Entrepreneurship & Incubation Programme

UNICEF builds open-source products and services with young entrepreneurs across the world. We are eager to start building in Ghana. From now until 27th September 2019, UNICEF is inviting young startups to apply to co-work from the UNICEF Startup Lab in Accra.

Selected startups will work closely with us to design, develop, test, validate and scale innovative solutions and business ventures that can strengthen health, nutrition, education, social and child protection systems, impacting every child and young person in Ghana. Over six months, the selected startups will collaborate daily with UNICEF specialists to gain unique market insight and knowledge, receive guidance and support, and establish a test environment for their products or solutions. Entrepreneurs will also receive mentorship and a portfolio of business and leadership skills, through a dedicated entrepreneurship curriculum delivered by MEST Africa and AHIC. Scalable solutions will gain further exposure through UNICEF’s large network of offices partners around the world, including access to seed funding opportunities.

Startup teams may currently be in learning, training or (self-) employment. Applicants should already have a ground-breaking social impact and technology-driven idea, prototype, MVP or business model to propose to us. Your company does not have to be fully down the road of having a ready product, it can be at the very beginning – but a clear sense of value-addition and direction would need to be demonstrated. Skills in development and design and/ or familiarity with one or more frontier technology (such as Big Data, AI, DLT, IoT, VR/AR, etc.) would be an asset, depending on the business venture.

We believe in equitable access to opportunity, and in promoting talent – we want at least 50% of our cohort to be female, and we highly encourage persons with disability to apply.

Apply below to join our small group of relentless optimists trying to fix huge global problems. Only shortlisted startups will be contacted.

Core Eligibility Requirements

Excited about building your business? Ready to learn from local and global experts in business model development,
market assessment, social impact and designing solutions to improve the lives of children and young people?

The UNICEF Startup Lab will provide complimentary expert incubation services, strong community programming, on-site workspace and high-speed internet, great networking opportunities, and lots of free snacks for selected participants.

The UNICEF Startup Lab lives it’s vision of inclusion, gender parity, and lifting up the voices of young people worldwide.
People living with disabilities (PLWD), women and young people (up to age 24) are especially encouraged to apply

Please note, participants do not receive compensation from UNICEF for participation in the programme.

Who Are We Looking For?

When selecting entrepreneurs for the inaugural Startup Lab cohort, we’ll be looking for the following:

1. Entrepreneurs with a long-term vision of how the world can improve and the specific role they play in that process.

2. Clear dedication and determination to identify, set, and achieve well-defined goals.

3. The ability to leverage critical-thinking skills to anticipate challenges and strategic decision-making skills to take advantage of opportunities.

4. A strong commitment to both social impact and market-based approaches.  

Application Guidelines

To apply, please click the blue button on the right to complete our application form. If you would like to review the questions in advance, you may download a PDF version of the application here.

Application Timeline