Apply for the IGNITE Innovation Lab Inspire Africa for Global Impacts Initiative (Inspire Africa)

Inspire Africa for Global Impacts Initiative with support from the U.S. Embassy Abuja, is implementing the IGNITE Innovation Lab project that seeks to develop entrepreneurial and leadership skills of young people aged 18 to 35 through intensive training and mentorship. Participants will receive two days of entrepreneurship training, with the top 25 females selected to participate in a week-long innovation lab. Five business plans will be crafted during the lab session, with the top three to receive prizes as seed funding to support their startups. All the business plans will be designed with the additional goal of advancing one of five United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals: health and well-being, education, clean water and sanitation, clean energy, and/or economic growth. At the end of the project, the beneficiaries will be matched with business experts for continuous mentoring.

The goal of the IGNITE Innovation Lab is to empower young entrepreneurs to successfully co-create innovative and sustainable business ideas that address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals so as to transform their communities, create jobs, and promote economic prosperity of the nation. We will start by hosting IGNITE Summit Workshop 2018 in two Nigerian cities – Lokoja and Zaria (November) respectively to train 300 people on entrepreneurship and business development. Following these workshops will be the Ignite Innovation Lab, which is scheduled to take place in January 2019 in Abuja. Participants are expected to apply as teams.


  1. Accommodation and feeding will be provided for all participants for the Innovation Lab.
  2. This program will be very beneficial to both young people in Nigeria with startup enterprise, as we hope to expose them to and widen their knowledge on social entrepreneurship, innovation, design thinking, and encourage participation in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to transform their communities and build economic prosperity.
  3.   Winners will receive more training on business development, fundraising, pitching to investors, mentorship and cash prizes to support their business.
  4. Participants will get the chance to compete for a slot to attend the Global Engagement Summit in Chicago, USA.
  5. The IGNITE Innovation Lab project is FREE for all interested participants.


Eligibility Requirement:

Phase I:

In order to be considered for IGNITE Innovation Lab, candidates must meet the following minimum requirements:

  1. Applications will be accepted from candidates in Nigeria ONLY.
  2. Candidate must be within the ages of 18 to 35 years.
  3. Candidate must be fluent in English (any level of education is acceptable).
  4. The idea must be innovative and address any of the Sustainable Development Goals. (Check here for goals;
  5. The idea must already have a prototype or at the pilot stage.
  6. Candidate must apply as a team (2 – 5 persons per team is acceptable).
  7. Each team must be FEMALE-led with a minimum of 2 female members. This is the most important criteria needed to qualify for the IGNITE Innovation Lab. Any men who wish to participate in the Summit workshop are welcome so long as they are members of a team.
  8. Candidates are allowed to pair-up or partner with other participants at the workshop to form a team.
  9. Candidates who wish to participate in the lab must participate in one of the workshops either in Lokoja or Zaria.

Candidates are selected based on four judging criteria:

  • Demonstrated commitment to solving some of the pressing challenges in their community
  • Possession of a creative and innovative mindset and idea
  • Proven track record of making contributions to solving social causes
  • Willingness to engage in co-creation with peers and experts
  • The proposed idea must address one or more of the following UN Sustainable Development Goals below:


To Apply:Complete the online application form via this link:

For more information, visit our website on

For further inquiry contact [email protected]


Watch video of past event here: Inspire Africa Video

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Submission Deadline: September 20, 2018.

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