Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, joins the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and partners in announcing a call for applications to participate in the prestigious youth entrepreneurship pitching event entitled Start and Scale-up for SDGs. The event will take place in Geneva, Switzerland on 15 November 2018 as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week (12-16 November 2018).
Young entrepreneurs from around the world are invited to pitch business ideas that contribute to at least one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Experts will then provide comprehensive feedback on the submissions, and how businesses can promote sustainable and inclusive growth through entrepreneurship in line with the UN Agenda on Sustainable Development.
A selected panel of impact investors, sustainable finance specialists and other experts will provide feedback on how to promote sustainable and inclusive growth through entrepreneurship in line with the UN Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development.
Applications from young entrepreneurs with migrant backgrounds including returning migrants; businesses or business ideas which partner with migrants; as well as businesses which offer migration related solutions, are particularly encouraged.
Following a rigorous evaluation of submitted applications according to a predefined eligibility and selection criteria, 10 selected candidates will be invited to visit Geneva during the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW). They will be invited to showcase their business ideas to impact investors and sustainable finance partners.
Participants will receive individual feedback from experts; attend a customized workshop on intellectual property led by WIPO; benefit from coaching sessions on resilience and leadership skills provided by FlowInAction; and attend a wide variety of events organized in Geneva during the GEW.
In addition, the candidates in the ‘Scale-Up’ competition will have an opportunity to win an equity fund of USD 15,000. Candidates in the ‘Start-Up’ competition will have an opportunity to win a grant of USD 5,000. The prizes are sponsored by ONE CREATION, a Swiss Investment cooperative whose commitments reflect the combination of social, economic and environmental priorities.
To participate in the Youth Entrepreneurship Pitching Event ‘Start and Scale-up for SDGs’, applicants are invited to fill in the attached application form below, include a picture of themselves and provide relevant attachments that give the review committee a better understanding of their businesses.
Eligibility criteria for applications
- Candidates must be aged between 15 and 34 as of 1 September 2018.
- Candidates may apply to the start-up or the scale-up competition, based on the following criteria:
- Start-up competition: Business ideas, concepts and/or prototypes must be at the very initial stages of development or at early operational stage (1-12 months)
- Scale-up competition: Established businesses must have been at least one year in operation or more (12 months+).
- All ideas, concepts and/or businesses must aim to contribute to at least one of the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals. More specifically, ideas, concepts and/or businesses must embed elements of social, economic or environmental sustainability, either in the resulting final product or service of the business, or in the process used to make the product or deliver the service.
- All applications must only be submitted using the application form and should include a picture of the applicant and any eventual attachments.
- Applicants must disclose any start or scale-up funding already received at the time of applying.
- Ideas, concepts and/or businesses with clear elements of sustainability will be valued the most. The ideas and concepts for products, services or value propositions need to make an obvious contribution to achieving one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. What will the impact on society be?
- Besides the main aforementioned aspect of sustainability, the following criteria will be used to select the applicants invited to the pitching event.
- Customer needs to be clearly identified (needs)
- How is the product or service going to add value for customers? Which of the customers’ problems is the product/service going to solve?
- Business model (approach)
- How will the product or service generate revenue (sales, subscription, advertisement, etc.)? How much does it expect to sell in the first year of business?
- Differentiators identified (differentiation)
- How is the product or service different from or better than the existing products or services offered by other, competing businesses for the same customers? What is the competitive advantage that allows the business to outperform / do better than competitors (patent, algorithm, unique service model, etc.)?
- Initial market identified, and sufficiently large and growing (competition)
- Who will be buying the product or service? How big is the existing market? What is the potential scalability of the business?
- Customer needs to be clearly identified (needs)
- Two kinds of entrepreneurship ideas are particularly encouraged (i) proposals from young entrepreneurs with migrant background or those offering migration related solutions, and (ii) proposals that provide specific attention to climate change solutions, sustainable environmental management and solutions for sustainable natural resource use.