Afri-Plastics Challenge Strand 2: Creating Solutions 2021 (up to £1,000,000 in prizes)

Applications are open for the Afri-Plastics Challenge Strand 2: Creating Solutions 2021. The Afri-Plastics Challenge is seeking the creation of new or the development of early-stage products, technology and/or services to encourage the reduction or elimination of plastic usage across Sub-Saharan Africa. 

By the end of the Challenge successful community-centered products and services will have demonstrated a sustainable approach to reducing the reliance on plastic that also supports the empowerment of women and girls.


  • In February 2022, 25 Semi-Finalists will be selected and each receive a £25,000 grant.
  • In June 2022, of those 25 Semi-Finalists, 10 will be selected to move forward to the finalist stage and will receive a grant of £75,000 to support in the development and validation of their solutions.
  • In March 2023, three winners will be selected and receive the following awards:
    • First Place: £750,000
    • Second Plasce: £250,000
    • Third Place: £100,000


  • Applicants must have a new or early-stage idea that seeks to reduce or eliminate plastic usage across Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Ideas must be focused in Sub-Saharan Africa. 
  • Applicants can be formally constituted and operating in Sub-Saharan Africa as either a registered business or NGO, but applications from individuals and community groups will also be accepted.
  • Applicants can be an individual, single entity (organisation or community group), an African partnership or an international partnership. For partnership applications, the nominated lead applicant must be operating in Sub-Saharan Africa. 
  • Applicants must own or be licensed to use relevant intellectual property included in their applications. If your application is proposing a new idea, then Nesta would expect that you would own all resulting intellectual property which may be able to be registered on a local basis if you become a successful participant in the Challenge. Nesta would not be able to give you specific legal advice on the protection or exploitation of intellectual property. 


Application closes on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 at 12 noon (BST).

Click here to apply

For more information, visit Afri-Plastics Challenge.