Re-use, Re-fill, Re-imagine - Opportunity for Innovative solutions for small traders & family owners

About the Opportunity:

This Global Alliance Innovation Exchange challenge competition, delivered by KTN Global Alliance Africa, is supporting Unilever to identify innovative approaches towards new circular business models for reuse and refill models for small traders and family-owned shops in South Africa. The most promising solution provider is selected by Unilever and may be given a commercial opportunity to deliver their solution in partnership with Unilever and receive support from Innovate UK KTN.

Think about the packaging and think about ways to redesign the entire consumer experience that supports refill and reuse. Key to this would be figuring out how to change consumers’ behaviours from a convenience culture (single-use items, pre-packaged foods, convenience meals, etc.) to a culture of responsible consumption and make the refill and reuse behaviour a desirable status symbol rather than a niche activity that only 'eco-warriors' would engage in.

Rewards & Benefits

Successful applicants will be given an opportunity to pitch to Unilever. The package may also include: • Support from Unilever • Support from Innovate UK KTN (e.g. pitch training and mentoring) • Support in the development of a prototype or pilot • Technical support • Invitation to attend or present at Innovate UK KTN events • A potential business collaboration • Investor introductions (if investment is required) • Support if any innovation or similar competitions are relevant The selected solution provider(s) will: • Work with Unilever who will facilitate and support solution testing • Receive GBP 25,000 seed funding to work on the specific challenge. Funding will be received in instalments, subject to specific Milestones (eg. project plan, mid-project report and final report)

Functional Requirements

Entrants to this competition must be:

  • Established businesses, start-ups, SMEs, individual entrepreneurs, or academics.

  • Collaborative solutions (Business to Business B2B and B2R&D) are valid applications. If collaborative solutions are being tabled a single lead organization needs to register the application. This organization can be either an industrial or academic partner.

  • Priority is given to solution providers based in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria. However, innovative solutions from other countries will be considered.

  • Solutions need to be suitable for Informal trade, eg spaza and duka shops, small independent roadside kiosks in South Africa with limited power, limited data and connectivity.

  • Solutions need to have a minimal cost impact on the consumer.

  • Solutions are expected to be deployed within the next 1-2 year, but innovative solutions which might need a longer development phase will be considered.

Submission Deadline:

28th January 2022

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