AYuTe Rwanda Challenge

Empowering Agritech Innovators for a Sustainable Future

About The Challenge

Rwanda's agriculture sector is a crucial one, employing over 60% of the workforce and significantly impacting the livelihoods of a majority of households in the country. However, Rwandan smallholder farmers face a considerable productivity gap compared to the global average, primarily due to limited resources for capacity building and financing, and risk aversion within the private sector.

To address these challenges, innovation and entrepreneurship are critical. A new generation of African youth-led agritech startups is emerging to bridge this gap by leveraging technology and an entrepreneurial spirit to enhance food security and improve the incomes of smallholder farmers.

The Agriculture, Youth and Technology (AYuTe) Rwanda Challenge therefore aims to identify and bring together innovative youth minds from the Rwanda Agri-tech sector to address the challenges faced by smallholder farmers in Rwanda. By harnessing the power of youth innovation, technology and entrepreneurship, the competition seeks to bridge the productivity gap in Rwandan agriculture, enhance food security, and improve the household income of smallholder farmers, ultimately fostering economic development. Heifer International conceived the idea for the AYuTe Africa Challenge based on four decades of work as a trusted partner of African smallholder farmers and seeing firsthand the stark difference between local farms with access to new technologies and those without.

By participating in the AYUTE Rwanda Competition, Youth-led Startups will have the opportunity to showcase their ideas/solutions, gain exposure, and secure funding to realize their vision and contribute to Rwanda's economic development. Through the Challenge, Heifer International Rwanda aims to catalyze the growth of Youth-led initiatives, by providing monetary incentives coupled with business development support services, so as to translate and scale the passion and ideas of young Rwandan innovators into meaningful impact for smallholder farmers in Rwanda.

The competition provides a platform for innovators and startups to:

●        Showcase their Innovations/Solutions

●        Gain valuable exposure

●        Receive funding to turn their visions into a reality

●        Business Development Support and Mentorship

  • The AYuTe Rwanda Challenge offers the following prizes for the top three startups/Innovators:

    ●        1st Prize: $10,000.

    ●        2nd Prize: $6,000.

    ●        3rd Prize: $4,000

  • • Be registered/incorporated with the relevant government agencies in Rwanda.

    • The agritech startup must be led or founded by youth aged between 18 to 35 years.

    • Minimum of 6 Months of operations working with smallholder farmers with financial statements, and evidence of sustainable growth.

    • Strong organizational and operational structure.

    • Well-defined social impact strategy that outlines how the startup will positively impact a large number of smallholder farmers' lives.

    • The Innovation/solution must address a significant challenge faced by smallholder farmers in Rwanda and clear articulation of the solution's uniqueness compared to existing solutions in the market. An identifiable technological innovation should address the following problems for smallholder farmers:

    • Smallholder farmer productivity

    • Smallholder farmer income

    • Labor intensiveness of operations

    • Resilience

    • Access to information for smallholder farmers       

  • ●  Follow the link: https://bit.ly/AYuTeChallengeRwanda

    ●  Fill out the online registration form with your personal information and project details.

    ●  Submit your proposal.

  • ●  Call for Applications: 3rd May 2023 to 26th May 2023

    ●  Virtual Info Session: 11th May 2023

    ●  Final 5 Pitch Event and Announcement will take place at an award ceremony in July 2023.

  • Who runs the AYuTe Rwanda Challenge?

    The AYuTe Rwanda Challenge is an enterprise development program initiated by Heifer International and implemented by Co-creation Hub in Rwanda.

    How long will the challenge run?

    The challenge will run for three months, during which three (3) Rwandan agritech innovators will be awarded the top prizes (winner, first runner-up, second runner-up).

    Who can apply for this challenge?

    Innovators or Startups with an innovative agritech solution that responds to the needs of the Agri-value chain at various levels.

    How many stages are there?

    The AYuTe Rwanda Challenge follows a rigorous four-stage selection process:

    1. Preliminary Application Review: Initial screening of submitted applications selecting forty (40) promising solutions.

    2. First Stage Review: Detailed evaluation of selected applications based on specified criteria of the Forty (40) will be shared with an advisory board to review and select fifteen (15) who will be part of the bootcamp.

    3. Second Stage Review: Due diligence of the 15 applicants will be done to narrow it down to 5 finalists, verifying representations of selected applicants on incorporation, ownership, and traction.

    4. Pitching: Final selection of winners based on live presentations.

    Is the competition only open to Rwandans?

    Yes, only Rwandan innovators/ enterprises that are already registered in Rwanda or are currently being registered are eligible to apply for the AYuTe Rwanda Challenge.

    What kind of innovations do you expect the enterprises to be providing?

    Your enterprise should be providing an innovative agritech solution that responds to the needs of the Agri-value chain at various levels (e.g., production, aggregation, post-harvest losses, value addition, marketplace, financing etc.).

    1.  By entering this challenge, you accept and agree to the following terms and conditions which will govern the competition. Furthermore, you verify that you are unaware of any reason legally prohibiting you from entering this competition and, if the competition requires the submission of photographs, artwork, or images of people, or of anything else that requires consent or copyright, that you have the necessary consent and authority to do so, if required. Any entrant who contravenes these rules may be disqualified from the competition. The rules can only be modified by AYuTe Rwanda in a written revision posted on the challenge application page or any other official challenge communication methods.

    2. This is a digital and in-person run competition. Only entries received online via the AYuTe Rwanda official application page will be accepted.

    1. You may only enter this challenge if you meet the eligibility criteria as seen on the application page.

  • For More Information or Inquiries Contact: startups@cchub.africa with the subject “Re: AYuTe Africa Challenge”

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