About Project Inspire

PI 2015 - Infographic

Project Inspire: 5 Minutes to Change the World is a joint initiative from the Singapore Committee for UN Women and MasterCard, to help young change-makers create a better world for women and girls in Asia and the Pacific.

Launched in 2011, to mark the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day and the 25th anniversary of MasterCard Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, Project Inspire presents 18-35 year olds with a five-minute platform to pitch their inspired idea, for the chance to win a US$25,000 grant. Today, Project Inspire is a multi-award winning initiative, and one of the most high profile CSR programs in the Asia Pacific region.

This year, we celebrate the fifth year of Project Inspire and five years of supporting social entrepreneurs around the world. Project Inspire 2015 will take on the theme of ‘Technology or Design for Economic Empowerment’. Applicants will be asked to demonstrate how they use design or technology as a tool in the work they are doing to enable and empower women economically throughout Asia, the Pacific, Middle East & Africa.

This year’s challenge welcomes back long-term and committed partners to women’s empowerment and social entrepreneurship: Knowledge Partner INSEAD; Strategic Partner Bain & Company; Supporting Partner Hilton WorldWide, and also new Supporting Partner, Top3 Media.

Timeline

Selection and Entitlements

Finalists

Up to 9 semi-finalists will be chosen as Project Inspire finalists regardless of their crowd-funding progress. The semi-finalist that wins the wild-card ticket during the crowd-funding stage will join these 9 finalists at the Project Inspire Grand Final in Singapore.

Semi-Finalists

Twenty top problem solvers will be picked to progress to a crowd-funding stage of the competition as semi-finalists. Each semi-finalists will get their own crowd-funding campaign page and also get to keep all funds raised publicly during this period for their project, thanks to Chuffed.

Prizes

Grand Prize

Thanks to MasterCard, the grand prize winner will receive a US$25,000 grant to implement their project.

Runner-Up

Thanks to Hilton WorldWide, the runner-up will receive a US$10,000 grant to implement their project.

People’s Choice

The finalist that garners the most number of backers during the crowd-funding stage of the competition will win a wild-card ticket, and be chosen to join the other 9 finalists in Singapore.

Ten finalists will each receive

  • 1 return flight from the finalist’s capital city to Singapore, to participate in the Grand Final.
  • 1 ticket to the Project Inspire Grand Final on November, 13 2015.
  • 4 nights accommodation in Singapore, plus meals and transfers.
  • Exclusive INSEAD and Bain & Company workshops, plus one-on-one mentoring.

Eligibility and Criteria

Download the full Terms & Conditions here.

  1. The project must empower disadvantaged women and/or girls through design or technology.
  2. The project must be based on an existing initiative.
  3. The beneficiaries of the project must be women or girls in Asia/Pacific, Middle East or Africa.
  4. The proposed project must not propagate any political views or religious doctrines.
  5. The project must be designed to be implemented with a budget of US$25,000.
  6. The winner of this competition must commence the fieldwork for their project by 1 February 2016.
  1. Each participant must submit (i) an application form, and (ii) a (maximum) 5-minute video.
  2. The video is to be uploaded on any public video-sharing sites and the link to the video must be provided on the application form.
  3. Each submission should address the following questions by completing the application form:
    • What is your inspirational idea?
    • How will your project change the lives of women and girls in the short and long term?
      • Tell us how many women and/or girls will benefit directly and indirectly from your
        project.
    • How will you/your team carry out the project?
      • Please include a timeline for the project, indicating key phases relevant to your
        project i.e., ground preparation, pilot phase, training period, evaluation etc.
      • Tell us the activities you have planned to help reach your goal.
    • How will you spend the US$25,000 grant to carry out the project?
      • Within your proposal, include a detailed budget plan on how the US$25,000 grant
        will be utilized. The budget should clearly indicate the project expenses, operational costs, manpower costs, and other spending relevant to your project.
    • How will you measure the success of the project?
  4. Submissions must be made in English or Chinese.
  5. Each submission will only be considered complete once the application form has been submitted and accompanied by information on the existing initiative, biographies of the team members and any supporting materials (e.g. website, social media channels, media clippings, past awards).
  6. A valid email address is required for submission.
  7. Deadline for submissions is to be affirmed.
  1. This competition is open to both males and females.
  2. Participants may submit entries as an individual or as a team of up to three members.
    • If submitting as an individual, you must be between the ages of 18-35. You will be considered as the team leader for the purpose of this competition.
    • If submitting as a team, at least one member of the team must be between the ages of 18-35. A team leader must be chosen and will be between the ages of 18-35.
  3. The team leader will travel to Singapore to represent your project in the finals. The team leader must attend the entire duration of the finals.
  1. Each participant represents and warrants that any and/or all information submitted as part of the proposal, is not a result of plagiarism, and does not infringe any intellectual property right (including but not limited to, patent, design, copyright or trademark) or any other rights of any third party.
  2. Each participant acknowledges and agrees as a condition of entry to allow use of the participant’s name, any videos, photographs, images, text, content and other information that was provided, for purposes of publicity and education.
  3. The Organizers reserve the right to use all submitted entries for the purpose of the competition’s publicity.
  4. The Organizers have the sole discretion and right to alter any competition rules at any time including without limitation the right to extend the competition deadline at any time or disqualify entries that are deemed offensive.
  5. This competition is not open to any current or past employee of MasterCard or the Singapore Committee for UN Women.

