Competition Details


The Africa Business Concept Challenge is open to all institutions of learning, training and development on the African continent. How to determine the teams is up to the school (e.g., by selection or internal competition). 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 school must provide one faculty mentor for every team it enters in the competition. Faculty mentors will guide student teams through the four phase process to enrich the learning experience. Through the Africa Business Plan Challenge, we aim 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.

Competition Prompt

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:

  1. The Challenge: Frame the local challenge or problem and the need for the solution.
  2. The Solution: Link the community need / problem to the solution and explain how it will be addressed through the business solution.
  3. Give Examples: What does this project look like in practical terms?
  4. Impact: What will be the impact qualitatively and quantitatively?
  5. Marketplace: What is the market for the product/service?
  6. Sustainability: How sustainable and scalable is it?

Round #1 (April 12 – May 5, 2021)

Student teams will engage in a four-phased project development process where ideas, products and services are put up for sale on a virtual stock market. Each student team will have its own Faculty Mentor to guide students through the four phases on the platform. At the end of phase 4 each student team will prepare a live, 5 minute pitch presentation for two of the Investor Exports. 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 5 projects qualify for a live presentation/pitch round. 

Phase #1 Problem Statement (Due April 14 at 11:59pm EAT [4:59pm EDT])
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.

Phase #2: Industry Analysis (Due April 21 at 11:59pm EAT [4:59pm EDT])

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 (Due April 24 at 11:59pm EAT [4:59pm EDT])

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 (Due April 29 at 11:59pm EAT [4:59pm EDT])

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.

Pitches (Due May 4, 2021 at 11:59pm EAT [4:59pm EDT])

  1. Each student team will prepare a pre-recorded pitch presentation for the Investor Experts (up to 5 minutes long). Teams are able to review any changes made to previous phases of Round 1.

Finals Round (May 6 – May 13, 2021)

The top 5 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.