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Girls in ICT

WEA Digital Innovation Challenge: Building Enabling Ecosystems for Women Entrepreneurs


The Women Entrepreneurship Accelerator Challenge supports building inclusive and diverse innovation ecosystems by empowering initiatives led by outstanding women working towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in collaboration with the Women's Entrepreneurship Accelerator  (WEA) and Mary Kay Global, launched this Challenge on the 7 December 2022 supporting the commitment of WEA to empower 5 million women entrepreneurs by 2030 WEA. 

WEA is a multi-partnership initiative on women's entrepreneurship convening the 6 United Nations agencies – I want to take a second to thank the team at ITU, International Labour Organization (ILO)International Trade Centre (ITC)UN Development Programme (UNDP) UN Global Compact (UNGC) and UN Women for your support in organising this challenge.

A jury of experts​ selected twenty-two finalists from 250 submissions and 54 countries to pitch during the 67th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW67) and become one of the ten winners of this year's Challenge. This year's CSW is especially relevant to the Challenge with the Priority theme of “Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls"

The winners were announced during a hybrid session at MetLife in New York City with the participation of a panel of investors and high-level stake holders that selected three organisations to give special recognition. The session was moderated by Mr. Cesar Contreras, the winner of the ITU Challenge 2019 and one of the mentors at ITU's Digital Innovation Ecosystem Network. The session ended with closing remarks from Dr Cosmas Zavazava, Director of the ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau.

The winning initiatives solving various society problems will access to capacity building training, mentorship support and a network of changemakers to accelerate the growth of their initiatives as well as be published as a best practise in an official report.

Special Mention awards were given to three initiatives, receiving consultancy from 1919 Investment Council to Tiny Totos Kenya, receiving first place and 10 hours of consulting services. The two runners up were Women in Innovation Fund and Gwiji, receiving 5 hours each of consulting services.



​The complete list of jurors available here​.

Key dates and milestones ​




Adobokashi Systems, Inc.Philippines
Anga ProtocolKenya
Blueberry Development LLCHungary
United States of America
Gwiji for Women Gig Workers
Health Innovation Exchange (HIEx)Switzerland
HerStore Asia​​

Jbbling Business PortfolioCameroon
KivuGreen CorporationDem. Rep. of the Congo
OMZN Apparel LimitedNigeria
Raymah Foundation for Development and Humanitarian ResponseYemen
ReAcción LatamUruguay
SmartTermSaint Lucia
TENAWO Digital Health E-commerce and Health ConsultancyEthiopia
Tiny Totos KenyaKenya
WiTech BatangasPhilippines
Women in DigitalBangladesh
Wonder Women Ltd.Kazakhstan
ZMQ GlobalCanada