We explain the ins and outs of the innovation challenge in this brief
All you need to know about the innovation challenge
Do you run a business with a great digital solution for smallholder farmers in Africa? Then this challenge is your opportunity to scale up. The application takes under an hour. Check if you fit the focus areas before you apply.
Focus areas for your innovation
We’re looking for digital innovations that fit one or more of the focus areas below. Our particular interest goes out to innovations that have an impact on multiple focus areas or across the smallholder value chain.
Sustainable farming practices
How might we increase efficient and eco-friendly use of water, energy and other inputs for farming?
How might we reduce crop losses caused by climate change and extreme weather?
How might we provide smallholder farmers and other value chain actors with better access to finance, financial resilience and ability to save?
Post-harvest waste reduction
How might we lower food losses in post-harvest handling, transport and storage?
How might we support agro-processors to add more economic and nutritional value with less waste, water, energy and cleaner resources?
Value chain integration
How might we provide input providers, farmer cooperatives, agro-processors, off-takers and other value chain actors with better market linkages, supply chain management, traceability and logistics?
Please read the full brief before applying to our challenge.
Why should I participate in this challenge?
We unlock scaling opportunities for your business within our 60 2SCALE partnerships and their 750,000 farmers across 8 countries in Africa. You’ll get access to a network of inclusive business and innovation experts for technical support. What’s more? You will be featured on the 2SCALE website and we might mobilise a research team that studies the impact of your innovation and share learnings for improvement.
Who can apply to the challenge?
Any entrepreneur or organisation with a digital innovation, ready to scale in the 2SCALE countries Kenya, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Niger with own financial means. Your innovation is not new to the market and you have already been generating revenues from it for at least one year.
You bring much of the budget required to finance the implementation of your innovation in 2SCALE(we are not a grant provider but might compensate reasonable startup costs to offset risks of entering a new geography or adapting your innovation for the 2SCALE partnerships.
What type of innovations are we looking for?
Your innovation is using digital technology to benefit actors in the smallholder farmer value chain, including low-income groups within the roles of producers, service providers, distributors or employees.
Moreover, your innovation addresses pressing problems in the 2SCALE sectors of our partnerships Animal Production Related, Staple crops, Soy and Oil Seeds, and Fresh Produce.
What does the application process look like?
1. Submit your idea
Download our pitch form and submit your idea by email before 15 November 2019, 13:00pm Ghana time. Application is easy and takes less than an hour.
We’ll review your idea and contact you in the week after the deadline to let you whether you met our challenge criteria. If yes, you continue to stage three.
3. Refine application
We’ll schedule a personal meeting to help you refine your application and provide individual feedback based on the evaluation criteria.
We will approach the 2SCALE partnerships with your innovation and identify the best scaling opportunities for you in any of the partnerships.
Once matched with a partnership, we will request you to write a full proposal including an activity plan and budget.
What are the evaluation criteria?
The review team of the challenge will use six evaluation criteria to screen all applications. These criteria are: Program Fit, Impact, Desirability, Viability, Feasibility and Suitability. 1. Program fit:
Your innovation fits with the values and targets of the 2SCALE program and partnerships, including the promotion of food & nutrition security in the region. You should also be able to demonstrate a compelling cost/benefit analysis for our agribusiness partnerships. And we expect that you will be able to sustain your collaboration with the agribusinesses when your collaboration with 2SCALE ends.
Your innovation allows actors in the smallholder farmer value chain to significantly advance their agricultural practices, yield and income. It promotes climate-smart (eco-efficient) agriculture, as well as the inclusion of women and youth as farmers or other entrepreneurs.
Your innovation is based on a solid understanding of the needs and context of your target group in the value chain and you can confirm the innovation is aspirational and affordable for them. You take a bottom-up approach instead of a top-down one.
Your innovation has an existing customer base and you have proof of your business model in terms of sales records, market size, competition and profit/loss calculations. You have sufficient funds and a pipeline to raise the capital needed to sustain and grow your business.
Your innovation can become operational in a 2SCALE partnership within a 12-month period, without the need for major adaptations to your innovation. You have a clear marketing strategy and a scalable distribution channel in place to make sure your innovation remains available for the target group.
You have a highly committed team with the necessary expertise and resources to realise the implementation of your innovation in 2SCALE. The long-term vision and expectations of your organisation align with what is needed to make the innovation a success in the 2SCALE partnerships.
What is 2SCALE and what are the partnerships?
2SCALE is an incubator and accelerator program that manages a portfolio of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs or partnerships in short) for inclusive business in agri-food sectors and industries. The first edition of 2SCALE ran from 2012 - 2018 and the second edition has just started and will run until 2023, with the objective to establish and support 60 partnerships. These are led by business champions, which are either entrepreneurial producer organizations or local SMEs that trade or process the produce of farmers. 2SCALE offers a range of support services to its business champions and partners, enabling them to produce, transform and supply quality food products for local consumer markets, preferably at the Base of the Pyramid.
This innovation challenge aims to contribute to one of the key workstreams of the 2SCALE program which is to introduce innovations into its partnerships.
Terms and conditions for applicants
We handle all applications with great care and will not publish the contents of any application without first asking for your permission. All applications will be reviewed by our 2SCALE team. We will also store your applications in our database for a maximum period of three years.
All applications will be reviewed on matching our eligibility and viability criteria. You can find those on this website. By submitting your application, you agree with our terms and conditions. If you have any doubt about the terms of this challenge, please contact us on email@example.com.
Explore our partnerships
The 2SCALE partnerships are excited to implement innovations that solve pressing problems in their agribusiness. These are some examples: