Frequently Asked Questions

  • When will the challenge take place?

    The challenge will take place online from Friday, July 21st (9:00 AM) to Sunday, July 23rd (11:59 PM, submission deadline). For more information check the ''Agenda'' section.

  • How does the challenge work?

    The challenge is conducted as an online event on the virtual event platform Once the groups are selected, participants will receive a key associated with the email they provided during the application process. They will have to register well in advance and participate in a Technical session to understand how the platform works. On the day of the event, they can access a plenary room with public welcome sessions, and a technical assistant will be available on Zoom to resolve problems. Additionally, teams will have access to their individual workrooms with different functions and tools to facilitate their work.

  • How many people can participate?

    Approximately 60 young people with the potential to become social entrepreneurs are expected to participate, distributed across 20 groups of 3 to 5 members. These groups should already be formed at the time of application.

  • Are there any participation requirements?

    Yes. Participation is required in teams of 3 to 5 people. The team should have a basic idea to be developed during the event, which has already undergone some form of validation (prototype, creation of a business model, etc). It is essential to have identified a vulnerable community for the implementation of the solution, in case of winning. No specific professional background is required. It can be a graduate or student with any type of education, such as water, sanitation, business development, programming, marketing, social studies, engineering, architecture, political science, etc. The important thing is that the team, together, has the potential to develop the proposed social enterprise. In the team, the majority of participants must meet the following conditions: be between 18 and 30 years old, be a citizen and have residence in South Africa. This means that if it's a team of 3 people, at least 2 of them must meet the described conditions, especially the team representative. The most important requirements for participation are motivation, entrepreneurial spirit, and an interest in addressing the challenges of water, sanitation and waste in vulnerable communities.

  • Can I apply individually to the event? What if I don't have a team?

    No, you cannot participate individually in the challenge, as the aim is to find teams that have been working on an entrepreneurial idea already and are ready to advance with the formalization of the company towards the end of the program (and for this, you need co-founders!).

  • Can a member of my team not be a citizen/resident of South Africa or be over 30 years old?

    The majority of your team must meet the age requirements (between 18 and 30 years old) as well as citizenship and residency in South Africa. This also applies to the team representative. However, there can be 1 or 2 members who are outside the age or geographic range, as long as they are a minority in the group (for example, a maximum of 1 member if there are 3, or 2 if there are 5).

  • Until what date is it possible to apply for the workshop?

    The deadline for applications is Sunday, July 3rd 2023, at midnight.

  • What are the available challenges on which the business ideas will be based?

    Teams will have the option to select one of the following three challenges as the basis for their business ideas: 1) Water supply, where they should propose innovative solutions in the water supply service chain (source - collection-conduction - storage - purification - distribution and safe household management); 2) Sanitation, with proposals for innovative solutions in the sanitation service chain (toilet, containment/storage/treatment, transport, reuse, or disposal of wastewater) as well as hygiene, or 3) Solid waste management, with proposals linked to waste collection/recycling/recovery/safe disposal, etc.

  • Can we choose another challenge?

    No. The event focuses on innovative solutions for the challenge of providing water,  sanitation  and/or waste management services to the inhabitants of vulnerable communities in South Africa.

  • Can we choose more than one challenge?

    No. Each group should focus on finding a solution to one of the described challenges. In cases where the solution addresses more than one challenge (e.g., sanitation and water simultaneously), you should choose the most representative challenge.

  • Is there any cost to participate in the event?

    No. Participation in the event is completely free.

  • Do we need to have a business idea ready at the time of participation?

    Teams can have a ready idea or not. If the team already has a business idea or prototype, they will help validate it, and if they don't, the space will be provided for them to develop new ideas.

  • What happens if we haven't received an email from the organizers after Tuesday, July 11th?

    If you haven't received a confirmation email by Friday, August 11th, it is likely that your group was not selected in the first round. However, don't be discouraged! There will be a second round of selection, where a second group of participants will be contacted until Friday, August 26th. If you still don't receive an acceptance email, rest assured that your information will be kept in the database to notify you of other entrepreneurship opportunities in water and sanitation. You will also receive YouTube Streaming links to join us for the opening and closing ceremonies of each day, as well as the award ceremony.

  • Will teams receive support during the event?

    Yes. Each team will be assigned a mentor who will host the work sessions on Zoom and will be available when needed. However, teams will be required to work independently. Experts in specific topics will be available to assist them with their comments and knowledge throughout the workshop. They just need to ask their mentor for what they need!

  • How to present the challenge results?

    Each group will have a workspace on the platform. There, a project submission form will be available, which should be completed and submitted before Sunday at 11:59 PM. The mentor will provide more information during the event.

  • If my team wins, what is the prize?

    The prize is pre-incubation support for your business idea. This includes: coaching sessions for your team, 4 days of in-person training on business model development for 2 team members in Cape Town, and up to 21,000 ZAR for the on-field implementation of the solution.

  • What happens to the intellectual property (IP) of the ideas?

    The intellectual property of the ideas belongs to the members of each team. The organizations involved in this program do not have any influence over it. It is important for each team to ensure that they are not replicating ideas that are already protected by intellectual property rights. Since the aim is to propose innovative solutions to water or sanitation challenges, it is suggested that teams provide open-source information so that if they do not continue with the idea, another entrepreneur in a different geographic area or region can do so.

  • Can I participate just for the fun of the challenge, without actually wanting to establish a social business with my idea?

    No. The programme aims to support the winners in testing and launching social businesses that provide solutions to water, sanitation or waste management challenges in communities facing these issues. Therefore, participants should be willing to continue with the idea and receive pre-incubation support.

  • If my team is the winner, does it mean I directly win 21,000 ZAR?

    The winning teams will be invited to a pre-incubation process that includes coaching sessions, an in-person bootcamp, and the possibility to request up to a maximum of 21,000 ZAR for the creation and implementation of the prototype in the community. The funding is conditional upon the team's committed participation in the coaching sessions and bootcamp, a proposed implementation plan that meets quality and feasibility expectations and genuinely seeks to improve the quality of life for families in vulnerable situations, need for the funds, and the willingness to continue with the business idea.