WFP Innovation Hub for Eastern Africa

Supporting the new generation of research-backed food systems innovations.

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) IGNITE Innovation HubCircle Innovation, and DTU Skylab Foodlab, with the support of Care Denmark and the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, have launched the highly anticipated second edition of the IGNITE SEED Innovation programme in East Africa to support entrepreneurial teams with research-backed ideas focused on innovating food systems with market validation and training support to launch these ideas in the market.

The ten-month innovation programme will focus on inventors and innovators with research-backed ideas in the food systems sector with a high potential for disruption and impact towards food security in East Africa.

What We Are Looking For

We invite applications from innovators and researchers who have research-backed innovations addressing food systems in East Africa.

The call for applications is open for teams with food system ideas grounded in research, whether from academia or practical experience, even if they haven’t formally registered their businesses yet.

We especially encourage applications from youth, women-led teams and innovators from underserved populations based in East Africa.

Program Benefits

The benefits will include:

  • Innovation Program: Selected teams will participate in the IGNITE SEED Innovation programme for ten months and get access to our unique Human Centered Design (HCD) Lab.
  • Innovation Lab: At the end of the HCD Lab, you will pitch your validated prototype to a panel of experts and get the opportunity to be selected for our intensive business training.
  • Business training: Qualifying teams will go through an intensive 4 months entrepreneurship and business training.
  • Networking: Qualifying teams will get exposure to the rich WFP and implementing partner networks that can help their ideas to the next level.

Eligibility Criteria

The IGNITE SEED Innovation programme is open for applications for research based food-systems innovators in East Africa that meet the following criteria:

  1. Research-backed idea or invention in the food systems sector.
  2. At least two team members based in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, or Somalia working on the idea.
  3. Interest in transforming the idea into a venture.
  4. Passion about disrupting food systems to achieve zero hunger.
  5. Be available for programme activities for the duration of the innovation programme, including in-person and online sessions.
  6. Female entrepreneurs and non-academic innovators are specifically encouraged to apply
  7. Target countries: Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Somalia.

Evaluation Criteria

The IGNITE SEED Innovation programme is looking for High-potential, research-backed ideas or interventions with a focus on disrupting the following areas in the food system.

While all solutions are invited to apply, priority will be given to ideas that address food security and improve climate resilience for local communities so they can:

  • Improve local food production, quality, or nutrition.
  • Reduce or eliminate post-harvest loss or food waste.
  • Increase access to water for productive use or contribute to water saving

It will evaluate entrepreneurs that submit their innovations based on the following criteria:

  1. Founded in academic, industry-led or experimental research
  2. Impact on strengthening regional food systems
  3. Feasibility and viability of implementing the idea
  4. Potential to achieve initial traction within the innovation programme
  5. Clarity of vision and the idea
  6. Team strength, experience, and commitment

You can apply here.


October 9, 2023
Program dates Oct 30, 2023 - Sep 1, 2024
Organizer WFP Innovation Hub for Eastern Africa
Website Visit website
Targets Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Uganda
Sectors Agribusiness, Agritech
SDG (1)
2. Zero Hunger