Objective of the Program

The overall objective of this assignment is to train and equip young innovators and budding entrepreneurs at universities across the seven EAC Partner States (Burundi, Kenya, DR Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda), to establish sustainable business models, gain access to knowledge and tools needed to operate and scale up their Startup ventures. 

What We're Looking For/Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the Digital Innovations for Business Resilience in the EAC – Innovators Sprint Up Programme, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  1. Residency: Applicants must be residents of one of the seven EAC Partner States (Burundi, Kenya, DR Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda).
  2. Age Limit: Applicants must be under the age of 35.
  3. Educational Background: Applicants must be enrolled in a university or have recently graduated from a university (2 years)  within the EAC Partner States.
  4. Innovation or Entrepreneurial Venture: Applicants must have an innovative idea or an existing startup venture that they wish to scale up/grow.
  5. Commitment to Digital Skills Development: Applicants must demonstrate a commitment to developing digital skills and knowledge to operate and scale their ventures.
  6. Financial Need: Applicants must demonstrate financial need, as the program may provide financial support or resources to help with the development and scaling of their ventures..

Timeline

The program is structured to provide comprehensive support from ideation and prototyping to scale-up and commercialization. It includes physical or in-presence workshops spanning a period of two weeks each, totaling eight weeks of intensive training and development. Following the workshops, the program culminates with demo days across the EAC Partner States to showcase innovations and facilitate investor networking.

Who We’re Open to

The program is open to young innovators and budding entrepreneurs from the EAC Partner States who are currently enrolled in a university or have recently graduated. Special consideration will be given to women-led innovations, with at least 40% of the selected innovators being women. The program also welcomes beneficiaries from previous programs such as the “Digital Innovations for Business Resilience in EAC.”

Judging Criteria

Innovations will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Solution to Societal Challenge: The innovation’s ability to address a real societal challenge.
  • Originality of the Innovation: The uniqueness and novelty of the innovation.
  • Marketability: The potential for the innovation to be marketed and sold.
  • Scalability: The ability of the innovation to be scaled up and replicated.

Awards

Selected innovators will receive financial support, mentorship, and access to a network of industry experts and entrepreneurs. The program culminates with demo days across the EAC Partner States, providing an opportunity for innovators to showcase their ideas and connect with potential investors.

Partners

The program is supported by a consortium of Entrepreneur Support Organizations (ESOs) including E4Impact Foundation, Ennovate Ventures, Aclis, and Koneta Hub, along with GIZ and IUCEA. These partners have a proven track record of supporting SMEs to fundraise and access markets locally, regionally, and globally.

Ready to Change the World?

Are you ready to take the first step towards entrepreneurial success and contribute to the digital economy in the EAC region? Apply now for the Digital Innovations for Business Resilience in the EAC – Innovators Sprint Up Programme and join us in building a more innovative and entrepreneurial East African Community.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for the Digital Innovations for Business Resilience in the EAC – Innovators Sprint Up Programme

The Digital Innovations for Business Resilience in the EAC – Innovators Sprint Up Programme is a project under the East African Community (EAC) initiative, “Digital Skills for an Innovative East African Industry” (dSkills@EA). It aims to strengthen academia-industry collaboration in digital skills training and innovation transfer, focusing on young innovators and budding entrepreneurs at universities across the EAC Partner States.

Applicants must complete an application form detailing their innovative idea or startup venture, the technologies or digital skills crucial for their venture, and how they plan to scale their venture. They must also provide proof of residency, educational background, and any evidence of financial need.

The program includes intensive workshops spanning two weeks each, totaling eight weeks of training and development. It culminates with demo days across the EAC Partner States to showcase innovations and facilitate investor networking.

Selected innovators receive financial support, mentorship, and access to a network of industry experts and entrepreneurs. The program also provides guidance on financial and business planning, investor readiness, and sustainability for the innovations.

Applications are screened based on the completeness of the information, the duration of education after completion, location, and the degree of innovativeness, potential impact, and alignment with the program’s themes.

After submission, the selection committee will review all applications. Both successful and unsuccessful applicants will be notified, and further instructions will be provided on the next steps.

For any questions or further information about the application process, please contact the program’s contact information provided on the official website.

Applicants must be residents of one of the EAC Partner States (Burundi, Kenya, DR Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda), under the age of 35, enrolled in or recently graduated from a university, and have an innovative idea or startup venture. Special consideration is given to women-led innovations, with at least 40% of the selected innovators being women.

Innovations are evaluated based on their ability to address a real societal challenge, originality, marketability, and scalability.

The program is supported by a consortium of Entrepreneur Support Organizations (ESOs) including E4Impact Foundation, Ennovate Ventures, Aclis, and Koneta Hub, along with GIZ and IUCEA.

Applications are submitted through E4Impact’s AcceleratorApp platform. The application process involves reviewing eligibility criteria, completing the application form, and submitting the application by the specified deadline.

The program includes intensive workshops spanning two weeks each, totaling eight weeks of training and development, followed by demo days across the EAC Partner States.

Applicants should review the eligibility criteria, prepare their application materials, and familiarize themselves with the program’s objectives and requirements.

For the latest information, applicants can follow the program on social media, subscribe to newsletters, and visit the official website.

Your application

How do I participate in the  “Digital Skills for an Innovative East African Industry” (dSkills@EA)?

To participate, you need to fill in the online application form here: (Apply Now)

Before completing your application form, make sure that you have:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the  “Digital Skills for an Innovative East African Industry” (dSkills@EA) requirements and the eligibility criteria;
  2. Filled out the application form with as many details as possible to all the questions asked and then;
  3. Submit your application before the lapse of the application deadline which is Include Application Deadline

Is my application automatically saved?

Yes.

Is the entry to the competition confidential?

Yes, it is. Any information provided in the application will be held in full confidence as we comply with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).