UNICEF Uganda and Outbox, a Ugandan innovation and entrepreneurship support organization have launched an innovation initiative dubbed the UNICEF Uganda Innovation Fund Challenge.
The UNICEF Uganda Innovation Fund Challenge seeks to support innovators that are using new and emerging technologies to address pressing issues faced by children and adolescents through social entrepreneurship. The initiative will address issues related to child survival and development, improving access to basic education and adolescent development for boys and girls and child protection in line with UNICEF Uganda’s objectives.
The initiative includes mentorship, linkages to market access partners, business training and product development, as well as start-up grant funding support over a period of nine months.
Innovation at UNICEF is about doing new things to solve problems and improve the lives of children. It is about matching today’s challenges we face in Uganda with tomorrow’s solutions. According to Shadrack Omol, UNICEF representative a.i., “to realize the SDGs’ vision where no one is left behind, we need to go beyond business as usual – investing in innovation and building broader, bolder partnerships that help us reach every child in Uganda”.
Despite Uganda’s steady progress in reducing maternal and under-five mortality, stunting in children, and AIDS related deaths among children, alongside improvements in access to safe water and sanitation, a number of challenges persist when it comes to the health, safety and development of children and adolescents. This initiative provides an opportunity for various stakeholders to come together and co-create solutions to address the systemic challenges faced by children and adolescents in Uganda.
Richard Zulu, chief executive officer at Outbox, added that”working with UNICEF Uganda contributes to our mission of bringing together resources that support entrepreneurs to succeed. This collaboration is an opportunity for the community to work alongside experts and bring their ideas to market, while contributing to the achievement of SDGs.”
The UNICEF Uganda Innovation Challenge Fund will support up-to eight social innovations over a period of one year. Participants with innovative ideas or solutions are encouraged to make submissions at https://unicef.innovationchallenge.ug/