The Luc Hoffmann Institute Beyond Tourism in Africa Innovation Challenge 2020 (US$10,000 grant)

The Luc Hoffmann Institute Beyond Tourism in Africa Innovation Challenge 2020

Deadline: 15 October 2020 (23:59 CEST).

The Luc Hoffmann Institute Beyond Tourism in Africa Innovation Challenge 2020 (US$10,000 grant)

The Luc Hoffmann Institute, the African Leadership University’s School of Wildlife Conservation and the WWF Regional Office for Africa are launching a global innovation challenge. We aim to discover and incubate new revenue models that do not depend on tourism, but still enable local communities within African countries to derive income from wildlife, manage their natural resources sustainably, and improve their collective wellbeing. Participants have the chance to win a place in the African Leadership University’s incubation programme and access to seed money.


We are calling for submissions from anyone from any sector or background with bold and sustainable ideas for concepts, projects, businesses or products. Ideas must meet the following criteria for consideration:

  1. Generates value (economic, social and cultural) for local community(ies) in Africa from wildlife or natural resources
  2. Does not rely on tourism to generate revenue
  3. Empowers communities with decision-making power and ensures their rights, dignity and livelihoods are a priority
  4. Demonstrates to be feasible, financially sustainable and potentially scalable
  5. Aims to improve the conditions for wildlife and natural resources.

All eligible applications will be evaluated by a panel of experts from the partnering organisations based on these criteria.

We define the terms used within this challenge as follows:

  • Tourism includes every form of tourism, both consumptive and non-consumptive, both local and international, that requires the physical presence of the tourist in the destination. Common examples include photographic tourism, trophy hunting, sport fishing and ecotourism. Innovative ideas around virtual tourism and online or digital opportunities are very  welcome.
  • Wildlife encompasses both fauna and flora. Domesticated species do not fall under this definition.
  • Rural communities or communities are those managing wildlife or habitats, as well as communities living in the proximity of wildlife habitats.
  • Scalable means replicable in other locations or the potential to become a high-growth business. A high-growth business would eventually have the potential to generate returns at the scale of tourism, including trophy hunting.
  • Innovative means a new and original idea, project, business, etc. The idea can also be based on something existing, but must incorporate an important change that allows it to meet the requirements of the challenge. Examples might be an innovation that makes a business model scalable, brings financial sustainability, gives decision-making powers to communities, etc. Innovative ideas are by no means reduced to technology.


Innovators from around the world are welcome to apply, especially people from non-traditional backgrounds and those with strong ties to rural communities in Africa.

Who: Any individual or team with bold ideas from around the world may apply, but we are especially seeking solutions from within Africa itself, and we will look favourably at applications from within the continent. On the application form, applicants must demonstrate their strong links to the geographic context of their idea.

Age: There is no age limit for applicants. However, to be considered for the ALU incubation programme, the team lead must be at least 18 years old and teams may have a maximum of 3 members.

Language: Submissions must be in English, but we strongly encourage both native and non-native English speakers to apply. No judgements will be made on language proficiency. Please note: the ALU incubation programme offered to selectees is conducted in English.

Sector: We strongly encourage teams composed of people from different sectors, and particularly from outside the conservation sector. Applicants do not need a history of working on conservation-related projects or ideas.

BENEFITS – Beyond Tourism in Africa Innovation Challenge 2020

Up to 15 ideas will be selected. Successful applicants will win a place in the African Leadership University’s 8-month incubation programme, culminating in a public pitch to top investors. The programme commences in February 2021 and will run over eight months. It is a part-time, virtual programme.

The African Leadership University Incubator Programme supports high-potential entrepreneurs with a drive to transform Africa through impactful and ethical ventures. The programme provides access to life-long learning and a community of peers, mentors and potential investors. At the end of the programme, all participants would be expected to successfully launch a venture with the opportunity for potential investment. For this particular cohort, the programme is focused on impactful ideas in the wildlife conservation sector, with entrepreneurs going through an 8-month experience that uses a unique model that can transform their ideas into a viable business. If you apply as a team and your team is successful, a maximum of three team members will be admitted to the programme.

During the incubation programme, participants may receive a grant of up to US$10,000 from the organisers as early seed money.

The programme is set to start in February 2021 and will run over eight months. It is a part-time, virtual programme.


For more Information: Visit the webpage The Luc Hoffmann Institute Beyond Tourism in Africa Innovation Challenge 2020