innovateHER – Youth Innovation Competition


Are you a young woman under 25 with a passion for tackling global issues and turning your solutions into successful businesses? Are you eager to make a meaningful impact on the world and contribute to achieving the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? Then the InnovateHER Youth Innovation Competition is your chance to shine!

Our competition, specifically designed for female youth, not only gives you the chance to win a technology tour abroad but also provides a unique training program to develop your skills in creative problem-solving, mobile app development, and entrepreneurship. We understand the challenges faced by young women today, which is why our Mental Health team has developed a tailored Mind, Body, and Spirit development program to support you on your journey to becoming a tech boss lady!

Participating in our competition provides opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals, receive mentorship from leading experts, and potentially secure funding to bring your idea to life. We are looking for innovative ideas that address one or more of the SDGs, ranging from poverty reduction and climate action to gender equality and quality education.

You can enter as an individual or a team of up to 3. If you are under 18, you will need to have a teacher as a mentor during the training and as a guardian during the trip abroad. Applications close on 21 April 2023, and the online training will commence on 27 April 2023.

Join us in our mission to create a sustainable and equitable world for all. Showcase your talent and creativity by submitting your innovative idea and demonstrating how it can make a significant impact on the world. Don't miss out on this incredible opportunity to make a difference!

What will I learn?

All participants will receive access to our online training platform, peer support group and interactive sessions for a period of 12 weeks to develop their idea.

Training topics will include:

  • Design Thinking for Product Development
  • Project Management
  • Conceptualising your Business with the Business Model Canvas
  • Mobile Application Development
  • Financial Fundamentals
  • Business Pitching
  • Mental Health & Wellness Support on relevant topics

What will I gain?

By participating in the InnovateHER Youth Innovation Competition, you will gain the opportunity to develop your skills in creative and innovative problem-solving, mobile app development, and entrepreneurship through our unique training program. You will also have access to mentorship from leading experts and the chance to connect with like-minded individuals.

If your innovative idea catches the attention of our industry judges and is deemed viable, feasible, and unique, you may potentially secure funding to bring your idea to life.

All participants who complete the program will be invited to a hackathon event to implement the Mobile App Development content and a graduation function where the finalists will compete live to determine the ultimate winners. The overall winners will have the opportunity to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime technology tour abroad, with Prof Leenta Grobler as your guide. Join us in our mission to create a sustainable and equitable world for all and make a difference today!

Competition Dates

  • Applications will close at midnight on 31 March 2023  21 April 2023
  • The mentoring programme for participants will take place in an online format from 27 April 2023 with the final presentations due at midnight on 25 July 2023.
  • The winners will be announced at a morning event in Sandton on 9 August 2023.
  • The winners' trip to Europe, facilitated by SIEMENS, is planned for early November of 2023.

Competition Rules

  1. The competition is open to individuals and teams of up to 3 people.
  2. Males may enter as part of a team, but at least one team member must identify as female.
  3. Each individual/team may submit only one idea to the competition.
  4. A teacher may enter with more than one team from the same school.
  5. Participants must have consent from their parents/legal guardians to participate in the competition and related activities.
  6. The winners must have a valid passport by 1 September 2023 in order to travel. If the winner(s) do not have a valid passport by that date, the prize will be forfeited.

How to Participate

  1. Start by identifying a problem related to the 17 SDGs that you have personal experience with, within your community, and that you think can be solved by means of a mobile phone app.
  2. Create a short (3-minute) TikTok-style video to convince us what the problem you identified is and why the problem should be addressed.
  3. Write a summary paragraph explaining each of the following: the problem, why it should be solved and what your concept idea is.
  4. Submit your video and summary paragraph here before the deadline on April 21, 2023.
  5. After submission, you will receive an email with further instructions on how to proceed with the online training program.
  6. Attend and participate in all the online training sessions to develop your skills in creative and innovative problem-solving, mobile app development, and entrepreneurship.
  7. Work on developing your mobile app concept throughout the training program with the help of mentors and experts.
  8. If selected as a finalist, pitch your mobile app concept idea to a panel of judges to determine the ultimate winners.
  9. Winners will be awarded the once-in-a-lifetime technology tour abroad, and potentially secure funding to bring their idea to life.

    Enter here

    Please submit your entry here.

    Contact us

    If you require any additional information, please contact us via email: or WhatsApp: +27677900168