The Africa Business Concept Challenge is open to all institutions of learning, training and development on the African continent. Student teams must consist of two to four members, where at least two must be enrolled at an African institution at the time of the competition. Interdisciplinary teams are encouraged.
Each participating team must have a faculty mentor to work with. Mentors will help guide teams and enrich the learning experience. The Africa Challenge aims to build a community platform for learning–not just a competition but an opportunity for mutual support.
GBSN Membership is not required to participate. There is no charge to participate in the competition.
Identify a locally-relevant community need or challenge related to Agenda 2063 and sustainable development. Frame the problem or need and develop a creative, viable and practical business concept to address that community need or challenge. All business concepts will be fully developed in the four-phase process student teams will follow on the Peaqs platform.
Student teams will engage in a four-phased project development process where ideas, products and/or services are put up for sale on a virtual stock market on the Peaqs platform. Projects will be accepted that define a challenge and/or a need and demonstrate a business idea to address it. With Peaqs’ unique stock market simulation and other student engagement and peer feedback features, the platform aims to improve learning outcomes and incentive student interaction.
Teams will be encouraged to be creative but practical in how their business solution would be brought to market. Teams will be asked to address the following:
- The Challenge: Frame the local challenge or problem and the need for the solution.
- The Solution: Link the community need / problem to the solution and explain how it will be addressed through the business solution.
- Give Examples: What does this project look like in practical terms?
- Impact: What will be the impact qualitatively and quantitatively?
- Marketplace: What is the market for the product/service?
- Sustainability: How sustainable and scalable is it?
Each Phase will request specific information. Faculty Mentors should be working with students throughout the phases. Each student team will prepare a prerecorded 5-minute pitch presentation to submit in Phase 4. The pitch will account for 25% of the final score and the virtual stock market will account for 75 % of a final score. The top 6 projects will advance to the Finals Round.
Phase #1 Problem Statement
Identifies and describes either a deficiency, dysfunction, or a gap between the current state and the desired one when it comes to a product, service, production process, infrastructure, etc. Indeed, good problem statements are centered on the users and get to questions about what, why, when, and how they are affected or impacted. Your team’s initial business idea used during the registration process can be used in Phase 1, but is not binding. Even if teams don’t have an initial idea, you can still register, and the GBSN team will assist in idea development.
Phase #2: Industry Analysis
Built on initial consumer research used to develop the problem definition, a good business concept also depends on having a good understanding of the potential overall demand for what it offers or does differently. It also is important to consider the industry dynamics and barriers, including comparable businesses, their geographies, relative sizes, strengths, and more.
Phase #3: Concept Illustration
Clearly describes/illustrates how your business concept will be introduced. Key questions such as what differentiates your solution (product, service, production process, infrastructure, etc), from others already in the market can be addressed? Why does the business concept improve society? For example, does it link to one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals? What is the source of competitive advantage?
Phase #4: Go to Market Strategy & Pitch
Getting to market requires an integrated plan describing how, when, and where you’ll implement your concept and how will it be delivered. For example, how will you reach target audiences? How will you deliver on the promise articulated by the concept? The get-to-market plan is tactical in the sense that it specifies how the concept will be implemented, sold, delivered, serviced and protected.
Prepare a pre-recorded pitch presentation to submit in Phase 4. Each member of the team must play a part in the pitch. Teams are free to be creative with visual aids, like graphics, slides, video footage, music, etc. The pitch should be no longer than 5 mins long. Submit a .mp4 file.
Teams are able to review any changes made to previous phases before the market closes for student teams.
The top 6 teams will be identified based on market performance and preliminary judging. These top 6 teams will advance to the finals round where each team will deliver a LIVE pitch presentation to the international panel of judges. A live Q&A session will follow each pitch presentation.
LIVE Pitch Presentations & Q&A Session:
- A 10-minute video pitch delivered LIVE to panel of judges.
- LIVE pitches will be recorded and uploaded to the GBSN competition webpage.
- All team members must participate in the LIVE pitch to qualify for the prize. Participation is defined as a minimum of 1 minute of speaking during the presentation.
- Video presentations must use the supplied GBSN Africa Concept Challenge virtual background.
- A 15-minute Q&A with the judges.
- All team members must be present for the LIVE pitch presentations.
- Judge and team participation will be moderated by a GBSN staff member to keep time and ensure equal distribution of participation between judges and teams.
- The LIVE Pitch Presentation and Q&A portion will be recorded and broadcasted LIVE for the public to watch.
