Massachusetts Institute of Technology SOLVE in the USA invites applications from entrepreneurs worldwide for the Digital Inclusion Challenge in 2021.
The pandemic has exacerbated the need to be connected in order to access jobs, training, and markets. However, the digital economy excludes over half of the world’s population who remain disconnected from the web, with more than half of Africa still offline, and 37 percent of rural US households with no access to broadband. This is an enormous missed opportunity: connecting the rest of the world could add $6.7 trillion to the economy and lift 500 million people out of poverty.
Building an inclusive digital economy—that affords everyone the opportunity to lead a dignified and productive life—will require access to digital services for everyone. It will also require reliable infrastructure, devices, and affordable data plans for all, particularly for those who do not have access in remote and rural areas. Further, access to commerce, credit lines, safety nets, and saving mechanisms are key for a global economy where nearly 2 billion people remain unbanked, and more than 60 percent of the workforce is informal.
The MIT Solve community is looking for technology-based solutions that ensure everyone has access to the digital economy. To that end, Solve seeks solutions that:
- Provide low-income, remote, and refugee communities access to digital infrastructure and safe, affordable internet.
- Equip everyone, regardless of age, gender, education, location, or ability, with culturally relevant digital literacy skills to enable participation in the digital economy.
- Scale safe and private digital identity and financial tools to allow people and small businesses to thrive in the digital economy.
Worth of Award
All solutions selected for Solve’s five current Global Challenges will receive a $10,000 grant funded by Solve. Solver teams will be selected by a panel of cross-sector judges at Virtual Solve Challenge Finals on September 19, 2021.
The ASA Prize for Equitable Education
American Student Assistance® (ASA) is committed to helping students know themselves, know their options, and make informed decisions to achieve their education and career goals. Up to $250,000 will be granted to or invested in solutions from the Equitable Classrooms Challenge, the Digital Inclusion Challenge, the Antiracist Technology in the US Challenge, and/or Indigenous Communities Fellowship.
The Andan Prize for Innovation in Refugee Inclusion: Up to $100,000 will be granted to up to four eligible Solver teams from across any of Solve’s current Global Challenges.
Innovation for Women Prize: Up to $75,000 will be granted across up to three Solver teams from any of Solve’s current Global Challenges.
The HP Prize for Advancing Digital Equity
The HP Prize for Advancing Digital Equity is open to solutions that advance inclusion, digital literacy, and economic opportunity in communities across the US and globally. Up to $100,000 will be granted to up to four recipients from the Antiracist Technology in the US and Digital Inclusion Challenges.
- In the near term, they need improved solutions for prevention, accurate detection, and rapid response.
- MIT Solve is seeking tech innovations that can slow and track the spread of an emerging outbreak, for example by improving individual hygiene, developing low-cost rapid diagnostics, analyzing data that informs decision making, and providing tools that support and protect health workers.
- At the same time, they cannot solely treat disease outbreaks reactively. Climate change and globalization leave us ever more vulnerable to future epidemics and pandemics, and it’s critical to be prepared.
- Solve is also seeking solutions that focus on preventative and mitigation measures that strengthen access to affordable primary healthcare systems, enhance disease surveillance systems, and improve healthcare supply chains.
- Alignment: The solution addresses the challenge that has been set forth using technology.
- Potential for Impact: The planned implementation of the solution has the potential to impact lives.
- Scalability: The solution can be grown and scaled to affect the lives of more people.
- Feasibility: It is feasible to implement the solution, and the team has a plan for the solution to sustain itself financially.
- Innovative Approach: This is a new technology, a new application of a technology, a new business model, or a new process for solving the challenge
- Partnership Potential: The applicant clearly explains how the solution would benefit from the broad range of resources that the Solve community is positioned to provide.
How to Apply
You can submit your solution through the application link on their website
Deadline: deadline to apply is June 16, 2021.