NEWS: Press Release
Soraya Omar, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bpeace Program Manager
Mobile: (0) 797 340 855 (Kabul)
Toni Maloney, email@example.com
Bpeace Co-Founder and Chair
Mobile: 212-777-6655 (New York)
Award Competition for Innovative Businesses Ideas
6 Entrepreneurs to Receive $120,000 in Cash, Technical Assistance and Equipment
Top Winner to Receive Additional $10,000 and Trip to U.S.A.
Application deadline is August 15, 2009 at www.bpeace.org/race
July 15, 2009, Kabul, Afghanistan—Bpeace (The Business Council for Peace) today announced a nationwide business competition inviting the brightest and most talented entrepreneurs in Afghanistan to submit their business ideas to the Bpeace Race to Innovation. Bpeace will provide award winners with pro-bono business consulting and access to capital to help transform their innovative business ideas into reality. The deadline for submissions is August 15, 2009. Six semi-finalist award winners will be announced by October 1, 2009.
The Bpeace Race to Innovation will connect experienced businesspeople with entrepreneurs in order to strengthen and expand new Afghan businesses. Since 2004, Bpeace has worked with Afghan women to build businesses that have created jobs for more than 1,400 Afghans who support more than 12,000 family members.
The Race to Innovation will provide six male and female semi-finalists with a total value of $120,000 in technical assistance plus equipment and cash for start-up or expansion. For the first time, Bpeace will also enlist a nationwide Afghan online vote to select the best ideas. The top winner will additionally receive $10,000 in cash to expand or launch their business idea, and a trip to the U.S.A. to meet technical advisors in their industry.
According to Bpeace Co-founder and Chairperson, Toni Maloney: â€œThis competition is a bold and innovative idea brought by a trusted friend to Afghanistan—Bpeace. The idea of searching for the newest and best business ideas in Afghanistan is a nod to the future. The Race to Innovation asks â€˜what will be the next great Afghan businesses?â€™ and then delivers the support that will enable those ventures to succeed faster and create more jobs, bringing stability and peace. The community focus is especially important, as it recognizes that progress involves all Afghans.â€
Partners in the Bpeace Race to Innovation (list in formation)
ASMED/USAID will provide technical advisory valued at $10,000 to help the six semi-finalists develop their business plans. Siemens/Innovation Afghanistan is donating Fujitsu Siemens laptop computers to six semi-finalists. Arjang Translation Center will provide translation and interpretation services valued at $5,000.
The Afghan and U.S. organizations who will be promoting the Race to Innovation to its networks in order to attract applicants are: U.S. Embassy in Kabul; Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Initiative; Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce; Afghan Women Services Education and Organization (AWSE); Afghan Womenâ€™s Business Federation (AWBF); and Peace Dividend Trust.
Applications will be judged by professionals in both Afghanistan and the U.S.A. on three criteria:
4. Business viability—the potential of the business to grow, provide jobs, and succeed in the Afghan marketplace and beyond.
5. Innovativeness—the creativeness and novelty of the business and its potential to appeal to Afghan cultural and consumer values and needs.
6. Community impact—the potential of the business to spur other innovations and new businesses in the community and the ability of the business to contribute positively to the lives of Afghans.
How to Apply
Between July 15 and August 15, 2009, visit http://www.bpeace.org/race to download and complete the application form, in English. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of the application form.
All applications must be submitted by August 15, 2009.
Bpeace (Business Council for Peace) is a non-profit international volunteer network of business professionals. In countries emerging from war, like Rwanda and Afghanistan, our volunteers help entrepreneurs expand their businesses, create employment, and build a peaceful future for their communities.
For More Information:
Race to Innovation Website: www.bpeace.org/race
2009-07-16 12:30:51 UTC