MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy is offering the MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge for to future of work entrepreneurs in four categories that holistically represent the solution types necessary to build an economy that works for all in the digital era in 2019.

The areas include

Skills Development & Opportunity Matching

  • How do we skill workers and provide pathways to the work opportunities of the future?
  • How do we better connect workers and employers?

Income Growth & Job Creation

  • How do we ensure that workers earn sufficient and growing incomes to achieve a satisfactory quality of life and living standards?
  • How do we reimagine struggling industries and create new opportunities for work?

Technology Access

  • How do we connect more people with internet and technology access, regardless of age, location, education, or ability?

Financial Inclusion

  • How do we ensure financial security and stability for more people?
  • How do we enable more people to access the benefits of financial services?

Following last year’s lead, the challenge will take place on five continents: Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the U.S. and Canada. Regional finalists will be announced July 23 and winners will be recognized at regional celebrations. The challenge will culminate with a Global Grand Prize Gala at MIT on November 21.

Worth of Award

  • IIC will again award $1.6 million — $250,000 to each of four organizations revolutionizing the future of work and economic opportunity.


  • MIT seeks start-ups and entrepreneurial organizations of any age, size, or type (for-profit or non-profit), located anywhere in the world that are creating economic opportunity for moderate and low-income earners.
  • Does your organization’s use of technology substantially improve economic prosperity for working people?
  • Is your organization beyond the “idea phase,” already impacting and enhancing shared prosperity right now?
  • Will your organization’s solution impact more people and increase in effectiveness over time?

How to Apply

  • The application can be submitted through their online portal
  • Experts will score and comment on submissions that satisfy the guidelines. To be considered for an IIC Prize, you will be asked to answer the following application questions.
  • Provide a clear and succinct explanation of your organization’s approach to empowering people who seek to work and financially thrive in the digital economy.
  • Provide a summary of the future of work challenge that you are committed to solving and your solution.
  • What is your organization’s vision? Why is this vision bold, innovative, and transformative in its approach to shaping our economic destiny? What will your organization have achieved five years from now?
  • Describe your organization’s business strategy and solution. How do you address the challenge that you described above? How is your organization positioned to scale?
  • Discuss the people that your organization empowers to engage and work in the digital economy. Who are these people and why have they previously been excluded from the digital economy?
  • How many people has your organization enabled to experience increased economic prosperity? To what degree have you improved the prosperity of this population? Make sure that you provide specific and quantifiable evidence in response to these questions.
  • What is your competitive advantage over your competitors? Describe these other organizations that address the same future of work challenge.
  • What internal and external risks does your organization face? How do you intend to manage them?
  • Who founded your organization? What path led him/her/they to found the company? What is his/her/their founder(s) story? Is the original founder still leading the organization? If not, who is?
  • Describe your organization, where it is based, and where it operates. If your organization is based and operates in different locations, describe why this is the case and how this aligns with your organizational structure. Why is your organization uniquely positioned to successfully achieve your mission?
  • How does your organization leverage technology to engage people in our rapidly evolving digital economy? To what degree is this technology currently implemented at your organization? What are your plans for further implementation?
  • Explain why and how you are positioned for long-term financial stability and expansion. Briefly describe your business model. (If you are a for-profit organization, what is your revenue generation model? If you are a non-profit organization, what is your source of cash flow, if not solely grants?)
  • What metrics do you use to measure your success? What are your organization’s top three goals over the next year?
  • If you are named a Regional Finalist, how will your organization spend the prize money and leverage the recognition to accelerate your solution? Please be specific. i.e. What type and how many personnel might you hire? What investments might you make in technology? How might you allocate funding toward marketing?
  • List previous awards received by your organization as well as any major press coverage you have received. How has your organization leveraged this recognition?
  • If there is any other information you would like the Judges to consider, please include it.

Deadline: Applications are open until May 9, 2019.


Click here for more details and to apply

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