The Pathways to Prosperity Innovation Challenge
2014 Official Rules
As part of its grant within the context of the Pathways to Prosperity in the Americas Initiative, World Environment Center is utilizing the Pathways to Prosperity Innovation Challenge as an effective and powerful means to source and reward impactful solutions that help small and medium-sized enterprises in Latin America to grow and succeed. The Innovation Challenge is designed to discover and reward existing solutions and policies that show unique promise for replication and scale and that address regional needs from a variety of perspectives, and contexts. The Innovation Challenge is supported by funding from the U.S. Department of State.
Description of Opportunity:
The Pathways to Prosperity Innovation challenge seeks local, high-impact initiatives that have demonstrated success in one of four focus areas:
1. Empowering small and medium-sized enterprises to connect to regional or global markets.
2. Facilitating trade and regional competitiveness by helping SME entrepreneurs to better understand and meet trade and environmental regulations.
3. Developing a modern workforce by improving workers’ rights.
4. Fostering sustainable business practices and environmental cooperation by providing SMEs with incentives and support to use clean technology.
The challenge will award four top entries with:
• Funding to scale to a new context or geography, up to US$500,000
• Technical support, including:
o Consulting support from World Environment Center and in-country network partners.
o Support for business strategy development to help winning solutions scale.
o One Storytelling Training and resources to help innovators better pitch their solutions to investors.
o Access to M&E (monitoring and evaluation) resources in order to measure impact and document best practices.
12 semi-finalists will also be invited to access consulting support. All entrants will be invited to join a support network for peer-to-peer mentoring.
• Organizations, and partnerships are eligible to apply. Entrants may represent all sectors—nonprofit, for-profit, government, university, and community initiatives may all apply.
• Entrants must be older than 18 years of age and have at least one member of the organization operating within one of the following countries:
• Costa Rica
• Dominican Republic
• El Salvador
• Nicaragua (excluding public entities/government)
• Trinidad & Tobago
• The initiative must scale within or to at least one of the following countries in order to be eligible for the Pathways to Prosperity Innovation Challenge.
• Costa Rica
• El Salvador
• Dominican Republic
• WEC is bound by all U.S. laws and may not make awards to any individual or organization that would violate such laws. Individuals or organizations prohibited under U.S. Law from receiving funds or other awards from WEC are not eligible.
Entry Rules, Deadlines, and Procedures:
• Registration: Entrants must first register for the challenge by submitting the form located on the Registration page [insert link]. The deadline to register is April 16, 2014.
• Application: Entrants that have successfully registered and meet the eligibility requirements will receive an email from a Pathways to Prosperity Innovation Challenge representative with instructions for completing an online application. Each application must:
o Be submitted through the online form by April 30, 2014, 23:59:59 EST. You will receive an email to confirm that your application was successfully received.
o Include complete responses to all required questions.
o Be completed in English or Spanish.
• Review process: A panel of expert judges will select 12 finalists, who will be invited to present their solutions in further detail to the judges. The judges will assess the merit of the presentations and select 4 winners. For details on judging criteria, visit the Criteria page [link].
• Notifications: All entrants will be notified by July 9, 2014 with regard to the status of their entries. Winners will be announced by July 25, 2014.
• Disbursement of funds [Note to WEC: please provide more details on how funding amounts will be disbursed and other legal requirements for this]
• Disclaimers: Application and notification deadlines are subject to change at any time. Any changes will be reflected on the Challenge website. Due to the expected number of applications, reviewers will not be able to provide individual feedback for applications not selected. Additional information may be requested from an applicant at any time. A request to submit additional information does not guarantee selection. WEC and its partners assume no obligation, no responsibility and no liability for costs incurred by applicants in completing the application.
Restrictions on Lobbying Activities
WEC is prohibited from engaging in or earmarking funding for any lobbying or political activities, as these terms are specifically defined under U.S. tax law. While your responses to the application may describe policy solutions, please note that the support you receive may be limited with respect to policy solutions due to these prohibitions.
By submitting an application to the Innovation Challenge, entrants warrants to WEC, the challenge administrator, and their partners that the entrant has the right to provide the information submitted.
The Innovation Challenge shall be governed by and interpreted under the laws of Washington, D.C., U.S.A. without regard to its conflicts of laws provisions. All participants in the Innovation Challenge hereby irrevocably (1) agree that any and all disputes, claims, causes of action, or controversies arising out of or in connection with this Innovation Challenge shall be brought exclusively in the state or federal courts located in Washington County or Alexandria County in Washington, D.C., U.S.A and (2) consent to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of those courts and waive any objection to such venue based on grounds of forum non conveniens. Should any part of these Official Rules be declared invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction of Washington, D.C., such invalidation should not invalidate the remaining portions of these Official Rules, and they shall remain in full force and effect.
Please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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o We protect your personal information and only authorized WEC employees and the Pathways to Prosperity Innovation Challenge personnel, including expert judges and Context Partners employees involved in administering the challenge, will have access to this information.
o Your contact information will only be used to send you updates about your entry and about the challenge. All entrants will be invited to join a support network for peer-to-peer mentoring. Your information will not be shared to this network without your consent. When the competition closes, you will be sent an email asking whether you would like to join the support network.
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o Please note that if you are chosen as a finalist or as a winner of the challenge, you will be asked to agree to additional terms and conditions that may affect how your personal information is shared. For example, the challenge will connect winners with WEC’s network of in-country partners in order to help winners scale up or replicate their solutions, and sharing of your information will be a necessary part of the award.
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Effective Date: February 12, 2014