UNFPA Announces Winners of Joint Innovation Challenge: ten projects that will change the lives of women and girls
04 August 2022
04 August 2022
New York, 4 August 2022 - UNFPA, the UN sexual and reproductive health agency, is pleased to announce the ten winners of its first-ever Joint Innovation Challenge, a competition to provide funding for social enterprises with innovative solutions that advance the empowerment of women and girls worldwide. The winners pitched a range of innovations, from a portable diagnostic system for pre-eclampsia to a board game that disseminates information on sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Financed by UNFPA’s Equalizer Accelerator Fund, and implemented in cooperation with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and the International Trade Centre (ITC), the 2022 Challenge is awarding ten women-helmed organizations hailing from five different regions globally.
“Creative thinking and innovative solutions are key to accelerate progress for women and girls around the world,” says Dr. Natalia Kanem, UNFPA’s Executive Director. “Through the Equalizer, UNFPA is pleased to support a dynamic group of entrepreneurs and their game-changing ideas. Thanks to funding from the Governments of Luxembourg, Finland, and Denmark, life-changing projects like these are possible.”
The Challenge received 300 submissions from 61 countries. After 20 finalists pitched to an expert panel, the 10 winners signed nine-month contracts with UNFPA and received an equity-free investment of USD 60,000. The funding will allow these organizations to move from pilot stage to scale. UNFPA and its partners will further support the social enterprises with targeted mentorship, training opportunities, interactive workshops, and unique access to the UN network.
Launched in 2021, UNFPA’s Equalizer Accelerator Fund invests in projects that will expand access to contraception and maternal health services for women and girls and end gender-based violence. The fund provides equity-free investments in social enterprises that are led or co-led by women and can show evidence of the impact they will have, enabling them to test and scale up their projects.
Winners of the Joint Innovation Challenge 2022:
Hillspring Diagnostics, Nigeria:
Eddie Wright: firstname.lastname@example.org; +1 917 831 2074
Zina Alam: email@example.com; +1 929 378 9431
UNFPA is the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency. UNFPA's mission is to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled. UNFPA calls for the realization of reproductive rights for all and supports access to a wide range of sexual and reproductive health services, including voluntary family planning, quality maternal health care and comprehensive sexuality education.