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The Challenge Fund

The Challenge Fund: Benin turns its tourism sites into innovation labs

Launched by the World Bank, the Benin’s National Agency for Promotion of Heritage and Tourism Development and Sèmè City, the International Knowledge and Innovation City of Benin, this challenge aims to support project leaders to conceive, incubate and launch on a large scale their innovative ideas to improve Benin’s travel destinations.

Your project could be, for example:

  • using augmented reality technology to create unprecedented immersive tourist experiences
  • a social micro-network for tourists who want to share their experiences of Vodun culture
  • a company that raises tourists’ eco-friendly awareness by inviting them to plant a geo-located tree
  • a Zero-Beach-Waste initiative with an educational campaign to raise awareness of these issues

The objective is to ask entrepreneurs to think about new solutions, to advance and exceed the expectations of tourists, and to disrupt a promising economic sector in Africa.

The Challenge Fund will focus on major sites currently being developed in Benin, including the Pendjari wildlife park, the museums in Abomey, Porto Novo and Allada, the lacustrian town of Ganvié, the historical city of Ouidah and the coastal resort of Avlekete.

This call for innovative concepts is open to all projects and companies pursuing inclusive and sustainable tourism. As part of the Challenge Fund, participants will have to demonstrate the viability and impact of their concept, to bring innovative solutions to key issues linked to the attractiveness of tourism in Benin.

Selected projects will receive funding worth up to 500,000 USD, as well as access to the experts and resources of Sèmè City’s incubators. Projects will be incubated by Sèmè City and will benefit from customised support, including services such as access to training modules and to a network of experts and companies.

The key dates for the call for innovative concepts are the following:

  • Launch of the call for applications on the 4 December 2017
  • Submission deadline for applications on the 31st January 2018

To learn more about the Challenge Fund:

About Sèmè City:

Sèmè City brings together higher education institutions, research and development centres and incubators. Sèmè City is based on the principles of a smart city, offering the best access to technological innovation while capitalising on its natural assets. Sèmè City positions itself as a value-creation laboratory through excellence in training, innovation and entrepreneurship.