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World Food Programme (WFP) IGNITE Food Systems Challenge

World Food Programme (WFP) IGNITE Food Systems Challenge

Fully Funded
Country: Rwanda
Apr 01 - Sep 30, 2022
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Apply for WFP IGNITE Food Systems Challenge to receive up to $50,000 in equity-free funding, mentorship as well as access to the world’s largest humanitarian organization!

The challenge is looking for Rwanda’s brightest and newest entrepreneurial solutions on how to tackle hunger, improve food security and strengthen food systems.

The IGNITE Food Systems Challenge supports Rwandan start-ups, SMEs as well as cooperatives to scale up their solutions. This aims to contribute to the economy while creating a positive social impact by addressing different gaps in the food system. The Challenge will provide a platform to pitch to win both financial and technical support.

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More about the Challange

The scope of the Challenge is kept broad, covering food production, food transformation & food consumption. Furthermore, entities covering goods and services required for processing, marketing, consumption, and disposition of goods from agriculture, forestry or fisheries are also eligible to leverage this opportunity and apply. Similarly, entities in the agro-processing/value-addition parts of the supply chain, such as post-harvest handling and storage, agricultural financing, and strengthening smallholder market access, are particularly relevant and encouraged to apply.

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  • Funding  up to $50,000 in equity-free funding
  • 6 months acceleration technical support to strengthen your skills and address any gaps in your business, with a tailored made curriculum as well as direct connections to experts and mentors
  • access to the strong network of public, private, and government partners

How it works

  1.  Apply for the program: Explain your vision, your team, and tell why the program should choose your venture
  2.  Shortlisted applicants will have access to skills training in preparation for the Pitch Event as well as undergo a due diligence process in Feb/March 2022.
  3.  If shortlisted, you’ll have the chance to pitch your venture to an audience of potential partners, investors, and officials at an exclusive pitch event in March 2022. Up to six start-ups will have the opportunity to move to the next stage of acceleration support.
  4. Finally, winning teams from the pitch event will receive up to $50,000 in funding, as well as access to technical support according to their specific business needs. They will also gain exposure to WFP’s vast field operations over a 6-month period.


Applications close                                                                    6th February 2022

Announcement of shortlisted startups                                Mid February

Skills training & due diligence                                               February – March 2022

Pitch Day                                                                                    March 2022

6 months acceleration phase                                                  April – September 2022


  • Your entity must possess a valid registration/certificate of incorporation for operating in Rwanda
  • Have proof of a revenue-generating business or turnover of at least the equivalent of 5,000 USD for the year 2020-21
  • Be a team of at least 3 full-time members of the SME/cooperative, including the founding team
  • Also, at least 50% of your founding and/or senior management team must be from Rwanda/East Africa
  • In addition, the entity must have key operations in Rwanda

Moreover, ventures that are women-led and/or have taken demonstrated action towards promoting women in their supply chain are especially encouraged to apply.

Selection Criteria

  • Level of innovation: the solution solves a food challenge in an innovative way
  • Impact: the solution has a strong impact on strengthening food systems
  • Financial sustainability: the venture has a clear business model and is financially sustainable
  • Level of traction: the venture shows traction and demonstrates impact already
  • Scalability: the venture has a strong potential to be scaled up
  • Team: The team combines the right experience and demonstrates a commitment to scale the solution

World Food Program will review your applications. The challenge welcomes applicants working across all stages of the food system. However, preference will be given to those who already show traction and market validation to support their growth.



Type of Opportunity Entrepreneurship Events
Event Date01 April,2022 to 30 September,2022
Deadline06 February,2022
Open toincorporation in Rwanda
OrganizerWFP Innovation Hub for Eastern Africa
Contact the organizer[email protected] 



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