The Rockefeller Foundation Launches the 2013 Centennial Innovation Challenge

Posted by on February 15, 2013 in Funding

The Rockefeller Foundation announced a new competition in search of solutions that will improve livelihoods for poor or vulnerable workers in the world’s informal economies. Launched in celebration of The Rockefeller Foundation’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 1.8 billion people find their livelihoods in the informal economy – 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.

“The Rockefeller Foundation is looking to tap the ingenuity and dedication of today’s social innovators to address the world’s most urgent challenges and ensure that informal workers can achieve equitable  growth, all while building resilience in an increasingly volatile world,” said Dr. Judith Rodin, President of The Rockefeller Foundation. “Together we can chart new paths that will transform the lives of the billions working in informal economies across the globe.”

Informal employment is a significant and growing part of the world’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 worker’s livelihoods in the informal economy.

Ideas for the 2013 Centennial Innovation Challenge will be accepted online at 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.

Vallabh Rao

Vallabh is from Bangalore, India. As a freelance consultant he helps social and green enterprises to communicate and market themselves better. Previously he has worked with media platform and social enterprise enabler Ashoka in India and Digital Divide Data in Cambodia.

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