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Welcome to Reach for Change!

We are currently accepting applications to the Tigo Digital Changemakers Competition in Rwanda! Apply by 17 November 2017!

Reach for Change works in partnership with socially committed companies around the world to find and support the world's most promising early-stage social entrepreneurs working to improve the lives of children. 

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to Apply to Tigo Digital Changemakers

What is Reach for Change?

Reach for Change is a non-profit organisation that is partnering with Tigo to deliver Digitial Changemakers. Reach for Change Africa supports social entrepreneurs, particularly those who improve the lives of children, youth and women. We believe that the best way to create social change is to give the right tools to people who are passionate, and who have the entrepreneurial drive to make a lasting change.

What is a social entrepreneur?

A social entrepreneur is someone who has identified a problem in society and has come up with an innovative solution to that problem. The social entrepreneur will often use business principles to create a sustainable organization to implement that solution, the same way that a traditional entrepreneur would build their business. The difference is that a social entrepreneur's goal is to create social change, not make money. He or she has to be ambitious and persistent, focus on a major social issue, and offer new ideas for wide-scale change.

What is a Digital Changemaker?

A Digital Changemaker is a social entrepreneur who uses digital tools and technology (mobile, broadband, digital or other technology) to create impact or to scale and grow their impact.

What kind of initiatives are you looking for?

1. We are looking for digital initiatives that will improve Rwandan communities and/or contribute to a better life for children and youth. We especially look for initiatives that:

  • Will have a great social impact – meaning that they will provide genuine solutions to social challenges in Rwanda.
  • Are scalable – meaning that they have the potential to change the lives of many people – nationally, regionally or even globally.
  • Can be financially sustainable – meaning that there is a business model or financial strategy behind the initiative which will ensure minimise the risk of the impact stopping or failing due to lack of funds
  • Can be system-changing – meaning the initiative aims at changing society in a big way, changing the systems which are causing the problem or limiting or restricting the solution

​2. The initiative must use digital technological solutions. The use of technological solutions can be demonstrated in one or more of the following ways:

  • Using mobile, broadband, digital and/or information technology, as part of the solution.
  • Have potential to use mobile broadband, digital and /or information technology to improve the quality of the impact or scale of the social impact.
  • Promote connectivity and access to communications, particularly to undeserved populations or has the potential of doing so.

3. Must have a working prototype in place: 

  •  By this we mean the technical core functionalities of the product have been developed with main features already functional. Going live will be possible within 6 months.

4. An entrepreneurial person who has an innovative and exciting digital solution within these areas: Digital Inclusion or Financial Inclusion:

  • Digital Inclusion means incorporating information technologies into the community; digital inclusion projects aim to provide individuals and communities access to information and communication technologies (ICT)
  • Financial Inclusion  means to provide support, information and tools to individuals to let them participate in the financial system. This includes organizing trainings and the provision of access to savings, loans, insurance and other financial services. 

(Each criteria is explained in further detail under “About the application process” below.)

How can I apply for support?

If you have a digital initiative that is improving our communities and/or the lives of many children, and if you are willing to work full time on making your initiative grow, you can apply to us through our website. On the website you will be asked to describe your initiative and answer a number of questions.

How will you choose who gets the support?

We are looking for exceptional individuals with great digital initiatives that can improve our communities and/or the lives of children, who are willing to work full time on making the initiative grow and who have the entrepreneurial drive to succeed. We have a broad and extensive selection process, where both the Reach for Change team, Tigo co-workers and external experts are involved to choose the most entrepreneurial and innovative individuals with the most powerful initiatives.

What kind of support will I get if my initiative is selected?

The selected individuals will receive support to develop and then scale their initiatives. They will receive organisational funding of Frw 8.2 Million, plus advice and coaching from our partners. We will monitor their progress over time to ensure they meet agreed on Key Performance Indicators. The funding is designed to enable these individuals to focus full-time on developing and expanding the reach of their digital social innovation, and all winners will be therefore be expected to work full time. Equally important to the funding is the support from some of the most outstanding Tigo co-workers to help scale and develop the initiative so it becomes financially sustainable and its social impact is as wide-reaching as possible.

