Launching the Centennial Innovation Challenge


So how will you transform livelihoods in the informal economy?

 In celebration of our centennial, today The Rockefeller Foundation is launching the Centennial Innovation Challenge. We are calling on the ingenuity of innovators across the globe to chart new paths that will transform the lives of poor or vulnerable people for the next 100 years.

It is often out of necessity that 1.8 billion people find their livelihoods in the informal economy – the business enterprises and jobs that exist partially or completely outside of government regulation. Informal workers lack basic safety nets like pensions and health insurance, and are typically without recourse if they are denied pay or are compelled to work in unsafe conditions. Improving working conditions, legal rights, and social benefits for informal workers would open new pathways to economic and social empowerment for millions of poor or vulnerable people worldwide.

Informal employment is a significant and growing part of the world’s economy; it accounts for around 50% of employment in North Africa and in Latin America, 65% of employment in Asia, and 72% in Sub-Saharan Africa. Given the vast number of informal workers, it is important to spur new innovations that will transform the lives of the billions working in the informal economies across the globe.

Tell us by April 1st. Entries will be accepted online and via email. The Rockefeller Foundation will invite as many as 10 Finalists to apply for a grant of up to $100,000 and win support in proposal-writing to enable the further development of submitted ideas.

Answer the call


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Michael Myers

Michael Myers is a managing director at the Rockefeller Foundation, coordinating strategies for the Foundation’s work in the U.S. and leading the global Transforming Health Systems initiative and transportation issues in the U.S.

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