OUR VIRTUAL INCUBATOR

Our 2021 Virtual Accountability Incubator is accepting applications! We’re looking for the very best ideas from young people for accountability, participation and open government related to the COVID-19 response and recovery. If you live in one of the following countries you are eligible for this round of the incubator: DRC, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mexico, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.
The Incubator is our flagship program for young civil society leaders to build sustainable, effective tools for accountability, participation and open government. The Accountability Incubator provides a non-prescriptive, supportive environment for creative, enterprising individuals with innovative ideas to inspire accountability in their communities.
Selected “accountapreneurs” receive 12 months of hands-on, comprehensive support including: training and knowledge-building, mentoring, network building, and media outreach support – all delivered virtually. Applications are open until November 15, 2020.

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Young Liberian activist Miatta Mulbah brought her small anti-rape NPO to our Accountability Incubator. We helped Miatta build Leemah into an organisation that successfully uses music and street theater to advocate against sexual harassment and abuse on behalf of girls in Montserrado and Margibi counties.

Tanzila Khan is a young Pakistani woman who founded innovative empowerment company Girlythings that advocates around period health and destigmatization.

Mujtaba Zaidi Hassan founded Discovering New Artists (DNA), a non-profit organization dedicated to providing education through arts to children in Pakistan. With the support of the Accountability Incubator, he pivoted the initiative to focus on ideas of civic engagement and responsibility within Pakistani society.

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IMPACT TO DATE

A total of 60 accountapreneurs have passed through our incubators, with ideas ranging from film schools; to building networks of music artists pushing for integrity; to tools using blockchain to secure elections.

Changes the accountapreneurs have created include: pushing for budgets to be allocated to schools more effectively (Pakistan); changes to policies implemented by mining companies (Liberia); and the resolution of hundreds of accountability problems for migrants (Nepal).

INCUBATOR FAQs

Accountability Lab supports individuals and ventures working to promote accountability in their communities throughout and after the Covid-19 pandemic. The virtual incubator grows youth lead initiatives for accountability, participation and open government related to the COVID-19 response and recovery in the DRC, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mexico, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. We don’t mind whether you have a for-profit, non-profit, hybrid or yet-to-be decided organization, as long as the core mission is to support accountability, the Accountability Lab, and our partners encourage you to participate. 

For the virtual incubator in 2021, the Accountability Lab and our partners are focused specifically on ideas that strengthen accountability, participation and open government related to the COVID-19 response and recovery in the Global South.

It is absolutely free to join the program upon selection. We invest in our “accountapreneurs” (accountability entrepreneurs) by providing the time and space for you to grow your ideas further. We do ask that participants remain committed to the program throughout the 12-month period (January to December 2021).

The Virtual Incubator is a year-long accelerated program with hands-on comprehensive support to the participants. The process has three stages: applications (starting October 1) selection, (end of November) and then the 12-month incubation cycle (ending December 2021). This includes nine months of comprehensive training and mentorship and three months of follow-up and support.

The structure of the AL Incubator is the same globally but localized by the country teams according to their context and needs. Participants form part of a global network of change-makers. 

The AL Incubator program customizes its curriculum each year based on a needs assessment carried out at the beginning of each cohort. The selected members are required to be available for bi-monthly training sessions, and additional team assignments, networking events and one-on-one mentoring sessions. We recognize that young change-makers lead busy lives. We value their time and understand competing demands.

Each year the curriculum is customized based on a needs assessment and feedback gathered from the accountapreneurs at the end of each training and mentoring session. This means the organizers can support you with the problems you face in real time. The curriculum includes training on financial management, scaling and growth, proposal writing, marketing, and communications among other topics.

The Accountability Lab network and alumni have always played the role of being “door openers” for each other and provide ongoing support to each other. The focus of the program is as much in building the community and the values it represents as it is in building the ideas themselves. In addition, participants also receive access to mentors and other resources year-round through the AL network.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

To be eligible for the Accountability Incubator, you must:

  • Be the founder/CEO or primary decision-maker for the organization’s development and management;

  • Have an original idea that impacts accountability of the Covid-19 response;

  • Have a startup idea or an idea in the pilot or Minimum Viable Product (MVP) phase;

  • Be at least 18-years-old at the start of the program;

  • Demonstrate the Accountability Lab’s values;

  • Demonstrate the Lab’s values;

  • Submit the application by the specified deadline on November 15th, 11:59 PM (EST) 2020;

  • Reside in DRC, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mexico, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, Uganda, or Zimbabwe.

THE IDEA PROPOSED BY THE CANDIDATE SHOULD BE:

Context-Specific: Does the idea demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the community it will support?

Feasible: How likely is it that the idea proposed will be achieved over time? Creative: Is the idea for accountability truly innovative?

Sustainable: Does the candidate have a plan for how the project can continue over time? Is the idea designed to have a long-term impact?

Scalable: Will the idea create a model for accountability that could be expanded to other communities?

*The applicant/project/idea must not be grounded in or focused on a specific political agenda or party.

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