Duke-UNICEF Innovation Accelerator for Social Entrepreneurs in USA 2021( Win $25,000)

The Duke-UNICEF Innovation Accelerator for Social Entrepreneurs in the USA opens for applications for the 2021 challenge.

Under its equitable sanitation and hygiene for all initiative, the programme is looking for social entrepreneurs who are ready to scale their innovations or enterprise. It is looking for social entrepreneurs tackling the most challenging problems facing children globally. For this reason, six social enterprises working specifically on sanitation and hygiene issues in Africa are being highly sought after.

It is important to note that social enterprises accepted into the Accelerator benefit from the following opportunities:

  • Capacity-Building
  • Peer Learning & Collaboration
  • Resources For Greater Impact
  • Success At Scale

Worth of Award

Over the course of the 2-year 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 curriculum.
  • Duke University student support.
  • Access to our broad networks.


The Duke-UNICEF Innovation Accelerator is open to any impact enterprises, working in or across Africa, that meets the following criteria:

  • Is a nonprofit, hybrid, or for-profit social enterprise.
  • Has two founders/executives/senior leaders that can represent the enterprise over the course of the 2-year Accelerator and are comfortable working in English.
  • Has strong evidence of impact over at least 3 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 sanitation and hygiene product and/or service, innovative supply chain model, business model, or another approach that has potential for widespread, sustainable impact.
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  • Enterprise or enterprise innovation adheres to UNICEF Innovation Principles.
  • Active in any country, or multiple countries, in Africa.
  • Preference for social enterprises that have an existing working relationship (formal or informal) with UNICEF or a UNICEF country office.
  • Preference for a diverse, gender-equitable team.

Accelerator Awardees should anticipate the following as part of their participation:

Particular in

  • online communities and webinars.
  • regular calls for coaching, mentoring, and peer learning.
  • 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 the 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 experts with other social enterprises participating in the accelerator.
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How to Apply

All applications should be made online via the official website.

Deadline: Applications will be accepted on a rolling base until 11:59 pm ET on Friday, March 5, 2021.


Click here for more details and to apply