The Rockefeller Foundation announced a new competition in search of solutions that will improve livelihoods for poor or vulnerable workers in the worldâ€™s informal economies. Launched in celebration of The Rockefeller Foundationâ€™s centennial anniversary, the Centennial Innovation Challenge will consider as many as 10 of the finalists for the opportunity to apply for a grant of up to $100,000 and win support in proposal-writing to enable the further development of submitted ideas.
It is often out of necessity that 1.8Â billion people find their livelihoods in the informal economy â€“ the business enterprises and jobs that exist partially or completely outside of government regulation. Informal workers lack basic safety nets like pensions and health insurance, and are typically without recourse if they are denied pay or are compelled to work in unsafe conditions. Improving working conditions, legal rights, and social benefits for informal workers would open new pathways to economic and social empowerment for millions of poor or vulnerable people worldwide.
â€œThe Rockefeller Foundation is looking to tap the ingenuity and dedication of todayâ€™s social innovators to address the worldâ€™s most urgent challenges and ensure that informal workers can achieve equitableÂ growth, all while building resilience in an increasingly volatile world,â€ said Dr. Judith Rodin, President of The Rockefeller Foundation. â€œTogether we can chart new paths that will transform the lives of the billions working in informal economies across the globe.â€
Informal employment is a significant and growing part of the worldâ€™s economy; it accounts for around 50% of employment in North Africa and in Latin America, 65% of employment in Asia, and 72% in Sub-Saharan Africa. Given the vast number of informal workers, it is important to spur new innovations that improve workerâ€™s livelihoods in the informal economy.
Ideas for the 2013 Centennial Innovation Challenge will be accepted online at challenge.rockefellerfoundation.org until the deadline on April 1, 2013. This competition is subject to eligibility requirements, official terms and conditions, and is void where restricted or prohibited by law. Full details and official terms and conditions can also be found at the competition website.