LEAP Africa has opened applications for the 2024 edition of its Social Innovators Programme. Since its inception in 2004, LEAP Africa recognized the need to shift the narrative surrounding Nigerian youth. Amidst reports of unrest and crime, the organization sought to highlight the positive contributions of young Nigerians towards national development. This vision led to the creation of the Annual Nigerian Youth Leadership Awards (ANYLA), an event aimed at celebrating youth-led initiatives driving change in Nigeria.

Bridging Gaps and Empowering Innovators

Over the years, LEAP Africa observed a growing interest among Nigerian youth in social innovation. However, many lacked the necessary skills and support to establish sustainable initiatives. In response, the programme underwent a transformation in 2013, evolving into the Social Innovators Programme and Awards (SIPA). This fellowship programme is designed to equip young changemakers with the tools and resources needed to launch and sustain impactful social enterprises.

The Social Innovators Programme: Empowering Changemakers

The Social Innovators Programme is a yearlong fellowship that empowers young leaders through capacity-building, mentorship, and networking opportunities. Participants receive training in enterprise sustainability, coaching and networking sessions, immersive mentoring, monthly webinars, and site visits. This comprehensive approach aims to nurture the next generation of social entrepreneurs and foster lasting change in African communities.

Eligibility Criteria: Who Can Apply?

To be eligible for the programme, applicants must meet specific criteria:

- Citizenship/Residency: Applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of an African nation.

- Geographic Focus: The enterprise must be located within an African community.

- Leadership Experience: Applicants must have founded or co-founded a social venture with at least one year of impact.

- Age: Applicants must be between 18 and 35 years old.

- Language Proficiency: Proficiency in English (spoken and written) is required.

- Program Commitment: Participants must commit to the full duration of the programme, including in-person workshops, virtual learning sessions, and mentoring opportunities.

Building Capacity and Connections

The programme structure includes:

- A 5-day physical workshop on enterprise sustainability

- Virtual coaching and networking calls

- Immersive one-on-one mentoring sessions

- Monthly virtual webinar sessions

- Site visits

Transforming Communities, Empowering Leaders

LEAP Africa’s Social Innovators Programme offers a unique opportunity for young changemakers to drive social impact and create sustainable change. By providing essential skills, resources, and support, the programme aims to unleash the full potential of Africa’s youth and catalyze positive transformation across the continent.