Four Ugandan Innovators Receive Seed Funding Worth UGX 308 Million from UNICEF
Outbox, in partnership with UNICEF Uganda, has announced four teams that will receive UGX 308 million seed funding to support them develop and grow their innovative solutions. Each innovator will receive UGX 77 million.
The provisional winners, selected by an independent panel of judges, will also receive six months of mentorship, social business training, and linkages to partners in the market to enable them to realize and implement their ideas.
The UNICEF Uganda Innovation Fund Challenge, funded by UNICEF, is supporting innovative approaches and solutions to address challenges faced by children in Uganda. A total of 285 people applied to participate in the fund of which 168 were ineligible. The eligible 117 applications were vetted and reviewed through a competitive process.
The challenge is specifically focusing on early childhood survival and development; improving access to basic education and adolescent development for girls and boys aged 13 – 19; and ensure that children are free from all forms of violence, abuse, neglect, and exploitation, including harmful practices.
“At UNICEF, we encourage innovation as it offers out of the box and non-conventional solutions to challenges facing the realization of children’s rights. With new innovative thinking we can take child survival and development to new higher levels of excellence. Innovations offer agility, efficiency and effectiveness,” said Dr. Munir Safieldin, UNICEF Representative in Uganda.
Richard Zulu, founding partner and Outbox Hub Lead said, “The UNICEF Uganda Innovation Fund Challenge is an initiative that will further grow the social entrepreneurship movement in Uganda, where young people and other private sector actors are encouraged and supported to address societal challenges in sustainable ways. Getting the private sector to co-create and collaborate with development partners is a good recipe for innovation.”
The initiative is planning to launch another call for applications where other participants will have an opportunity to have their solutions and ideas supported by the same initiative.
The teams selected include:
- SeatPack: We are solving the lack of affordable, classroom furniture by providing a school bag that turns into a mobile bamboo classroom chair with a writing surface to help Primary School Children read and write in more dignified conditions indoors and outdoors, while social distancing for safety against Covid19.
- Safe Water Harvester: A solar powered device that traps humidity/water vapor from the atmosphere providing clean and affordable water to the underserved rural communities, schools & communities at any time.
- Fine Reed innovates: Fine Reed innovates and commercializes energy solutions to promote SDGs 4 (Quality Education), 5 (Gender Equality), 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), and 13 (Climate Action).
- KAINO Africa: An EdTech (Education Technology) product that provides nursery schools and parents in Uganda with access to quality curriculum aligned STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) blended lesson guides which they deliver to their learners using our web and mobile applications and is able to teach children how to read and write in only one month.
The UNICEF Uganda Innovation Fund Challenge was launched on 22nd December 2020 by Outbox and UNICEF.
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.