Outbox an innovation and entrepreneurship support organization in partnership with UNICEF Uganda, on Thursday announced four Ugandan winners of the UNICEF Uganda Innovation Fund Challenge.
The four Ugandan teams will receive Shs.308 million worth of seed funding through the UNICEF Uganda Innovation Fund.
Accordingly, this funding by UNICEF will support the four selected teams and grow their innovations solutions where each innovator will receive Shs.77 million.
The four winners include; 1. SeatPack which solves 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.
2. 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.
3. Fine Reed innovates which 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).
4. 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 selected winners will also receive six months mentorship, social business training, linkages to partners in the market to enable them to realize and implement their ideas.
Speaking at the awarding event, Dr. Munir Safieldin, UNICEF Representative in Uganda said they 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”.
Launched in December 2020, 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 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.