YBI launches its second Innovation Challenge

Following the success of the pilot, Youth Business International (YBI) is pleased to  launch the second edition of its Innovation Challenge, in partnership with Accenture, an initiative aimed at fostering a culture of innovation across the network.

YBI is a global network of expert organisations supporting underseved young people to turn their ideas into successful businesses, creating jobs and strengthening communities. Throughout the YBI network, we are supporting more underserved young people to start and grow their own businesses than ever before – 93,828 were provided with training in 2018 alone.

This shared commitment to supporting young people is critical to future economic development. Against the background of high levels of youth unemployment and underemployment and the changing world of work, the quality support (business skills, mentoring, and finance) our members provide to young entrepreneurs must be adapted to meet the pressing challenges faced by youth. For our network to respond to these challenges, we need to continue to innovate our services and products, thus embracing a culture of innovation.

To achieve our goal, for the second edition of the Innovation Challenge, we have set three main objectives:

  1. To select and support ideas for developing digital products or services that benefit young entrepreneurs directly or indirectly, and have the potential to scale and benefit other YBI members;
  2. To strengthen the culture of innovation across the our network by developing member’s knowledge on the subject and enabling them to develop new products and services that can succeed and scale;
  3. To create and foster opportunities for member to member collaborations.

“With the great success of the first YBI Innovation Challenge in 2018, we are delighted to be launching the second initiative along with our long-standing partner, Accenture. Innovation is essential in the youth entrepreneurship sector to better respond to the needs of entrepreneurs and increase the impact of support programmes”.

– Anita Tiessen, Chief Executive Officer at YBI

The challenge

How can we improve support services for young entrepreneurs in Mentoring, Training, Access to Finance and Access to Markets, creating ‘sector-leading‘ products and services with potential to scale?

The prize

An Innovation Fund of USD $80,000 will be available to winners, with each winning a maximum of USD $40,000.

Winners will also participate in an acceleration programme, led by expert consultant Bob Dorf, one of the most knowledgeable Lean Innovation and Customer Development experts in the world.

The process

All eligible YBI network members interested in participating in the Innovation Challenge  are invited to submit an Expression of Interest. Projects selected will be invited to submit a full proposal.

The following criteria will be analysed throughout the selection process:

  • Problem validation
  • Compelling Solution
  • Impact
  • Viability of implementation
  • Scalability
  • Sustainability

Winners will be selected based on the score from the selection panel (worth 70%) and the member voting (worth 30%).

Winners will be announced by 8 November 2019 and the projects will be implemented between 18th November 2019 and 15th May 2020.

The Innovation Challenge is open to all unconditionally accredited and pre-accredited members of the YBI network. Two or three winners will be selected to implement the project during a period of 6 months. Participating organisations must be able to implement the project (focused on the development of the MVP – Minimum Viable Product of the new product or service) between November 2019 and May 2020, and be able to report their results in January and April 2020 (mid-term reports) and in June 2020 (final report). The reports will cover the implementation and financial management of the winning project.

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Those who make it possible

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Hogan Lovells

Hogan Lovells

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

Argidius Foundation

Argidius Foundation