their solutions are driven by original, ground-breaking ideas.

Social Impact:

Entries should describe how the innovation advances economic equality for women in MENA. Entries should reflect an understanding of the systemic barriers within the innovation’s specific context, and should describe how the innovation impacts these barriers. The best solutions will have demonstrated impact, as well as the potential for scaling-up and replication. Entries should explain how the solution measures social impact through both quantitative and qualitative data.


Entries should have a clear plan for reaching long-term goals and securing financial backing – they should describe not only how they currently finance their work, but also how they plan to finance it in the future. They should also have a realistic time frame for implementation. The most successful entrants demonstrate that they have strong partnerships and support networks to address ongoing needs, and to aid in scalability and the maintenance of a clear financial strategy.

Deadlines and Procedures

Online competition submissions are accepted until 5 p.m. EST on November 6, 2013. At any time before this deadline, competition participants are encouraged to revise their entries based on questions and insights that they receive through the Changemakers online discussion. Participation in the conversation enhances an entrant’s prospects in the competition, and provides the community and the judges with an opportunity to understand the entrant’s project more completely.

There are five main phases in the competition:

  • Entry Stage:
    Beginning August 21, 2013, entries can be submitted until 5 p.m. EST on November 6, 2013. Throughout this stage, anyone can participate in an online review discussion with the entrants.
  • Early Entry Deadline, October 2, 2013:
    Entries received by 5 p.m. EST on October 2, 2013 are eligible for the Early Entry prize. Being an Early Entry Prize winner does not preclude you in any way from winning the competition, nor does it guarantee finalist status. All entries will be evaluated equally at the completion of the entry period using the Changemakers criteria.
  • Entry Deadline, November 6, 2013, 5 p.m. EST.
  • Judging and Evaluation: November 6, 2013 – January 15, 2014
  • Winners Announced, January 15, 2014

Click Here to Enter your Idea

Click Here to Nominate Someone

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Women Powering Work Competition


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