Oxfam Superstar Impact Business competition

Women and youth edition

Did you participate in Oxfam’s SME or start-up development program in Somaliland, Egypt, Uganda, Nigeria, Cambodia, or Bolivia? Do you have an innovative business idea focused on empowering women and youth and are you looking to scale it up?

If yes, apply to this competition and your business might be the next Superstar Impact Business!

Oxfam is launching its third round of the Superstar Impact Business competition in 6 countries, including Somaliland, Egypt, Uganda, Nigeria, Cambodia, and Bolivia. In each country, winners will be chosen by a local jury and receive grant funding and technical support from our local partners to implement the project. The most impactful and inspiring winner in each country will also be featured in a short movie to promote their business idea. Oxfam will provide a total of EUR 35k per country for grants and technical support*.

*Please contact the Oxfam office and the local partner organization in your country for more information on the exact amount of grant funding and the type of support that will be awarded in the competition.

Curious to learn about some great examples of impact-driven businesses that empower women and youth? Please check out this video of Pad-Up Creations, a Nigerian impact-driven business focused on women empowerment that produces reusable sanitary pads.

Oxfam Superstar Impact Business competition

Oxfam Superstar Impact Business competition

About the competition

Through the competition, Oxfam seeks to support impact-driven businesses that have the ambition to create tangible outcomes for women and youth by:

  • Increasing the autonomy and activating the power of women and youth to act and make the changes they desire, for example by giving women and youth a seat-at-the-table or career advancement opportunities.
  • Transforming beliefs, values, and attitudes that enhance women and youth empowerment, for example by creating awareness of the challenges women and youth face and addressing this through a product or service.
  • Increasing opportunities, resources, and skills for women and youth, for example by including women as suppliers in the value chain and providing a living income or education programs for women and youth.
  • Creating and promoting workspaces where women and youth are safe and free from oppression, harassment, and discrimination, for example by introducing measures focused on creating decent work for women and youth.

Oxfam aims to get better insights into the needs of businesses in empowering women and youth, accelerate their impact and inspire investors and policymakers in recognizing the importance and potential of supporting and investing in impact businesses.

Eligibility criteria

To apply, your business needs to meet the following minimum requirements**:

  • It focuses on women and/or youth empowerment:
    • The business is owned or founded by women/youth and/or women/youth represent more than 75% of the board
    • And/or women/youth are empowered by the business in their role as employees, suppliers, consumers, or in the community
  • The applicant is a previous or current participant in either i) Oxfam’s SME Development project in Uganda or Cambodia; ii) the Work in Progress! project for Egypt, Nigeria, or Somalia (Somaliland); iii) Oxfam’s Empresas que Cambian Vidas (ECV) program in Bolivia***
  • The business is a registered commercial company in Somaliland, Egypt, Uganda, Nigeria, Cambodia, and Bolivia.
  • The business meets the requirements of an ‘impact-driven business’: namely: i) the business has ‘impact’ as its mission or key driver; ii) the business resolves a societal issue, not through charity, but through its business model; iii) the entrepreneur has a ‘social heart’, clear motivation and vision on impact.
  • The business is not in any way involved in activities such as arms, tobacco, alcohol, and gambling industries, registered in so-called tax-havens, or involved in environmental or human rights abuses or corruption.
  • Grant funding should be matched at least 50% with the applicant’s own contribution (cash and/or in-kind).
  • The proposed project can be implemented in the period of July to December 2022.

**Additional local requirements can be added per country. Please contact the Oxfam office or the local partner organization in your country for more information.

*** In Egypt and Bolivia, businesses outside the Oxfam program are also invited to apply.

Competition process

Step 1: Application

Candidates can apply by completing the application form. The application is only complete, in combination with a venture profile on VC4A. If you don’t have a venture profile yet, you will be asked to create this in the first step when clicking on the “Apply” button at the top of the page.

Please download the budget template here, as you will be asked to upload this in your application form. The deadline for applications is the 20th of May end of the day (12 midnight CEST).

Step 2: Selection

A local jury scores all applications and invites the best-selected applicants to pitch their business and project proposals. Winners will be announced latest on the 1st of July, after which grant contracts will be processed.

Step 3: Implementation

Projects will be implemented from July until December 2022

Sustainable Development Goals

We encourage applicants to make use of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) framework to target, define, and assess the impact of their company and proposal. Examples of SDGs that focus on increasing women and youth empowerment are:

Assessment criteria

The following criteria will be taken in consideration when evaluating candidates:

  1. Social / environmental impact of the business (35%): The business has a clear vision and strategy for positive social and/or environmental impact. It has good potential to grow and scale its impact. This is also shown in numbers (staff data and social indicators). Positive impact on women and youth is important.
  2. Feasibility and relevance of proposal (25%): The proposed project is described clearly and is relevant in increasing the empowerment of women and youth. It is viable and feasible to implement the project in a short time frame. The budget and own contribution are realistic.
  3. Strength of team / entrepreneur (25%): The team has the qualifications and experience to manage and implement the project successfully. Motivation and ideas are clearly communicated. The team has unquestionable integrity. Having a significant number of women and youth in the team is a plus.
  4. Growth potential of business (15%): The Impact SME addresses a clear market need with a unique product or service. It demonstrates innovation. There is a clear business model and a realistic growth strategy. The financial figures (historic and projections) show good performance and/or potential.

Eligible activities

The following activities are eligible for funding:

  • Business support services (e.g. consultants/experts on scaling, sales, operations, investments, social impact);
  • Investments (machines or equipment needed to scale up);
  • Business development costs (e.g. test or launch new products, market study);
  • Visibility costs (brand design, promotional materials, trade fairs);
  • Scaling of impact (process redesign, sustainable production, fair trade certification).

Non-eligible activities

The following activities are not eligible for funding:

  • Purchasing and rent/leasing of land or buildings/facilities;
  • Bank charges, cost of guarantees, and similar charges;
  • Overhead costs such as office supplies, support staff, management;
  • Value and registration costs of intellectual property rights.



Name Country Sector(s)
MOHCA Beauty & Skincare Limited
Define your skin naturally
Uganda Drugs and cosmetics, Manufacturing
Laboratorio AYE S.r.l.
Extraction of Essential oils and production of Natural Cosmetics
Bolivia Drugs and cosmetics, Food and beverage
Yellow Star Produce and Food Processors (U) Ltd
Affordable Organic Nutrient balanced products for nutrition access
Uganda Agribusiness
Nenu Engineering Limited
Premier purveyor of energy saving cook stoves in West Africa.
Nigeria Clean technology, Clean technology and energy, Man…
Uganda Agribusiness, Food production, Packaging
CARING for the environment, preserving your future
Bolivia Clean technology, Environmental services, Wholesal…
Tech-enabled Platform Providing Accessibility to Farm Inputs and Processing Equipment
Nigeria Agritech
Rena Beverage Solutions Limited
A Sip Of Health
Uganda Crop farming, Food and beverage
Duma Toys
Duma is a leading Egyptian brand specialized in handmade products
Egypt Creative, media and entertainment
Jaebee Furniture Limited
Comfort, Class and Competence
Nigeria Furniture, Manufacturing
My Dream Home
Build houses, build hopes
Cambodia Construction, Construction and manufacturing, Manu…
We do it for you
Bolivia Diversified services
Economic Empowerment for women in Cairo's most impoverished areas
Egypt Clothing and textiles production, Fashion
MUCH Mobile Healthcare Co LTD (Cambodia)
We provide mobile healthcare service & senior care at client's place
Cambodia Healthcare, Healthcare providers and services