Applications open for $25k Project Inspire challenge


Submissions are open for the “Project Inspire: Five Minutes to Change the World” challenge, asking social entrepreneurs to pitch their design or technical innovations aimed at economically empowering women across the Asia, Pacific, Middle East and Africa regions.

Hosted by MasterCard and the Singapore Committee for UN Women, this year’s challenge marks the fifth anniversary of the competition; and will focus on the theme of “Technology or Design for Economic Empowerment”.

Applicants will be asked to demonstrate how they use design or technology as a tool in the work they are doing to enable and empower women economically throughout Asia, the Pacific, the Middle East and Africa.

“It’s vital that more is done to empower and encourage women to break the glass ceiling in the traditionally male-dominated fields of technology and design. Careers in these fields afford women the opportunity to be financially self-sufficient and positively impact the world through their leadership and creativity,” said Georgette Tan, group head of communications for the Asia Pacific region at MasterCard.

“MasterCard is incredibly proud to partner with the Singapore Committee for UN Women and witness the impact Project Inspire has already had in just five years. We are committed to supporting women of all ages and look forward to helping cultivate the next generation of young social entrepreneurs around the world in 2015 and beyond.”

Applicants will be given five minutes to pitch their inspired idea to the world, with the chance of winning the grand prize of US$25,000 to make their idea a reality, while a runner up will receive US$10,000.

Project Inspire will choose 20 semi-finalists to progress to a crowdfunding stage of the competition.

From the semi-finalists, finalists will be chosen to attend the grand finals in Singapore where they will pitch their idea to a panel of judges.

The remaining semi-finalists stand a chance of winning a wild-card ticket to pitch at the grand finals in Singapore by securing the most amount of supporters during the crowdfunding stage of the competition.

The competition is open to social entrepreneurs between 18 and 35 years of age, and applications are open until July 1.

To apply, those interested must submit a five minute video detailing how the US$25,000 grant will be used to improve the lives of women.



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Inspired and excited by the African tech entrepreneurial scene, Gabriella spends her time travelling around the continent to report on the most innovative tech startups, the most active investors, and the latest trends emerging in the ecosystem.

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