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Definition of Start-up, Small- and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Non-governmental Organisation (NGO) 

Intellectual workshop
Whether you are a tech-savvy digital entrepreneur who tackles challenges with a solution-oriented approach or if you are someone directly impacted by a lack of accessibility to education with an idea on how to improve the situation; if your submitted idea is successful, you will be provided with the unique opportunity to turn your idea into an operating and impactful solution.

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Definition of Start-up, Small- and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Non-governmental Organisation (NGO) 

A Start Up is an independent, organisation, which is younger than five years and is aimed at creating, improving and expanding a scalable, innovative, technology-enabled product with high and rapid growth.

Age, Independence, and Scalability   

  • Age: A start-up is younger than five years and develops into a small medium size company before becoming a cooperation 
  • Independent: Start-ups are businesses set up, and at one point, owned and run by the founders 
  • Scalable: A scalable product or service has a small cost associated to growth compared to the potential revenue gain 

2. Organisation & Innovation  

  • Organisation: At an early stage, a start-up can be a legal entity or not, depending on different circumstances. 
  • Innovative: Start-ups use opportunities such as new technologies to find new and often more efficient solutions to problems and create new products that better satisfy needs of both individuals and corporates 

3. Technology-based & High growth potential  

  • Tech-based: The start-ups we are targeting are based on information technologies – utilising software and/or hardware. 
  • High growth potential: To achieve scale, start-ups must be able to operate in a good potential market. This market must be big enough and/or growing fast enough to provide ongoing demand for a start-up’s product. 

Criteria based in large parts on the definition of the European Start-up Network (ESN). 

Definition Small- and Medium Enterprises 

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are defined in the EU recommendation 2003/361. The main factors determining whether an enterprise is an SME are staff headcount and either turnover or balance sheet total. 

  • A Medium-sized SME has less than 250 staff headcount and either ≤ € 50 m Turnover or ≤ € 43 m Balance sheet total. 
  • A Small-sized SME has less than 50 staff headcount and either ≤ € 10 m Turnover or ≤ € 10 m Balance sheet total. 
  • A Micro-sized SME has less than 10 for the staff headcount and either ≤ € 2 m Turnover or ≤ € 2 m Balance sheet total. 

Definition Non-governmental Organisation (NGO) 

Our definition of an NGO is a voluntary group or institution with a social mission, which operates independently from the government. NGO stands for non-governmental organization. NGO may be called nonprofit, charity, non-profit organization (NPO), civil society organization (CSO), citizen sector organization (CSO), social benefit organization (SBO), an advocacy organization, voluntary organization, grassroots support organization (GSO), and non-state actor (NSA).  

Based loosely on the definition of the platform NGO Source. 

Other non-governmental organizations 

An organization of persons with disabilities, or OPD (also referred to as a Disabled persons’ organization, or DPO), is a representative organization or group of persons with disabilities, where persons with disabilities constitute a majority of the overall staff, board, and volunteers in all levels of the organization. It includes organizations of relatives of persons with disabilities (only those representing groups without legal capacity to form organizations, such as children with disabilities and persons with intellectual disabilities) where a primary aim of these organizations is empowerment and the growth of self-advocacy of persons with disabilities. 

Definition taken from Disability Rights Fund (DRF). 

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Collection of pictures of some members of the international jury

ICT 4 Inclusion Challenge Jury

The judging panel is composed of experts of Atos, GIZ, private sector, civil society and international organisations. The panel is carefully selected to provide expertise in the fields of education, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), innovation, accessibility and inclusion and regional African perspectives.

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Intellectual workshop

What’s in it for you?

Whether you are a tech-savvy digital entrepreneur who tackles challenges with a solution-oriented approach or if you are someone directly impacted by a lack of accessibility to education with an idea on how to improve the situation; if your submitted idea is successful, you will be provided with the unique opportunity to turn your idea into an operating and impactful solution.

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What are we looking for?

What are we looking for?

We wish to foster & scale digital and technical innovations that provide or improve access to education for children, youths and/or adults with disabilities in Africa.

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More information on why this challenge is crucial now

Why is this challenge crucial now?

Education is the foundation on which inclusion is built. However, children and young persons with disabilities in Africa are significantly less likely to attend and complete basic and higher education.

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