About The Program
The Ignite Innovation Lab (IGL) Digital Transformation, is an online startup incubator and entrepreneurship program that provides lessons on human centered design-thinking, digital marketing, and is committed to equipping youths in Africa with the digital literacy and critical skills necessary to create digital enterprise solutions that are progressing the Sustainable Development Goals and adapt to the global workforce—and the very nature of work in the 21st Century. IGL is a program of Inspire Africa for Global Impacts Initiative.
In 2019, through support and collaboration with the U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section in Nigeria, Ignite Innovation Lab engaged and trained 300 young women, launched 25 new ventures and created 65 new jobs.
join a team.
August 7 - 21, 2020
Pitch your idea.
August 22, 2020
Winners receive new laptops and more!
Help African startups shift to digitization, navigate
workforce shift, and succeed in today's evolving global market.
How It Works
IGL helps people and organizations navigate workforce shifts, such as addressing the urgent need to shift to a remote workforce to protect and serve customers and to establish business continuity. It helps African startups shift to digital platforms during and post COVID-19 while rapidly gaining the skills needed to foster entrepreneurship and create new technologies, businesses, and jobs. Inspire Africa launches its digital version of the Ignite Innovation Lab in July 2020 and the program will run from August 8-22, 2020.
The Innovation Lab Challenge is open to young innovative Africans (aged 19-28) who are interested in learning about relevant soft and digital skills; are ready to employ critical and design thinking to solve complex problems, and are passionate about upgrading their knowledge on digital marketing and using the knowledge gained to build viable online businesses and create job opportunities.
Participants will work virtually in a team project task through a facilitated process of a Design Thinking challenge to co-create innovative and sustainable online business/digital enterprise solutions that will solve complex problems within the African community, create jobs, and simultaneously address a United Nations Sustainable Development Goal.
Participants will join a team of four or five, with members drawn from around sub-Saharan Africa. The team uses cloud computing to communicate with its members and submit their business proposals within two weeks, which will be published on the solutions page of the Inspire Africa website.
To qualify for the IGL Challenge, participants MUST:
Be a young or aspiring entrepreneur from across Africa.
Be between the ages of 19-28 at the start of the program.
Be proficient in English.
Have access to the internet and a valid Gmail account.
Have access to a computer or smartphone device that allows Google apps/G-suite.
Have a well developed CV.
To learn more, visit our FAQs section.
Teams will pitch virtually and the winning team members will receive :
Brand new laptops/cash prizes
A copy of the Winning Streak Book
Outstanding members will receive awards of recognition and all participants will get a certificate of completion. To learn more about prizes, click here.
Innovation Challenge Process
IGL utilizes the design thinking process in a hands-on and experiential method, allowing participants to meticulously apply the methodology throughout the innovation challenge.
1.) Identify problems
relevant to the user.
Participants apply and join a virtual team selected from across Africa in an online innovation challenge.
2.) Apply a human-centered design approach to define the problem.
Teams will utilize IGL
G-Suite platform &
Google classroom to collaborate and co-create innovative and sustainable digital enterprise addressing the SDGs.
3.) Identify a series of possible solutions.
Work with mentors and pitch business proposals via video conference.
4.) Create mockups and prototypes to visualize the solutions and test for feedback.
Exceptional teams will
receive new laptops,
potential funding, and more!
Our Training Model
Participants will explore a multitude of human-centered design methodologies such as need finding, ethnographic observation, and rapid prototyping. The vehicles for learning include hands-on activities through digital tools (G-Suite), online group exercises, research and discussions, short lectures, and pitch rehearsals.
Design Exercises &
During these extensive exercises, participants will infuse design thinking into business planning and entrepreneurial activities. Afterwards, further hands-on
learning and workshops on digital marketing will ensure to under-stand the role of social media on customer acquisition.
Participants will be introduced to a series of creative confidence team building and leadership activities that will equip them with the leadership capacity
to implement the business project and work with a team remotely.