Call for Applications: Transform East Africa Fund

Deadline: 28-Jul-23

The Association of Countrywide Innovation Hubs (ACIH) has launched the Transform East Africa Fund to reach as many startups as they can which have innovations within the areas of health, waste, water and sanitation, environment, inclusive economics, raising living standards and impact a large amount of people while at it.

This time round they are looking to get as many startups as possible to choose from giving a better and equal chance for startup in rural and marginalised areas to compete for grant funding.

Impact Areas
It is mandatory that the project must link back to at least one of the chosen impact areas.

Health and wellbeing.
Waste free world- reduce, collect and process plastic waste.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene- help low income communities access WASH.

Protect & regenerate nature- help small holders to protect and regenerate natural environments.

Digital Health- deliver inclusive healthcare that reaches low- income people.

Minimum of 2 to Maximum of 5 top startups will be awarded between 100,000 GBP to 300,000 GBP grant to further strengthen their startup innovation and allow them to scale.

All prizes will be awarded at the organizers and the judges’ discretion and will be announced at the award ceremony.
Each entry must
Have the name and contact details of those entering;

Include all other information required on the entry form;
Be from within Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia;

Be submitted to them on or before the challenge submission deadline.
Note: you can enter upto two ideas.

To receive funding from transform, projects must meet all of the following criteria:
Have a clear potential to create positive impact on low-income people’s lives in one of the six impact areas that transform funds.

Tackle social and environmental challenges in a genuinely innovative way.Projects must include a new technology, business model or approach – this could involve taking a proven business model to a new market.

Have the potential to operate in areas relevant to Unilever’s expertise and capability as the implementing partner and where Unilever can add value to the project development.Projects must be relevant to Unilever East Africa specifically.

Will generate global public goods through contributing to public knowledge or research.They must transparently publish learnings from the programme.Intellectual property generated from the projects will vest with the social entity.Unilever, the FCDO and EY cannot have exclusive use of this intellectual property.

Have a plan to create a market-based solution with the potential to reach operational sustainability.The application must come from a social enterprise, rather than an NGO.

Have a potential to reach scaleThere must be clear pathway for the proposed project to be commercially viable at scale, with assumptions which can be tested through the project in order to secure follow-on funding.The enterprise must have sufficient capacity to effectively deliver the project and to absorb the financing and in-kind support provided during the project.

All projects funded by transform must demonstrate additionality, in other words, they must not use transform funding to fund initiatives that Unilever would have funded alone. Unilever cannot receive transform funds to run internal projects and funds must be provided to third parties only.

Projects must also demonstrate that they are additional using at least one of the criteria below:Projects scoped to specifically reach low-income consumers.Projects being applied in new geographies.Projects where there is a first mover disadvantage.Projects with payback periods longer than normal commercial business cases.Projects with high-risk profiles.


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