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HiiL Justice Accelerator, in collaboration with Ford Foundation, has announced that submissions are now open for this year’s Innovating Justice Challenges competition. This competition occurs yearly and it funds the brightest ideas and businesses centred on access to justice.

The last we heard of this competition was when three ladies won the competition for their idea in SME empowerment. This year, the Challenge will focus on SME Empowerment and Family Justice.

The SME Empowerment Innovation Challenge targets ideas and businesses that address the problems facing SMEs in Africa. These problems include employment issues, corruption, intellectual property protection, management issues, employee rights, bureaucratic red-tapes, amongst others. This challenge is for East and West Africa and interested parties can apply here.

Meanwhile, the Family Justice Innovation Challenge is for ideas and businesses that seek to empower families across Africa by tackling challenges such as property inheritance, marriage, divorce, child care, domestic violence and adoption. Interested participants in this category should visit here.

The winners of each category this year will stand the chance of winning EUR80,000 in seed-funding. Applications will close on June 30, 2016. To find out more about assessment criteria, visit here.

HiiL (The Hague Institute for Innovation of Law) is an organisation that seeks to facilitate justice through new technologies, knowledge on conflict resolution, and new forms of organisation and governance. They work with courts, legal aid boards, NGOs, ministries and companies responsible for innovative solutions that can cause systemic change. Through their justice innovation challenges, they have funded various startups with ideas that can empower sectors in Africa.

At last year’s SME Empowerment challenge,  ShopOfficer (Kenya), Msme Garage (Uganda), and DIYlaw (Nigeria) emerged as finalists winning $10,000, $20,000, and $40,000 in seed funding respectively.

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