Applications Open for Impact-Driven Entrepreneurs,from The Mandela Washington Catalyst Grant Program

About the Opportunity

Through a new partnership with D-Prize, a non-profit organization that works to distribute and scale proven technologies to benefit people in extreme poverty, approximately 2021 Fellows will be selected to receive grants of up to $20,000 USD each to fund new social ventures or initiatives.

Who Should Apply?

  • The Mandela Washington Fellowship Catalyst Grant is open to all 2021 Fellowship Alumni from all tracks, sectors, and levels of expertise who want to launch or scale a social enterprise in communities throughout Africa.

  • The Mandela Washington Fellowship Catalyst Grant is intended to support 2021 Fellowship Alumni to deliver a proven poverty intervention at scale.


  • The lead applicant (i.e., person submitting the application) is a 2021 Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumnus/a in good standing, who has completed all Fellowship requirements. Please note: 2021 Fellowship Alumni are not required to include other 2021 Alumni, or Alumni from other cohorts, as part of their leadership team.

  • The 2021 Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumni lead applicant, leadership team members, and Mandela Washington Fellowship Catalyst Grant collaboration activities are all based in sub-Saharan Africa.

  • 2021 Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumni applicants are not employees or immediate family members of employees of the U.S. Government (including U.S. Embassies, USAID, and other U.S. Government entities).

  • Applications must respond to one of the Mandela Washington Fellowship Catalyst Grant Challenges

Submission Deadline:

25 October 2021

Challenges needed to be solved (Focus Areas)


  • Quality Inputs Challenge: Can you provide smallholder farmers with high-quality inputs and training proven to increase their harvests?

  • Post-Harvest Challenge: Can you provide smallholder farmers post-harvest loans and storage technology proven to increase their incomes?

Clean Water

  • Chlorine Dispenser Challenge: Can you distribute community chlorine dispensers and teach people to use them?


  • Teaching at the Right Level Challenge: Can you teach basic reading and mathematics skills to primary school students in a resource-limited classroom?


  • Solar Lamp Challenge: Can you sell solar lights to rural or slum-dwelling households in need?

Governance & Infrastructure

  • Transparency Challenge: Can you improve transparency and report data on the public service performance?

  • Road Safety Challenge: Do you have an idea for ways to reduce reckless driving and road accidents?

Health Access Challenges

  • Immunization Challenge: Can you direct 500 caregivers (parents or other guardians) to bring their infants to health facilities for routine immunizations that otherwise would not occur?

  • Maternal Health Challenge: Can you develop an organization to train birth attendants to administer medicine to prevent postpartum hemorrhaging?

  • Patient Identification Challenge: Can you create a way to identify patients and connect them to early treatment solutions?


  • Poverty Graduation Challenge: Can you provide business coaching, capital, and social support to lift people out of ultra-poverty?

Propose your own challenge!

  • If you know of another proven poverty intervention in need of greater distribution, we would like to hear it. The only requirements are to choose an already proven poverty solution that needs distribution to more people in the developing world.

For more Information, please click:

To Apply, please click:

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