Impact Hub Kigali, in collaboration with the World Food Programme (WFP), will extend its support to the third edition of the IGNITE Challenge, with a primary focus on empowering refugees and addressing their livelihood needs. This initiative seeks to foster entrepreneurship and investment in ventures that enhance food systems, combat hunger, and elevate food security, with a particular emphasis on serving refugee populations.

The deadline to apply is June 23, 2024.


Selected ventures will have access to the following benefits that will support them to scale their businesses: 

  • Up to $25,000 in grant funding
  • 5-month tailored technical support with experts
  • Networking opportunities and access to events
  • Access to market and industry resources
  • Exposure to potential investors and funding opportunities

Who Are We Looking For?

We are seeking dynamic and impactful businesses—including startups, MSMEs, and cooperatives—operating in Rwanda to participate in our program. Applicants with commercially viable solutions aimed at enhancing the livelihoods of refugees are invited to apply. Eligible businesses must be registered in Rwanda and actively engaged in operations that are either owned by refugees or significantly benefit refugees.

  • Refugee Empowerment and Livelihood Solutions
  • Food Systems Innovations to Benefit Refugee Communities
  • Leveraging Digitization to Improve Refugees’ Access to Food and Resources
  • Facilitating Access to Financial Resources and Entrepreneurship Opportunities for Refugees
  • Enhancing Refugees’ Access to Employment Opportunities and Markets
  • Infrastructure Development to Support Refugee Settlements and Communities
  • Providing Training and Skills Development Programs Tailored to Refugee Needs
  • Promoting Social Enterprise and Cooperative Models to Benefit Refugee Entrepreneurs

Eligibility Criteria

Non-Refugee-Owned Businesses

  • The business must directly impact refugees in Rwanda or seek to enhance the livelihoods of refugees.
  • Must be a registered business in Rwanda with at least 2 years of operations.
  • Provision of RDB/RCA certificate
  • Must have a team of at least two full-time members dedicated to the MSME or cooperative, including the founding team.
  • At least 50% of the founding or senior management team must be Rwandan.
  • Must have proof of revenues of at least RWF 5,000,000 for the full year of 2023.
  • Must have existing key operations in Rwanda.

Refugee-Owned Businesses
  • The refugee owner must be registered in Rwanda
  • Must have running operations in Rwanda for at least 1 year. 
  • Provision of RDB/RCA certificate if available. 
  • Must have a team of at least two full-time members dedicated to the MSME or cooperative, including the founding team.
  • Must have proof of revenues of at least RWF 2,000,000 for the full year of 2023.
  • Must have existing key operations in Rwanda

Application Process

  1. Review the Eligibility Criteria: Before applying, make sure your venture meets the eligibility criteria outlined above. 
  2. Begin  the Application: Click the ‘apply button’ to fill in the application form.
  3. Submit Your Application: Complete your application in less than an hour and submit! 

All submitted applications will undergo an evaluation process and receive an update on the outcome of their application in June.  

Evaluation Criteria

The evaluation process for the IGNITE Challenge Third Edition will be based on the following criteria: 

  • Level of innovation: Assessing the extent to which the solution innovatively improves the livelihoods of refugees.
  • Impact on refugees: Gauging the extent to which the solution positively affects the lives or circumstances of refugees.
  • Financial sustainability: Determining the ability of the business model to generate revenue and maintain viability over the long term.
  • Level of traction: Evaluating the current traction of the business, demonstrating impact already achieved, and the level of engagement with users within refugee communities.
  • Scalability: Examining the potential for the solution to grow and expand its reach to serve more refugees or communities.
  • Team: The team combines the right experience and demonstrates commitment to scale the solution. 

Applications are reviewed by WFP, our implementing partners, and external experts.


Frequently asked questions

Looking for more information or have a question about the IGNITE Challenge Third Edition? Please visit our FAQ page for answers to frequently asked questions. If you still have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us directly at [email protected].