UNDP Open Innovation Challenge: Implementing a Sustainable ‘African Youth (especially women) Entrepreneurship Online Portal’

UNDP has created an incredible online resource: ‘YAS! Youth for Africa and SDGs’.

If implemented innovatively, this online portal can be at the very center of facilitating the much-needed contribution by African youth towards SDG attainment – but UNDP does not have the financial resources or the expertise to directly implement this portal, ensuring that it is sustainable and remains relevant over time.

The challenge? How to sustainably implement YAS! in the very long run.

Have you designed and implemented successful online portal[s] before?


Do you think you can implement an online portal in a sustainable manner, keeping it relevant in the very long run?

Share your ideas with UNDP.

UNDP is inviting proposals from interested hosts who can implement YAS! in a sustainable manner, keeping it relevant over time. All proposals must present a clear operational and financial sustainability model and business plan for implementing YAS! over a 5-year period. 

The Prize

UNDP will disburse up to US$160,000.00 (One Hundred Sixty Thousand US Dollars) over the next 2 years directly to the Innovator to seed their operational and financial sustainability plan for the implementation of YAS!. Beyond that, the innovator will be expected to generate and mobilize resources to keep YAS! sustainable, hence the need for a 5-year operational and sustainability plan.

In addition, through YAS!, the host will be required to run and manage a minimum of US$200,000.00 (Two Hundred Thousand US Dollars) worth of Ecosystem and African Youth Entrepreneurship challenges for UNDP. This US$200,000.00 is over and above the US$160,000.00 UNDP seed funding, or any other resources that the host will generate and mobilize for challenges on YAS!. These funds will be disbursed by UNDP directly to the winning enterprises and ecosystem support initiatives, under the auspices of the systems and procedures for awardee eligibility & selection criteria to be developed by UNDP and the innovator/YAS! host .

How to Apply

Step 1: Visit the official UNDP site for this call, and download the detailed Terms of Reference and related background material for this open innovation challenge 

Step 2: Develop your operational and financial sustainability plan

Step 3: Submit your operational and financial sustainability plan to this email address by no later than 23:59hrs EAT, 31 May 2017 (UPDATE: Deadline extended to Sunday, 11th June 2017.)

The Review Process: Winner Selection Criteria

UNDP will set up an evaluation committee, comprising mainly of UN staff, to review all proposals received using UNDP’s principles of fairness and integrity. 

The following criteria will guide the selection of the winning proposal:

  1.  The expertise of the firm/organization
  2.  The details of the operational sustainability plan
  3. The details of the financial sustainability plan

Please refer to Section 8: Proposed Evaluation Criteria for The Operational and Financial Sustainability Plan on the official UNDP site for this call for a more detailed review of the evaluation criteria to be used. 


Priscilla Sani-Chimwele
Priscilla Sani-Chimwele
I work for the UNDP Regional Service Center for Africa. I am a Programme Specialist in the Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development Cluster's Private Sector Development and Engagement Unit.

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