Zanzibar in Tanzania has launched the ‘Blue Economy Innovation Challenge’ (BEIC) for the ongoing efforts to promote innovations among young people, targeting innovative businesses.
In collaboration with the government through its Ministry of Blue Economy and Fisheries, UNDP, and UNICEF through the Waste X Lab project, State University of Zanzibar (SUZA), Zanzibar Micro Small and Medium Industrial Development Agency (SMIDA) and the Karume Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) jointly launched the challenge project at the SUZA grounds, Tunguu.
From Cube Institution in Zanzibar, Dr Said Khamis said under this first BEIC, eligible businesses must first meet the basic criteria such as using innovation to address existing gap, business being beyond idea stage, piloted in Zanzibar and ready for scaling, demonstrate technical and financial viability in the long run, and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The innovation challenge approach seeks to map existing solutions in the solid waste innovation ecosystem and serve as a ladder to further innovation, with an amount of $10,000 to be awarded to the winners.
The Ministry of Blue Economy highlighted the importance of capacity building for waste management and combating land-based sources of marine pollution, marine litter and micro plastics as its main priorities according to the SMIDA Director, Mr Soud Said Ali.
The innovation challenge, specially focuses on youth and women entrepreneurs together with start-ups and also targets recycling and upcycling businesses that employ technologies in mechanical engineering, digital technology and mobile apps.
The first winner will be presented with the chance to win a cash award of $5000, second winner $3000 and the third winner $2000 to invest in the winning business.