The inaugural UK-India Social Innovation Challenge, a UKISEEN (UK-India Social Entrepreneurship Edu cation Network) initiative created in a competition format, is currently open for applications.
The challenge aims to incentivise social innovation in the international community. We intend to find, fund and support innovative and sustainable solutions to global problems.
As a competitor, a participant will propose a business model for a social enterprise which tackles the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No. 6: Clean water and sanitation. This goal, and therefore your challenge, is to “ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”.
The UKISEEN SIC is challenging participants to create hard impact through one of the following challenges:
- Ensuring access to drinking water: Despite progress made, an estimated 663 million people were still using unimproved or surface water sources in 2015. Furthermore, improved water sources are not necessarily safe. A 2012 estimate suggests 1.8 billion people were exposed to drinking water sources contaminated with faecal matter. There is much progress still to be made in ensuring universal, equitable, safe and affordable access to drinking water.
- Adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene: 2.4 billion people did not use an improved sanitation facility in 2015. 946 million people did not have access to any facilities at all. While wastewater and faecal waste management solutions are important, the overall goal requires a broad range of work, particularly regarding the hygiene needs of women and girls.
- Improving water quality: Water contamination can quite simply be fatal. However, before that extreme, there are a long list of effects that poor water quality can have on a population, all of which limit the potential of that demographic. Improving water quality, whether through a reduction in contamination or effective treatment of the water, stands to have a huge impact on many communities around the world.
- Increase water use efficiency: A key way to reduce water stress is to reduce total water use by the end user. In some instances, reducing water use may require ‘lifestyle change’ for the end user, however, there is scope to use new technologies and methodologies to reduce water use without restricting the end user.
- Protect and restore water-related ecosystems: At some point, our water comes from a natural source. Whether it’s extracted from an aquifer or a river, the quality of that source has a direct impact on the quality of our water. Furthermore, water quality directly impacts other sectors vital for humanity, such as fisheries, agriculture, etc. Much work needs to be done in the fields of faecal contamination, industrial pollution and even sedimentation as a result of deforestation along with many other issues.
- Support and strengthen local participation: Many communities throughout the world are poorly placed to benefit from the interventions of government or other higher institutions. In these areas in particular, ‘grassroots’ approaches to the issues of clean water and sanitation which are focused on the participation of the local community can have far greater impact and achieve long term sustainability.
- In recognition of your efforts, cash prizes will be awarded to the top 3 submissions: £1,500, £1,000 and £500 for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place respectively.
- The 1st place submission will receive corporate mentorship for 6 months.
- Any student, whether undergraduate or postgraduate from the University may submit a business model into the competition, either as an individual or in a team.
- Entries from any other university student from within the UK or India will also be accepted.
- Participant will create a business model for their proposed solution on the Babele platform. Following a selection period, if they are one of the top 10 submissions, they will then have to create a 5-minute video detailing their solution. These videos will be used to determine the top 3 proposals.
- As a part of the business model you need to provide an overview of the problem landscape and the solution landscape in a visual format. Participants must use their creativity to present their understanding of the chosen area in an accessible and interesting way.
How to Apply
Interested participants must submit their business models online via given website.
Eligible Countries: UK & India
For more information, please visit UK-India Social Innovation Challenge