The panel of judges will evaluate the creativity, efficacy, impact and sustainability each project demonstrates. Entries will be judged based on the following criteria:

Project

Overall quality
Is the pitch well-prepared? Is it convincing?

Business model
Does it have a good business model?
Is the plan (budget, timeline, staffing etc.) actionable and well-thought through?

Implementation
Does it have well-thought implementation strategies and structured work plan?

Budgeting
Does it have an efficient budget plan? What forms the bulk of the budget? Does it include all the necessary project work, administration and human resources?

Impact
How many women and/or girls will benefit from this project? Could this project change a big system? Would it be such an important example that it would indirectly do so?

Measurement
Does the measurement align with the goals? Does it measure how much improvement/benefit the beneficiaries, i.e., women and girls get to enjoy? Does it accurately measure the success of the project?

Sustainability
Does the project have the potential to run well after the $25k grant is used? How long does it take before the project becomes self-sustainable?

Team

Leadership
Can you envision this person shaping a field and inspiring others to contribute back to the community?

Experience
Does the team have the set of skills and requisite experience to make the project a success?

Resource magnetism
Can this person/team attract funding, people and other resources to their cause?

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: WHAT ARE SOME INSIDER TIPS FOR FILLING OUT THE APPLICATION FORM?
Read through the form before you start filling it out; gathering all of the appropriate information before you begin will make the process much easier. Also, be as detailed as possible in your responses. The Project Inspire team only gets a brief snapshot of everything that you (and/or your organisation) do, so you’ll help us out by giving us as much detail as possible.

 

Q: WHICH QUESTIONS ARE MOST LIKELY TO TRIP PEOPLE UP?
The Results and Success Verification sections – it’s important to be specific. Don’t try and fluff up your answers. We need to know exactly what you aim to achieve, and how you’re going to measure those achievements. We understand that things don’t always go smoothly when working in social impact areas, so for this reason your answers need to be as realistic as possible.

Application form results

 

Q: WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON'T ANSWER ALL OF THE QUESTIONS?
You won’t be able to submit the form. You need to answer all of the compulsory questions (they’re the ones marked with *) before the website will accept your application.

 

Q: ENGLISH ISN'T MY FIRST LANGUAGE, CAN I ANSWER THE QUESTIONS IN MY NATIVE LANGUAGE?
Yes! We are now accepting applications in Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai and Korean. If you are more comfortable using these languages, we are very happy to accept your applications.

 

Q: DO I HAVE TO INCLUDE A VIDEO AND SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS WITH MY APPLICATION
A video and supporting documents are not compulsory, but they are going to give the team a better idea about your project. Realistically, the more you can give us, the better. In the past, applicants have submitted their team members’ resumes, audited financial statements, annual reports, news clippings, media releases, certificates, and more. You can go all out, but that’s up to you. You won’t be judged less favourably if you don’t include extra information.

Application form support doc

 

Q: DOES EVERY MEMBER OF MY TEAM NEED TO SUBMIT AN INDIVIDUAL APPLICATION FORM?
Each team only needs to submit one application form. You can either work on the application together as a group, or designate one person to do it.

 

Q: I'M NOT SURE HOW TO UPLOAD MY VIDEO. HOW DO I DO IT?
Choose a public video-sharing site like YouTube or Vimeo – they all have tutorials which explain step-by-step how to upload a video. Once your video is posted on one of these sites, simply copy the link and paste it into the relevant line on the application form.

 

Q: IS THERE ANYTHING PEOPLE HAVE DONE IN PREVIOUS YEARS WHICH HAS RULED THEM OUT OF THE COMPETITION?
Some contestants spend so much time telling us why they’re the best team to win the grant, they forget to tell us what they actually plan to do with the $25,000. This information is crucial in deciding who our 10 finalists will be. Another thing that’s quite common is skipping questions or not answering them in full, it’s important to complete the application form properly.

 

Q: ARE MEN/WOMEN ALLOWED TO APPLY FOR PROJECT INSPIRE?
The competition is open to submissions from all young people, regardless of gender, between the ages of 18 and 35 years, provided the beneficiaries of the proposed project are women or girls located within Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa.

 

Q: WHY IS THE PROJECT ONLY LIMITED TO PARTICIPANTS AGED BETWEEN 18 AND 35?
One of the main objectives of Project Inspire is to involve and empower youth to be the next generation of changemakers, and provide them with the platform to make a difference.

 

Q: HELP! I'M STUCK ON A QUESTION!
Don’t fret. Contact us! The team is always happy to answer your questions.

 

Q: WHEN WILL YOU BE ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR 2015?
Applications for Project Inspire 2015 open on Wednesday, 25th February.

 

Q: WHEN DO APPLICATIONS CLOSE FOR 2015?

Applications for Project Inspire 2015 close on Wednesday, 1st July.

 

 

Ready to apply for Project Inspire? Great! Submit your application form here

Are you ready to be the next social innovator?