How many projects will you support?

This year we will select a maximum of three initiatives to support.

Who will decide who gets funding?

We have a broad and extensive selection process, where both the Reach for Change team, Tigo co-workers and external experts are involved. The applicants that make it through the first step of the application process will be asked to submit additional information. A jury of senior managers from our partners and the Reach for Change foundation will make the final decision.

About the application process and the selection

How can I apply for support?

If you have a digital initiative that is improving our communities and/or the lives of many children, and if you are willing to work full time on making the initiative grow, you can apply at our web site.

Here you will be asked to fill out some personal information to create a personal account. Once you have created your account, you can submit your application by answering a few questions about yourself and your digital initiative.

I don't have a post address/mobile phone number or something else that is requested when creating an account. What do I do?

A phone number is required to create an account. For all the other requirements for creating an account, simply indicate that you don't have it, or just input the letter x, then you can proceed.

What happens after I have submitted my application?

The applications will be evaluated, and the applicants that meet the selection criteria will be asked to submit more information. To find out whether your application has passed on to the second step of the selection process you can log on to your personal account at rwanda.reachforchange.org . If you chose to submit an email address you will also be notified via email.

Can I prepare by reading the questions before?

All the questions can be found in the Application Pack, which can be downloaded by clicking here  or in the green box on the sidebar.

Can I apply more than once?

We allow only one application per person. Choose the initiative that you believe in the most and that you are the most passionate about. If you get selected you need to commit to work with this project full-time for many years to come, so make sure you apply with a digital initiative that you are truly committed to implement and work with for a long time.

Is there a limit to the length of the application?

Yes. In the online application form you will see how many characters you can use for each question. We ask you to keep your answers short, concise and to the point.

I'm not sure how to answer a specific question. I don't understand what the question is asking for?

You will find explanations to the questions in the Application Pack which you can download in the green box on the sidebar.

Can two or more people apply collectively with the same initiative?

If you are two co-leaders, with the same role, you can both apply. But, you will only receive one space in the incubator to share. Alternatively, you can decide which of you is best suited to lead and have that person submit the application. Note that you should only submit ONE application, even if there are two of you working with it.

How do I know if my application has been submitted?

You will see that your application is marked “submitted” when you are logged on to your account. You will also receive a confirmation email.

When I log on to my account, there is no application registered, although I applied yesterday. What has happened?

Then it seems your application was not submitted, we would ask you to do it again (provided the deadline has not passed). Make sure your application is marked as “submitted” in your account before you finish.

Can I meet you in person to present my project?

Only written application that have been submitted on the website can be processed. However, if the application goes through to the final round you will be invited to present it in person.

My initiative does not use digital technology but it has the potential to. Can I apply?

No. We only accept initiatives that have a digital solution at their core. 

One of the selection criteria is social impact – what does it mean?

With social impact we mean the impact created by your digital initiative on communities and in children's lives. We are specifically looking for initiatives that can solve pressing problems for many people. It can be a solution, in the form of a product, services or a system that provides a clear solution to a major societal problem that is not currently being addressed.

One of the selection criteria is financial sustainability – what does it mean?

With financial sustainability we mean that there is a business model or a financial strategy that will sustain the operations in the long term, and minimise the risk of failure due to having insufficient funds. These strategies should be implemented from the start, so that the projects can sustain and continue to scale without financial support from Tigo and Reach for Change.

One of the selection criteria is scalability – what does it mean?

The initiative must be scalable, meaning that there is a focus on delivering the social impact to tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions of people. It may start on a small scale but there should be a strategy in place from the beginning which will push towards having impact at national, regional or even global level.

One of the selection criteria is system change – what does it mean?

It means that we want to support initiatives which are aimed at altering the systems which are either causing the problem, or limiting or restricting its solution. It is by targeting and changing these systems, that it is possible to create large-scale and lasting change for both current and future generations.

Do I need to have an existing organization or company in place to apply?

No, you can apply as an individual. However, if selected you would have to register an organization or a company.

Can a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) or a company apply for support?

