IsDB Group invites all eligible entrepreneurs from Sub-Saharan African Member Countries to participate in its 1st Annual Business Plan Competition. The Competition is a recently introduced initiative of the IsDB Group in which candidates come together to develop and further refine their business plans to launch their start-ups or grow ventures, while competing for the cash prizes. The 1st IDB Business Plan Competition aims at fostering the entrepreneurship in Sub-Saharan Africa region, and to encourage new business ideas to flourish.

Worth of Award

Participating to this competition will provide several benefits including;

Cash prizes:

  • 1st Place Winner: $25,000 for Idea Track and $25,000 for Growth Track
  • 2nd Place Winner: $15,000 for Idea Track an $15,000 for Growth Track
  • 3rd Place Winner: $10,000 for Idea Track and $10,000 for Growth Track
  • Training materials on business plan development,
  • Mentorship from prominent entrepreneurs,
  • Networking opportunities with well-known entrepreneurs, investors, and potential partners,
  • Media exposure for finalist entrepreneurs
  • All awards will be granted to the applicants only.
  • In addition to the cash prizes indicated above, the competition finalists will have the opportunity for personalized coaching and access to training materials.


The applicants shall meet the following criteria in order to be eligible to participate in the competition

General Conditions:

  • Individual application is allowed but application by teams are highly encouraged. In the case of team application, each team shall select a member who will be the “applicant” for the team in this competition,
  • The applicant must be a citizen of the IsDB Group Member Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa Region
  • The applicant shall be at least 18 years old and able to read and speak English or French proficiently,
  • All members of a team can only enter the competition once with one submission,
  • Team composition adjustments are allowed in Phase 1 and 2 but no changes are allowed after the submission of full business plans,
  • The products or services offered or intended to be offered should have commercialization potential, be legal, and Shariah-compliant. The following applications will not be accepted:
  • Projects which do not have commercialization potential,
  • Non-for-profit type projects such as charities, NGOs etc.,
  • Projects entailing production, sales, promotion, or distribution of the non-shariah compliant products/services (such as alcohol, gambling etc.)
  • The applicant shall have a valid passport and be eligible to travel to Senegal/Dakar to participate in the award ceremony,
  • Each applicant must choose to enter the competition as either a ”Idea Track” or “Growth Track” classification as indicated below:

Specific Conditions:

  • For the Idea Track, applicant must demonstrate how they will make the project bankable within 1 year of winning the competition
  • All teams/individuals  that previously received award for the idea/business venture from another organization must disclose information on the type and amount of the award, date of receipt, and organization providing this award.

IsDB Group has the right to disqualify the entries that do not meet any of the above conditions.

In this regards, the competition will be open to entrepreneurs from 22 different IDB member countries listed below:

  • Benin
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cameroon
  • Chad
  • Comoros
  • Cote D’ivoire
  • Djibouti
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Guinea
  • Guinea Bissau
  • Mali
  • Mauritania
  • Mozambique
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • Togo
  • Uganda

How to Apply

  • In order to submit your application, please go to “Start Your Application” section of their website (see link below), where you will be required to answer a set of questions in two steps. The first step will let them know more about you, and include questions such as your background, future plans and contact information.
  • After providing all necessary information, you will be able to move to the 2nd Step, where you will be required to answer 6 main questions about your business plan. In a nutshell, these 6 questions will cover areas such as potential, originality as well as financial viability of your business plan, and provide an executive summary for them. Please carefully read each question, and provide information only relevant to the questions asked.  The application should be prepared in either English or French.
  • It is essential to respect the word limits indicated for each questions. Applications longer than the word limits may be truncated without notice or consultation before being passed to judges.

Deadline: As far as the time-line is concerned, the website will be open for registration and application submission starting January 1, 2014. The deadline for all submissions is April 30, 2014 (11:59 p.m. – Jeddah Time). Applications received after the deadline will not be accepted.

  • The idea or business plan submitted should be the original work of the participating team/ individual, and reflect accurate information.

Click here for more details and to apply

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