UNICEF announced the launch of the 2021 cohort of the UNICEF StartUp Lab – a co-creation space and accelerator, that engages young startups in the development of innovative, open-source, market-driven products and solutions that address complex problems impacting the well-being of children and young people, especially the most vulnerable.
Over two hundred applications were received from across Ghana, from which twenty-two promising social impact startups were selected to participate in a six-month business and product development programme.
“UNICEF is excited to welcome this new cohort of 22 startups from across Ghana to the UNICEF StartUp Lab for 2021”, said UNICEF Deputy Representative, Fiachra McAsey. “Each of the startups are already marketing impactful products and services that, if brought to scale, can positively influence and accelerate results for children, young people and communities. Over the next months, the UNICEF team will be working closely with this group of companies, and with the right support, we believe several of the solutions being worked on by these businesses could eventually have global impact. From our perspective, the startups not only represent the best of Ghana’s young entrepreneurial talent, they can also provide inspiration for other impact-focused businesses across the Ghanaian economy.”
The participants will access UNICEF’s wide network of technical experts to help them extend their social impact and enhance their products, some of which focus on the most complex development challenges. Each startup will also benefit from both group and individual mentoring, as well as capacity building sessions to help scale and grow their business to compete internationally.
Training and curriculum will be managed by MEST Africa, the program’s main implementing partner, supported by additional technology hubs and an international team of experts with extensive experience working in the startup ecosystem and building impact-driven business across Africa.
Over the course of the 6-month programme, the startups will also benefit from further development opportunities through UNICEF’s global innovation and entrepreneurship support mechanisms, including the UNICEF Venture Fund, and engagement in initiatives such as the Digital Public Goods Alliance.
The following startups will participate in the 2021 cohort of UNICEF StartUp Lab:
AFRICA GOODNEST: e-commerce platform to discover and buy quality products crafted by local African talent and entrepreneurs.
APPCYCLERS: waste management company providing e-waste education, collection, recycling, and upcycling solutions.
ASA NWURA: waste management company promoting digitisation of a circular economy of municipal solid waste, using an incentive-based approach.
BACE TECHNOLOGIES: digital identity software company enabling businesses to optimise their identity management platforms and KYC process using technologies such as facial recognition and AI.
BISA: healthcare platform providing access to medical advice and healthcare information to the general public through mobile devices.
COLIBA: waste management company leveraging mobile and SMS technology to make recycling services accessible to all.
DEXT: technology-driven educational company developing, manufacturing and deploying solutions for the effective learning of STEM, including the award-winning ‘Science Set’.
DIGITAL HEALTH ACCESS: health education and consultation platform connecting users to a network of health professionals, service providers and impact-driven healthcare interventions.
ECAMPUS: SaaS education technology solution using AI to connect teachers and students, and to identify learners’ strengths and weaknesses.
GEOHEBETH LINES: social enterprise using social entrepreneurship, advocacy and local resources to create environmentally sustainable livelihood for the rural youth.
LEAP: healthcare e-learning platform providing certified educational programs from globally recognised universities and institutions to hundreds of students looking for highly demanded job-ready skills.
MASSIRA: female-centred support community providing sexual, reproductive and mental health services, committed to connecting, educating and empowering women.
MOCHCARE: health tech startup working on digitising the maternal & child health record book.
NAA SIKA: electronic micro bank and savings platform that helps users save any amount for their future, built using intuitive tech.
PREMIER WASTE SERVICES: waste management company providing low-cost plastic waste collection, recycling and recovery infrastructure.
SCRIBBLE WORKS: educational publishing house developing tech-enabled solutions for schools, including tools based on Google Forms.
SNOOCODE: geolocalisation company with its own digital addressing system allowing the receiver to navigate to an exact location using any standard map on their mobile phone.
TALENTS IN AFRICA: edu-tech company with a platform using test tools to help youth assess their skill levels, provide resources to up-skill for roles they seek and then match them to job opportunities.
TRIMESTER SAVE: financial inclusion company developing tech-enabled hybrid health & finance solution focused on women in the reproductive ages, to empower all mothers.
TROTRO DIARIES: community platform of commuters and travellers sharing their daily commuting or travelling experiences, also used to disseminate public service information and messaging.
WINGS TO FLY: rural poverty alleviation company utilising local raw materials and agricultural waste to produce standard soaps and household chemicals, employing marginalised rural women.
WIREDTUTOR: edu-tech company developing a platform that connects students, tutors and institutions for the purpose of learning through the web and a mobile application.
Lean more: UNICEF