WFP IGNITE Food Systems Challenge Uganda

An accelerator program for post-revenue Eastern African food systems innovators

Apply to receive up to US $50,000 in equity-free funding, mentorship and access to the world’s largest humanitarian organization.

Last year, the United Nations World Food Programme launched its first regional innovation hub in Eastern Africa. Now, the hub is kicking off its flagship WFP IGNITE Food Systems Challenge in partnership with the USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, implemented by Outbox in search of game-changing ventures contributing to stronger, more sustainable food systems Uganda.

30.4 million people are currently facing severe food insecurity in Eastern Africa. The main drivers of high levels of food and nutrition insecurity are conflict/insecurity, climatic shocks, macro-economic instability and COVID-19. This suggests that existing food systems — all elements involved in the production, distribution, consumption, loss or waste of food products that originate from agriculture — are not meeting the needs of all people. We have seen that some food systems can easily be disrupted by climate shocks, COVID-19 and violent conflict. Even in stable environments, people have limited access to nutritious food because of geographic isolation, socioeconomic inequalities, or weak commercial markets.

This challenge celebrates Ugandan entrepreneurs who are thinking outside of the box to redesign regional food systems in service of people and the planet. We are looking for startups, SMEs and cooperatives contributing towards food security in areas such as resilience to shocks and stress, access to safe and nutritious food, optimizing regional food supply chains, empowering smallholder farmers, and advancing food security for all.

Applications can be submitted until 21st May 2022 at 11:59 pm (EAT).

Overview

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May 21, 2022
Program dates Apr 21 - May 21
Organizer WFP Innovation Hub for Eastern Africa
Targets Uganda
Sectors
Agribusiness, Agritech, Clean technology and energy, Community water systems, Crop farming, Farm machinery, Food production, Manufacturing
SDG (4) 2. Zero Hunger, 3. Good Health and Well-being, 7. Affordable and Clean Energy, 12. Responsible Consumption and Production

What we offer

  • Funding: Apply to receive up to $50,000* in equity-free funding
  • Access to WFP & Our Partners: Teams will work with WFP and our expert entrepreneur support partners
  • Bespoke, Flexible Support: You’ll have the chance to request specific support on what your business needs most, with a bespoke curriculum and direct connections with experts and mentors to troubleshoot challenges your business is facing to scale
  • Networking and exposure: Teams will be able to tap into and leverage our strong network of public, private, and government partners, and the power of our combined brands

How it works

  1. Apply for the program: Help us get to know your vision, your team, and tell us why your venture should be chosen
  2. Take the stage at an exclusive pitch event: If shortlisted, you’ll have the chance to pitch your project to an audience of potential partners, investors, and officials at an exclusive, invite-only pitch event. Tell your story and compete for non-dilutive cash awards. We provide dedicated coaching and mentorship to help you develop and refine your winning pitch.
  3. Acceleration: Winning teams from the pitch event will receive up to US $50,000* in funding, world-class mentors, bespoke programming, and exposure to WFP’s vast field operations over a 6-month period.

Eligibility

  • Your entity must have the appropriate legal registration in the country whose call you are applying to
  • Your entity must have proof of concept and be post-revenue*
  • At least 50% of your founding/ senior management team must be from Africa

How we select ventures

Applications submitted for the WFP IGNITE Food Systems Challenge are assessed according to a standard set of criteria and are reviewed by both WFP, our implementing partners, and external experts. While we welcome applicants working across all stages of the food system – production, manufacturing and consumption – preference will be given to those who already show traction and market validation to support their growth. We are looking for innovations that meet the following expectations*:

  • Impact on strengthening regional food systems
  • Feasibility, time to deliver impact, and demonstrable traction
  • Clarity of vision, market demand, and execution strategy
  • Financial sustainability with a clear business case
  • Team strength, experience, and commitment

*Available grant amounts and specific selection criteria vary by country.

Team