Good Jobs & Inclusive Entrepreneurship Challenge 2020 (multiple prizes)

Good Jobs and Inclusive Entrepreneurship Challenge 2020 by MIT Solve

How can marginalized populations access and create good jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities for themselves?

MIT Solve

Challenge Overview

NOTE: This Challenge is presented with the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy’s (IDE) Inclusive Innovation Challenge (IIC).

Automation, artificial intelligence, and other advanced technologies continue to rapidly transform the nature of work. Meanwhile, COVID-19 is expected to cause massive economic disruption, exacerbating the effects of these technological transformations. While the net impact of these trends over the long term remains uncertain, workers are contending with three undeniable challenges: jobs are quickly disappearing, some temporarily, others permanently; some jobs are precarious, with social safety nets and benefits disappearing in favor of contract and freelance work; and many jobs require changing skill sets. In particular, low-skilled, informal, and migrant workers are most at risk of being displaced through this looming recession and the technological transformations of work.

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Yet even in the face of the COVID-19 crisis, these transformations still present opportunities for new businesses and jobs, such as elderly care or frontline health workers. However, only those equipped with the appropriate skills, resources, and networks can access these opportunities. The same countries where workers are struggling to keep or find good jobs also experience skills shortages and unfilled vacancies. This makes it essential to upskill and retrain workers to enable them to match employer demand or start their own venture. Further, when two-thirds of jobs worldwide are created by small and medium-sized businesses, supporting those traditionally underserved with access to capital, networks, and in-demand skills is key to creating opportunity and good jobs for entire communities.

The MIT Solve community is looking for technology-based solutions that spur good jobs and inclusive entrepreneurial opportunities. To that end, Solve seeks solutions that:

  • Enable small and new businesses, especially in untapped communities, to weather economic shocks, prosper, and create good jobs through access to capital, networks, and technology.
  • Support workers to advocate for and access living wages, social safety nets, and financial security in order to prepare for, withstand, and recover from economic shocks.
  • Equip workers with technological and digital literacy as well as the durable skills needed to stay apace with the changing job market and economic downturns.
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Challenge Timeline

Accepting Solutions

Challenges Open: 25th February, 2020 at 00:00 EST
Deadline to Submit a Solution: 18th June, 2020 at 12:00 EDT

Evaluating Solutions

Solve Challenge Finals: 20th September, 2020 at 12:00 EDT

MIT Solve Challenge Timeline
MIT Solve Challenge Timeline


A. Solver Funding

All solutions selected for Solve’s five current Global Challenges will receive a $10,000 grant funded by Solve. Solver teams will be selected by a panel of cross-sector judges at Solve Challenge Finals during UN General Assembly week in New York City on September 20, 2020.

Get funding and design support for COVID-19 Projects

In addition to Solve funding, the following prizes are available to Solver teams selected for the Good Jobs & Inclusive Innovation Challenge. To be considered for a prize, complete the prize-specific question within the application. You do not need to meet these requirements to apply to the Good Jobs & Inclusive Innovation Challenge:

B. The Andan Prize for Innovation in Refugee Inclusion

The Andan Prize for Innovation in Refugee Inclusion is open to solutions that advance the economic, financial, and political inclusion of refugees. The prize is funded by Andan Foundation, a Swiss non-profit foundation dedicated to supporting solutions that promote refugee resilience, self-reliance and integration. Up to $100,000 will be granted to up to four eligible Solver teams from across any of Solve’s current Global Challenges.

C. Innovation for Women Prize

Solutions that use innovative technology to improve quality of life for women and girls are eligible for the Innovation for Women Prize. This prize is funded by the Vodafone Americas Foundation, which supports technology-focused projects that advance the needs of women and girls, and that promote a world where women’s voices can be celebrated. Up to $75,000 will be granted across up to three Solver teams from any of Solve’s current Global Challenges.

D. The GM Prize on Good Jobs and Inclusive Entrepreneurship

Solutions that enable working-age adults to build the skills and resources they need to access well-paying jobs in a changing marketplace are eligible for the GM Prize on Good Jobs and Inclusive Entrepreneurship, made possible by General Motors. Up to $75,000 will be granted across to up to three Solver teams within the Good Jobs and Inclusive Entrepreneurship Challenge, along with the opportunity to visit GM headquarters to meet with engineers and discuss solution scaling.

E. The Gulbenkian Award for Adult Literacy

The Gulbenkian Foundation Award is open to solutions that increase literacy rates among adults and that advance inclusive economic growth through greater digital literacy. Selected solutions will be based anywhere, and should be interested in including a future pilot in Portugal. The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation will assist the selected Solver teams to find partners to support local pilots. The award is funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, an international foundation based in Portugal which supports the fields of arts, charity, education, and science. Up to $300,000 will be granted across up to four eligible Solver teams from the Good Jobs and Inclusive Entrepreneurship and Learning for Girls and Women Challenges.


F. The AI for Humanity Prize

The AI for Humanity Prize is open to solutions that are already using strong data science, artificial intelligence, or machine learning to benefit humanity, and to solutions that are not yet using these technologies but plan to do so to amplify their impact in the future. This prize is made possible by The Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, which is dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and our global community through neuroscience research and information technology. Up to $200,000 will be granted across several Solver teams from any of Solve’s Global Challenges.

More Details and Application

Read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Visit the Challenge Website