The support will be given to individuals. Organizations and companies can apply, but the application must come from the leader and primary decision maker of that organisation, and the focus of that organisation must be exclusively the development and delivery of the solution you are submitting to us. We do not support individual programs within existing NGOs where there are multiple programs being delivered

We can only support a company if the overall goal of the operations is to create social impact, and all revenue is re-invested into the operations for the time of support.

Are you looking for new [projects or can existing organizations apply?

We are looking for early stage social entrepreneurs. By this we mean individuals whose initiatives have not yet reached their full potential. This can be:

  • Individuals who have built an organization that is still not fully developed, but has - at a minimum - a working prototype in place
  • Individuals who have built an organization that has run for some time, but who need support to change the direction of the operations or take on a new and bigger challenge.

Is it business initiatives that you are looking for?

We are looking for powerful digital initiatives that improve our communities and/or the lives of children. The initiative need to include some kind of business model or financial strategy which will enable the organisation to be financially sustainable over the long term. The digital initiative could be a business initiative, or it could be an initiative delivered through an NGO.

What specific areas will you support?

We are looking for any solutions that will address challenges related to digital inclusion, education and business entrepreneurship in Rwanda. These solutions must impact Rwandan communities and/or Rwandan children.

  • Digital Inclusion means incorporating information technologies into the community; digital inclusion projects that aim to provide individuals and communities access to information and communication technologies (ICT)
  • Financial inclusion means to provide support, information and tools to individuals to let them participate in the financial system. This includes organizing training and the provision of access to savings, loans, insurance and other financial services.

About the support from Reach for Change and Tigo

What happens if I am selected?

The selected individuals will enter our Incubator program, receiving support to develop and then scale their project. They will receive organizational funding of Frw 8.2 Million and a place in our incubator where they will receive advice and coaching from Reach for Change and Tigo. We will monitor their progress over time to ensure they meet agreed on Key Performance Indicators. The organisational funding is designed to enable these individuals to focus full-time on developing their organizations and activities, and all winners will be therefore be expected to work full time on the development of their solution during their time in our Incubator. Equally important to the funding is the support from some of the most outstanding Tigo co-workers to help scale and develop the initiative so it becomes financially sustainable and has wide-reaching social impact.

For how long will I get the support?

The support is given for a year. At the end of the year, the collaboration will be evaluated, and a decision on whether to continue for one more year will be taken, based on a number of different factors, including whether or not you feel the Reach for Change incubator is still a good fit for you and your project, the impact of your project, whether or not you have met the targets agreed at the beginning of the year, your success in developing and implementing strategies for scaling the impact and for the financial sustainability

What am I required to do if I get the support?

First and foremost, you are required to work full time and put your energy into developing and scaling your innovation. You will be required to register an organisation or company through which to develop your project. You will be required to participate in all the core events of the Reach for Change program. You will also be required to complete quarterly reports and an annual report, evaluating the social impact of your project, the progress of the work and the development of your organisation in line with the objectives you will set with us at the beginning of the year. 

Important Dates

These dates may be subject to change.

Application deadline:
November 17, 2017

Decision on semi-finalists:
November 20, 2017

Concept Development Workshop (for semi-finalists):
Between November 23 - 26, 2017

Interviews:
December 4, 2017

Jury (for finalists):
December 5, 2017

Our selection criteria

The Problem:

  • Acknowledged by sector experts
  • Strong understanding of the problem and the context around the problem

The Solution:

  • Should fit into one of the following themes: Digital Inclusion or Financial Inclusion
  • Should create meaningful social impact for children
  • Impact strategy should be in place
  • System change strategy should be in place

The Product:

  • Uses mobile or digital technology at its core
  • Must have a working prototype in place
  • Must have been tested with potential users

The Entrepreneur:

  • Must demonstrate leadership and entrepreneurial acumen
  • Must demonstrate that he/she is a “good fit” for support from Tigo and Reach for Change
  • Must demonstrate that he/she is honest, trustworthy and reliable
  • Must be to working full time on proposed solution

The Organisation:

  • Must be at an early growth phase
  • Must have strong potential for Financial Sustainability
  • Must have a strong team
  • Must have robust operations
Read more

Get help preparing your application

Download the Application guide (pdf).

Download