ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA (March 31, 2017) – Reach for Change Ethiopia has launched two innovation competitions to find Addis Ababa’s top social entrepreneurs with ideas to improve the lives of children, youth and women.

The non-profit organization and its partners will award a total of 45 social entrepreneurs with a grant of Birr 40,000 each and a place in its Accelerator Program, where they will receive coaching in business development, leadership, expansion strategy and more. Having launched two separate competitions, Reach for Change is seeking to support a diverse group of social entrepreneurs to help them effectively solve pressing social challenges in a variety of fields.

“Social entrepreneurship has really started to take off in Ethiopia over the last couple of years as a sustainable approach to development. It enables local entrepreneurs to solve challenges in society and impact Ethiopia in innovative and lasting ways,” said Anna Chojnicka, Reach for Change Ethiopia Country Manager. “We are very excited to be expanding our support this year with 2 competitions that will support 45 exceptional entrepreneurs with the funding, tools and skills that they require to make a big impact on society.”

Chojnicka added that Reach for Change welcomes applicants from anyone with an interest in making positive change for children, youth and women, and said that they especially encourage applications from women.

Both competitions are running at the same time, but have different focus areas:

Competition 1: Big Ideas for Children Challenge

Run in partnership with the IKEA Foundation, the Big Ideas for Children Challenge will select 20 promising social entrepreneurs with ideas to improve children’s lives in Addis Ababa. The ideas must focus on one or more of the following areas: early childhood development, pre- and/or primary education and child protection.

Successful applicants will have ideas that have the potential to impact the lives of many children in Ethiopia or even globally and which can be financially sustainable in the long term. Ideas for improving early childhood development could include those that tackle health, nutrition and hygiene, and cognitive, social, physical and emotional development among children from 0 – 6 years old. Ideas for pre and primary education must be centered around improving access to and quality of education for all children. Ideas that focus on child protection may include initiatives that target children aged 0-15 involved in child labour, living and working on the street, victims of commercial sexual exploitation, victims of violence and abuse, orphans and child-headed households.

The 20 winners of the competition will receive a grant of Birr 40,000 each and a spot in the Reach for Change Accelerator to further develop their ideas.

To apply for this competition, visit: ethiopia.reachforchange.org/apply/bigideaschallenge. Applications must be submitted by 11:59pm on April 30, 2017.

Competition 2: Digital Social Innovators Challenge
Run in partnership with the Kavli Trust, British Council and European Union, the Digital Social Innovators Challenge will select 25 promising digital social entrepreneurs with ideas to improve the lives of children, youth and women in Addis Ababa.

The successful applicants for this competition will have innovative digital ideas that offer fresh new ways to solve challenges for children, youth and women. They will have strong potential to create wide scale social impact, to be financially sustainable in the long term and to create system change – meaning that they will solve issues at the societal level and in a lasting way.

The 25 winners of the competition will receive a grant of Birr 40,000 each and a spot in the Reach for Change Accelerator to further develop their ideas.

To apply for this competition, visit: ethiopia.reachforchange.org/apply/digital-innovators-challenge. Applications must be submitted by 11:59pm on April 30, 2017.

Inquiries or comments about either competition are welcomed at ethiopia@reachforchange.org.

About Reach for Change
Reach for Change Ethiopia is a part of Reach for Change Africa which operates in seven countries across the continent, including Ethiopia. Reach for Change set up operations in Ethiopia in 2015 to invest in and support innovative, early-stage social entrepreneurs who are addressing the most pressing challenges faced by children, youth and women in Ethiopia. Reach for Change runs innovation competitions and Accelerator and Incubator programs, supporting exceptional social entrepreneurs to scale their innovations through funding, access to technical and organizational management expertise, and networking opportunities.
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