The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) are launching the Innovations to Empower Women and Girls Challenge (the Challenge) to further develop and position to scale innovative solutions that can help disrupt inequalities and advance the empowerment of women and girls in all their diversity.
The Challenge will support women-centered innovations, including those that i) provide affordable and sustainable access to essential reproductive health commodities, services, and information, with a focus on hard-to-reach areas and humanitarian settings, and ii) scale-up prevention and response to gender-based violence and harmful practices.
The Challenge aims to support social enterprises (the Companies) registered in UNFPA programme countries to pivot from grant-making models to self-sustaining financial models, and from “doing innovation” to managing it. Thus, positioning innovation projects to scale through social enterprises facilitates that step towards self-sustaining solutions. The Challenge will provide a mentorship scheme to increase the potential/capabilities of the awardees to scale up innovations across developing countries. It will thus create and nurture an ecosystem of innovators, mentors, and key stakeholders who will then, in turn, support the solutions and their sustainability models.