Pact is an international development nonprofit that works on the ground in nearly 40 countries to end poverty and marginalization. They partner with local organizations, businesses and governments to build lasting solutions for thriving, resilient communities. Their vision is a world where everyone owns their future.

In 2020, all around the world, people were experiencing the damaging effects of COVID-19. Communities were seeing challenges in delivering essential services such as in the health and education sectors and suffered long-term economic hardships due to wide-spread disruptions in supply chains and loss of employment. In October 2020, Pact launched AfrIdea, a regional innovation program supported by the U.S. Department of State which was geared towards unlocking the potential of West African entrepreneurs, social activists and developers in uncovering solutions to post-COVID challenges. Through a contest, training, idea-a-thon and follow-on funding, they sought to activate a network of young entrepreneurs and innovators from Guinea, Mali, Senegal and Togo to source and grow innovative solutions.

What’s Inside

Learn how Pact

  • Launched a seven-stage submission and incubation competition for solutions to COVID challenges
  • Created an international community of collaborative entrepreneurs
  • Funded new programs that are empowering youth and female entrepreneurs

“By combining mentorship and crowdsourcing – it’s automatically engaging. It’s bringing a community to you and whether you get accepted or not you can actually grow your idea and seek inspiration from a new collaborative community. You’re able to get feedback automatically from a network of experienced innovators or like-minded individuals. Working this way tied us all together to hope and progress in the midst of COVID.”

-Taylor Cruz Mwila, Senior Innovation Officer at Pact

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