apply to the accelerator’s
young changemakers cohort
Applications for 2022 are now closed.
Learn more about we were looking for below!
Only Accepted Applications From WASH Social Enterprises operating in EAST ASIA & the PACIFIC
(Applicable countries are: Cambodia, China, Indonesia, DPR Korea, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pacific Islands, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Thailand, Timor-Leste, VietNam)
SDG 6: Clean Water, SANITATION, & HYGIENE FOR ALL
Ready to scale your innovation or enterprise? We are looking for social entrepreneurs tackling the most challenging problems facing children globally. Our third cohort will be made up of social enterprises working specifically on issues related to SDG 6 in East Asia and the Pacific (Cambodia, China, Indonesia, DPR Korea, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pacific Islands, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Thailand, Timor-Leste, VietNam)
We are particularly looking for innovations that make WASH adaptive, safe, and resilient with a focus on engaging youth. Innovations that contribute to futureproofing WASH, climate resilience or adaptation, or the circular economy are particularly encouraged to apply.
Solutions in Water, Sanitation,
Water, sanitation, and health are at the core of sustainable development, and the range of services they provide underpin poverty reduction, economic growth and environmental sustainability. However, in recent decades overexploitation, pollution, and climate change have led to severe water stress in locales across the world. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose additional obstacles, impairing access for billions of people to safely managed drinking water, sanitation and hygiene services – services desperately needed to prevent the virus from spreading.
Now more than ever the world needs to transform the way it manages its water resources and delivers water and sanitation services for billions of people. Urgent action is needed to overcome this global WASH crisis, as it is affecting all countries around the world, socially, economically and environmentally.
Duke-UNICEF Design Principles
UNICEF has a 70-year history of innovating for children. We believe that new approaches, partnerships, and technologies that support realizing children’s rights are critical to improving their lives. For us, innovation is about taking emerging approaches and tools, and testing how they can be applied across contexts. If successful, we scale them to positively impact children and young people around the world. For the purpose of this Accelerator, Duke and UNICEF have adapted the Principles for Digital Development, as developed by UNICEF and others. Eligible social enterprises must adhere to these principles to qualify.
Design with the User
We seek social enterprises with promising innovations that incorporate (or are open to incorporating) a human centered design approach to sanitation and hygiene products and services. Paying special attention to the needs of women and girls’ and other vulnerable populations including the socio-cultural, biological, environmental, and economic factors that influence their lives. Designing with this in mind not only increases the chances of improving program development, but also the delivery, evaluation, and scaling of social enterprises.
Understand the Existing Ecosystem
We seek social enterprises with promising innovations that recognize and pursue opportunities to leverage the ecosystems in which they operate in order to have greater impact. Social enterprises seek to improve enabling environments and strengthen or form new partnerships with governments, private sector, and civil society organizations to increase collective impact.
Design for Scale
We seek social enterprises with promising innovations that have the potential and ambition for significantly increasing their outcomes and impact. Preference given to social enterprises that are beyond start-up stage, can provide some evidence of meeting customer demand, and that are actively considering a longer-term strategy to scale their impact.
Build for Sustainability
We seek social enterprises with promising innovations that have (or have a promising potential to create) business models that are built on sustainable social, environmental, and financial principles. Both for-profits and nonprofits are encouraged to apply, but nonprofits should also have–or aspire to have–a significant earned income, market-oriented approach, or consumer payment component to their revenue.
Be Data Driven
We seek social enterprises with promising innovations that are evidence-based, impact-oriented, and have developed and are using metrics and evaluation to validate, refine, and prove their theory of change. We’re looking for social enterprises with strong quantifiable data, rather than just anecdotal stories. Participants will be asked to share performance data (e.g., outputs, outcomes, total clients, internal capacity, etc.) and financial data on a semi-annual basis.
Use Open Source
We seek social enterprises with promising innovations that seek to maximize their resources — and ultimately their impact — through open standards, open data, open source technologies and open innovation. What being “open” means for applicants will depend on practical and technical constraints, security and privacy concerns, and the dynamics of the people, networks, and institutions in the space of each social enterprise.
Reuse and Improve
We seek social enterprises with promising innovations that look for ways to adapt and enhance existing services, products, resources, and approaches to improve their overall quality, applicability, and impact. Where possible and desirable, social enterprises develop modular, interoperable approaches instead of those that stand alone.
Do No Harm
We seek social enterprises with promising innovations that act ethically and responsibly in designing, delivering, assessing, and disseminating their innovations. Social enterprises identify and test assumptions, mitigate risks, and commit themselves to diversity, inclusivity, and equity. Social enterprises take measures to minimize collection of and to protect confidential information and identities of individuals represented in data sets from unauthorized access and manipulation by third parties.
We seek social enterprises with promising innovations that are committed to sharing information, insights, strategies and resources across projects, organizations and sectors. Social enterprises seek to strengthen or form new partnerships with governments, private sector, and civil society organizations, leading to increased collective impact.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Over the course of the 15-month Accelerator, selected enterprises will receive:
- $25,000 unrestricted, one-time grant
- Personalized coaching from social enterprise experts at Duke University and field experts from UNICEF
- Bespoke mentoring
- Customized capacity building and scale curriculum
- Duke University student and faculty support
- Access to our broad networks
Accelerator Awardees should anticipate the following as part of their participation:
- Participate in online communities and monthly webinars
- Participate in monthly calls for coaching, mentoring, and peer learning
- Participate in the week-long Duke-UNICEF Virtual Forum on Social Innovation, held twice yearly
- Develop a capacity-building plan for scaling their impact, with support from the Accelerator team
- Implement and track progress of a customized capacity-building plan, with support from the accelerator team and other mentors
- Report relevant program performance and financial data on a semi-annual basis
- Share insights, promising practices, lessons learned, and other expertise with all social enterprises participating in the Accelerator
The Duke-UNICEF Innovation Accelerator is open to any impact enterprises, working in or across East Asia and the Pacific (Cambodia, China, Indonesia, DPR Korea, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pacific Islands, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Thailand, Timor-Leste, VietNam) that meet the following criteria:
- Is a nonprofit, hybrid, or for-profit social enterprise
- Has one to two founders/executives/senior leaders or program managers that can represent the enterprise over the course of the 15-month Accelerator and are comfortable and proficient in working in English
- Organization representatives are under the age of 35, strong preference will be given to participants under 30
- Has strong evidence of impact over at least 1-2 years and has a plan for how to use the Duke-UNICEF award to scale that impact in the next 3-5 years
- Deploys a promising WASH product and/or service, innovative supply chain model, business model, or other approach that has potential for widespread, sustainable impact
- Enterprise or enterprise innovation adheres to UNICEF Innovation Principles
- Active in any country, or multiple countries, in East Asia and the Pacific
- Preference for a diverse, gender-equitable team; female entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply
- Current student teams are not eligible
Applications for 2022 are now closed.