Social Innovators Programme

Impacting Social Innovators in Africa for Global Change

In 2004, LEAP Africa came to the realization that while negative reports of youth restiveness and crimes were widespread in local and foreign media, the positive contributions of young Nigerians towards national transformation were unrecognized.

This understanding birthed the Annual Nigerian Youth Leadership Awards (ANYLA); which was hosted annually in Lagos, Nigeria, to celebrate the youth driving these contributions.

After about a decade, LEAP Africa realized that while Nigeria had witnessed increased youth interest in social innovation, many of them lacked the essential skills and support to establish effective and sustainable initiatives that could accelerate the transformation.

Therefore, in 2013, the programme was redefined to bridge this gap into a yearlong fellowship- Social Innovators Programme and Awards (SIPA).

The Social Innovators Programme

The Social Innovators Programme honors young changemakers by equipping and empowering them with the necessary skills and resources for establishing long-term social enterprises.

We serve as bridge builders between impact investors and social enterprises

Our SIP Alumni

Over the past 10 years, we have raised over 200 social innovators across the African continent. The social innovators programme has trained and equipped social entrepreneurs for decades who have gone ahead to scale up their enterprises and win major grants for their businesses.

We believe that social entrepreneurs are the key to Africa’s economic building and development. Our goal is to strengthen and advance youth-led innovation and entrepreneurship in Africa through training and collaborative partnerships that enhance the sustainability of the overall impact of the social ventures.

Social Innovators Programme

Join our waiting list for an update on the next call for application

Our Reach and Impact

The initiatives of Fellows cover various aspects of the society, such as Agriculture, Youth Empowerment, Education, Science & Technology, Health, Law, Human Rights, among others.
Social entrepreneurs in 10 years
Staffs in the last four years, fellows’ social enterprises have made new recruitments exceeding
In the last four years, fellows have attracted funding and generated revenue in excess of
$ 0 M+
Countries - Ghana, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Cameroon, Burundi, Malawi, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Gambia.
have formally registered their ventures and instituted a board of directors
0 %
Industry experts have served as mentors, since the mentorship component was introduced in 2017
Cumulatively, the impact numbers & reach of their social enterprises have grown by
0 %
have received international recognition by prestigious Pan-African and global bodies
0 %

An 18 months post-programme survey showed successful transitions for students and fellows

Outstanding Fellow Awards

Three fellows who have distinguished themselves during the course of the fellowship year and recorded significant growth in their enterprises.

Dr. Pamela Hartigan Prize

One alumni who has achieved significant growth and impact and has continued to maintain the organizational systems and structures developed during the fellowship.

Mr Seyi Bickersteth Prize

One fellow who has translated the learning and professional insights acquired from the fellowship programme into upholding financial accountability, transparency and sustainability in their social enterprise.

Mr Innocent Chukwuma Prize

One of the alumni on the Social Innovators Programme will be given this award in recognition of their contribution to gender empowerment and youth mobilization in the south eastern part of Nigeria.
LEAP Africa’s Social Innovators Programme (SIP) is an accelerator fellowship that empowers young changemakers through a holistic approach to building their capacity, connections and credibility. It was borne out of the understanding of the challenges faced by most young social enterprises faced with challenges such as early-stage funding, resource and connection deficit that hamper their growth and sustainability.
All African countries

All of the following eligibility criteria must be met by applicants in order to be accepted into the Social Innovators Programme.

You must meet one of the criteria below:
You are a citizen of an African nation OR
You are a permanent resident of an African nation.

Geographic Focus: Your current and future enterprise is geographically located in a local community in an African nation.

Leadership Experience: You have founded or co-founded a social venture(s) with at least one (1) year of impact.

Age: You will be between 18 – and 35-years-old on February 20th, 2023.

Language Proficiency: You are professionally proficient in English (spoken and written). applications must be completed in English.

Program Commitment: You can commit to fully participating in the entire duration of the program between February 20th and October 26, 2023, which may include an in-person site visits in late June or early July, and up to 12 hours of virtual learning per month.

Applicants must be the founder or co-founder of a venture that has not previously participated in the LEAP Africa Social Innovators programme, and only one co-founder per enterprise may apply.
Participants should have no more than three absences in order to complete the program and graduate from the fellowship.

Aside from the specific eligibility criteria listed above, the ideal candidate:

The ideal candidate is the founder or co-founder of a social enterprise or social innovation. One who has a clear idea of the problem being solved.

The ideal candidate is focused on providing a lasting, and sustainable solution to the problem(s) being tackled. has come up with an INNOVATIVE solution and is willing to scale this innovation into an enterprise.

The ideal candidate has demonstrated that their work/enterprise has had a measurable impact in advancing progress on the problem being solved.

The Ideal candidates demonstrates respect and inclusion to other candidates irrespective of gender, nationality, education levels, races, or religions. They are eager to collaborate and share opportunities with others. Ideal candidates are open to learning from others, regardless of their experience level. They bring curiosity and an open mind and are willing to share their experiences and knowledge with their cohort.

The Social Innovators Programme is designed to build capacity, connections and credibility for social innovators. This is achieved through a 5-day physical enterprise sustainability workshop, virtual Coaching and networking Calls; Immersive one-on-one Mentoring session; Monthly virtual webinar sessions and site visits.

All sessions are mandatory, exemption from a session must be made with prior notice to the SIP team. Full participation in these sessions would determine graduation from the fellowship.

There may be occasional optional sessions that highlight special and or timely opportunities. In total, participants can expect to dedicate an average of 12–14 hours per month over the course of the fellowship.
The 2023 Social Innovators Programme application will close at 11:59 PM (WAT), on Sunday November 27th 2023. In order to avoid technical glitches or other problems due to issues such as internet access, we strongly advise you to complete the application early. Due to the number of applications, we receive, LEAP Africa cannot be responsible for applications that are not submitted on time, regardless of the reason.
Please contact to submit a complaint immediately.
Unfortunately, we cannot accept applications after the deadline.
No, there is no education requirement for admission to the LEAP Africa Social innovators programme, but applicant but be proficient in writing and conversing in English language.
No. Candidates do not have to be doing their social impact work full-time or as their main profession to be eligible. The ideal candidate is focused on providing a lasting, sustainable and innovative solution to the problem(s) being tackled.

2022 Conference Report

The post conference report is a representation of the activities and events that occurred at the 2022 Social Innovators Programmes and Awards (SIPA).

Other SIP Reports

LEAP Africa Post SIPA 2022 Report...

LEAP Africa Post SIPA 2022 Report

Leap Africa 273

SIP Evaluation Report 2022

LEAP Africa Holds SIPA 2021

LEAP Africa Holds SIPA 2021

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