The challenge will be open to undergraduate and graduate students currently studying at an African institution. Teams of two to four people may enter the competition as long as at least two members of the team are currently enrolled at an African institution.
To enter, teams must submit the following:
- A completed registration form
- Summary generally explaining the problem/need and the business idea
- Name of faculty mentor
- Name of team captain
Registration Process and Timeline
Applications must be submitted via our registration portal no later than March 26, 2021.
Please review the team eligibility rules to be sure your team meets the criteria for competing in Africa Business Planning Challenge, and review the specific submission requirements for the qualifying executive summary. Teams that register and submit a qualifying executive summary can expect the following:
- Round 1: Concept Development (April 12-May 4, 2021) — All registrants who meet the application criteria and provide a concept summary by March 26, 2021 will have the opportunity to compete in the virtual round 1 that takes you through the four-phase development process on the Peaqs platform.
- Teams advancing to the finals will be required to prepare a LIVE pitch presentation, submit a teaser pitch video, and participate in the LIVE pitch presentations on March 13-14, 2021.
- Finals Round: Pitch Presentations (May 13-14, 2021) — Finalist teams will be selected from round 1 and scheduled for LIVE virtual pitch presentations.
GBSN staff will review each team submission to ensure the project is applicable to the challenge and the team is eligible to participate. Once a team is approved, each team member will be invited to the Opening Kick-Off Event on April 12, 2021. Teams will only be able to access the Peaqs platform after the kick off event.
- Participants must be students from a school on the African continent
- Teams of two (2) to four (4) members qualify
- Each team must have a captain
- Each team must have a faculty mentor who will help guide the team through the Challenge
- Each team must submit a summary explaining the community need/problem and business idea the team will focus on (500 words maximum)
- Collect all required information
- Proceed to the registration portal
- Complete the institutional information
- Complete the team(s) information
The last day to register for the challenge is March 26, 2021.
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.
Code of Conduct
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.
- Any data or information discussed or divulged throughout the competition should be considered information that will enter the public domain.
- All partners, sponsors, affiliates and the organizers of the competition may make photocopies, photographs, video recordings and/or audio recordings of the presentations including the business planning process and other documents, charts, media or other material prepared for use 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.
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 Africa Business Planning Challenge or any other GBSN sponsored competitions for that year and the following year.
Disbursement of Cash Prize – 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.