2019 International Financial Corporation (IFC) Sustainability Exchange Contest for Youth Innovations (Fully Funded to Dakar,Senegal)

Application Deadline: May 5th 2019

Are you an innovator between the ages of 18 and 35 who develops solutions to enhance your community, city, region, country?

Are you committed to private sector improvements in transportation, mining, energy, or water?

Take part in our contest for an opportunity to attend the 2019 IFC Sustainability Exchange to share your ideas with over 300 innovators, entrepreneurs, business executives, government officials, and youth and gender advocates.

This contest aims to inspire and facilitate dialogue on innovative ways to engage young people in infrastructure and natural resources, while addressing some of the problems and needs of communities and companies. We are calling young social entrepreneurs to submit a project proposal that contributes to some of the core themes of the 2019 IFC Sustainability Exchange: harnessing technology, inclusion, and benefit sharing across energy, transport, water, and mining.

The prize for the top three proposals will be a trip to Dakar, Senegal, to attend and present your proposal for final judging at the IFC Sustainability Exchange between June 17-19, 2019.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Innovators between the ages of 18-35 years (as of May 5, 2019) from around the world are invited to participate.
  • The competition is open to nationals of ALL countries. Participation is encouraged from eligible individuals with the drive to innovate, regardless of their occupation (e.g. students, NGO leaders, government officials, start-up creators, technical experts, or any other).
  • The applicant’s project proposal can be any new, original innovation, product, technology, or service, based on catalyzing growth through infrastructure, harnessing technology, inclusion and shared benefits (for private sector and communities).
  • Only one submission per contestant will be allowed. Subsequent submissions will be disqualified.


The top three Applicants* of the competition will have the opportunity to:

  • Present their ideas at an event during the IFC Sustainability Exchange in Dakar, Senegal.
  • IFC will cover travel expenses (economy flight and hotel accommodations) if traveling from outside of Dakar.
  • Benefit from unique capacity development and networking opportunities with experts from international development, academia, and the private sector. Potential one-on-one meetings with selected attendees.
  • IFC will feature and promote Finalists’ and Winners’ ideas on the commdev.org website and on IFC’s social media channels.

Application Procedure

The application portal will ask for the following:

  1. Title, name, age, and photo
  2. Short abstract (200 word limit)
  3. Explanation of problem and context (200 word limit)
  4. Explanation of your solution (1000 word limit)
    (answers can be shared through 1000 word text response, short video* or audio clip (3 minute limit), poster, charts, or well-captioned presentation
  • Why is it relevant and how will it bring social and/or environmental benefits to a community/country/region?
  • What is new about it?
  • By who, how, and when would it be implemented?
  • What is the expected impact?
  • Does it have strong potential to be replicated and scaled up?
  • What are challenges you might face and how will they be mitigated?

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the IFC Sustainability Exchange Contest 2019

Leave a Reply