Students will be judged based on…
- Does the team showcase evident research in their solution development and framing of the problem? Is it a viable problem that can be solved by the solution presented? Are there new insights that were previously unknown?
- How is the problem relevant to the SDGs/Agenda 2063? Does it make sense in the context of the community?
- Is the solution feasible in the selected represented region? Does it include a feasible business growth model?
- Does the team provide convincing rationale to the actual innovation? Is the solution innovative?
Presentation (for live pitches ONLY) Q&A:
- How effective and cohesive was the presentation? Are the students able to answer additional questions? Are all aspects included in the presentation?
- Additionally: Style of presentation, was it well-rehearsed and easy to follow?
Communications & Collaboration Platform – Localized
Each student team and faculty mentor who is participating in ABCC will be provided access to a private workspace on the Localized platform. We are calling these virtual workspaces, team channels.
This online space is a place for student teams to work with their Faculty Mentor throughout the competition. The channel allows you to post videos, share documents, links, photos, ask questions, etc. In addition, you can conduct zoom meetings within the channel. Final Project deliverables and content for each phase will be uploaded to the Peaqs platform. This is simply a space for collaboration. The channel is private and can only be accessed by GBSN staff and competition organizers.
In addition to the team channels, there will be a main ABCC channel where updates, reminders, information key dates, deadlines, etc. will be posted from the competition organizers.
Terms and Conditions
Unethical behavior, including but not limited to plagiarism or academic dishonesty, will automatically lead to the disqualification of the team, as well as banning from future competitions for a period of time to be determined by GBSN, and notification of the academic representatives of the school.
Intellectual Property (IP) Considerations:
- The competition and its judges will not sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), and teams requiring non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) should not participate.
- All sessions of the competition are open to the public and will be broadcast to interested persons through media which may include radio, television and the Internet.
- Any data or information discussed or divulged throughout the competition should be considered information that will enter the public domain.
- All affiliates and the organizers of the Competition may make photocopies, photographs, video recordings and/or audio recordings of the presentations including the business plan and other documents, charts, media or other material prepared for use in presentation at the Competition.
- The above entities may use the materials in any book or other printed materials and any digital or physical medium that they may produce, provided that any profits earned from the sale of such items is used by these entities solely to defray the costs of future GBSN Africa Competitions or affiliated competitions. These entities have non-exclusive world-wide rights in all languages, and in all media, to use or to publish the materials in any book, other printed materials, video or other medium, and to use the materials in future editions thereof and derivative products.
Withdrawing From the Competition:
When a team completes the registration, is approved to participate and accepts their invitation to compete, they are committing to participation in both rounds. If a team withdraws after accepting the invitation to participate, the team and sponsoring university will be subject to disqualification from competing in the 2022 Africa Business Concept Challenge and will no longer be eligible to receive the prize. If your team withdraws from the competition, you are still eligible to register for future student competitions.
Disbursement of Cash Awards – Post Competition:
The first place team will receive a $5,000 USD cash award. The funds will be issued to the represented university/college in care of the faculty adviser. There are no exceptions to this policy.
If the funds are issued to the sponsoring university, it is up to the university/college/faculty mentor to manage disbursement of the funds to the team. Student teams are encouraged to consult with their university regarding their university’s disbursement policy. The entire team must be present (logged-in) at the award ceremony event to win.
University Participation and Faculty Advisor Involvement
Team projects must be developed and submitted under faculty (mentor) supervision. Ideally, projects will be developed for credit in a regularly scheduled course or as an independent study. All content of a team’s project must represent the original work of members of the team. Faculty mentors are required to register with the event. The faculty mentor must, on behalf of the university, attest to the eligibility of the team, their adherence to the rules and guidelines and acknowledge potential penalties for violations and infractions.
Schools will not be charged a fee to participate in the experience. Any local expenses associated with the teams, if any, are the responsibility of the school. Each participating school is required to bring at least one faculty mentor per student team to participate in the competition. Student teams and faculty mentors must have internet access to participate.
Teams must consist of two to four members, where at least two must be current students at an African institution at the time of the competition. Interdisciplinary teams are encouraged.
Each participating school must provide one faculty mentor for every team it enters in the Challenge. Mentors will help guide teams and enrich the learning experience. One of our objectives is to build a community platform for learning–not just a competition but an opportunity for mutual support.
Please note, the registration form will require each team to submit a brief summary of the challenge or need identified and the product or solution idea to develop in the competition.