HiiL SME Empowerment Change 2016

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HiiL Justice Accelerator, together with the Ford Foundation, runs the SME Empowerment Challenge to promote justice solutions that empower SMEs across Africa. HiiL launched the SME Empowerment Challenge in 2015, resulting in 3 most promising initiatives that are currently being scaled. With the success of last year’s challenge, they continue our strong partnership with the Ford Foundation with the view to increase our impact in addressing challenges facing SMEs and emerging startups in Africa.

 The challenge process includes shortlisting, online campaigning, wildcard-selection, crowdfunding and pitching in front of an international audience. The winners of the challenge will receive acceleration support and an investment of up to 80.000EUR in total. The SME Empowerment Challenge 2016 runs from March to December 2016.

In 2016 innovations that have a clear link with access to justice within the SME sector are highly welcomed. Examples of innovations they seek include, but are not limited to:

  • Solutions that provide equality of opportunities for entrepreneurs to start a business

  • Services that secure better and affordable intellectual property rights for SMEs

  • Fraud- and corruption fighting tools that apply to businesses

  • Contract-enforcement mechanisms for businesses

  • Solutions that empower labour rights within the (informal) SME sector

  • Platforms that provide cost- effective and customized legal services for businesses (i.e.registration, legal advice, compliance, contracts, IP protection)

  • Data- and information sharing tools geared at legal needs of SMEs

  • Projects that promote enabling legislation, regulations and policies applying to SMEs

Shortlist selection process criteria:

  •  Innovations should be submitted between 1 March and 30 June 2016, 12 midnight CET.
  • You can only submit one innovation per Challenge. Make sure to read more about the Challenge you want to submit for on the Challenge-pages: SME Empowerment Challenge and Family Justice Challenge.
  • Innovations will be assessed on the basis of your answers as given during the submission, including the (internal) Selection Form.
  • You are encourgaed to answer all questions, be very clear and concise in your answers, and use numbers or figures where possible.
  • The main assessment criteria are:
    • Scope: is the innovation a justice solution? (Find out more here.) Does it align with the justice needs of the Challenge you apply for? Is it impacting lives in our focus areas/countries?
    • Uniqueness: does your innovation provide a distinctive, new solution to a real justice need?
    • Impact: will your innovation solve a justice need for a large number of people or businesses, in ways that they could not have imagined before?
    • Sustainability: how (financially) sustainable is your innovation? If it isn’t sustainable yet, we will explore potential ways of future sustainability.
    • Scalability: can your innovation be introduced in other regions, countries or to different customer groups?
  • We care a lot about your team (composition), because we believe that the justice entrepreneur makes the innovation. Make sure to tell us enough about your founders and/or team.

Applications from these countries in Africa are very much encouraged: Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Cameroon and South Africa.

Application closes on the 30th June, 2016. Apply here
Click here to read how it works

Click here to visit the official website.

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