Chemonics and UNLEASH Activate World-Changing Social Impact Solutions via the UNLEASH Innovation Lab in Rwanda

As the official Lead Scale Partner, Chemonics supports 25 social innovation ventures as they conclude their journey in the 6-month UNLEASH Plus Incubator, now in its fifth iteration, and will offer an implementation-focused workshop for 1000 young innovators as part of the Innovation Lab.

Once again, UNLEASH and sustainable development company Chemonics International are set to amplify the potential of innovative and passionate youth across the globe, beginning with the UNLEASH Plus program which kicked off in June with 145 next-generation entrepreneurs from 32 countries around the world. The program, co-designed and co-led with Chemonics, equips social impact startups with the right skills, tools, and mindsets to advance from an early working prototype to a minimum viable product, focusing on the steps to implementation and the scalability of the solution. The ultimate goal? To push the boundaries of innovation and bring forth scalable, impactful solutions that will get us closer to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


The 6-month journey culminates with an intensive final phase, running concurrently with the Innovation Lab, where the Teams will work closely with seasoned Mentors and industry Experts from Chemonics and beyond to further refine their solutions. The highlight of the week-long event is the Dragons’ Den competition, where the top 10 Plus Teams will pitch their solutions to a panel of high-level Judges, as they seek support to reach their next milestone. Chemonics will recognize one team with the ‘Most Scalable Solution’ award, which includes $25,000 and one year of in-kind support from Chemonics. The week’s events will take place in Kigali, a leading hub for start-ups on the African continent. The stakes are high, but so is the potential for groundbreaking change.


Chemonics’ commitment as the Lead Scale Partner has been instrumental in realizing UNLEASH’s mission since our first collaboration in 2019. Together, UNLEASH and Chemonics are fostering a culture of innovation among the next generation of changemakers. Since its creation, UNLEASH Plus has supported the growth of more than 320 organizations across all 17 SDGs in 80 countries.


“Every year with UNLEASH, we see incredible examples of what happens when enterprising, young innovators are connected and empowered to drive sustainability,” said Chemonics President and CEO Jamey Butcher. “Our partnership aims to build the next generation of responsible community and business leaders, and we strongly encourage other public and private organizations to join us in this movement to unleash creative minds to help us solve the world’s critical challenges.”


This partnership represents our shared vision for driving innovation, sustainability, and global impact. “Our long-standing collaboration with Chemonics is a testament to the power of collaboration in addressing the world’s most pressing issues and fostering a brighter, more innovative future for everyone around the world,” says Chairperson of UNLEASH, Prof. Flemming Besenbacher.


In addition to co-delivering the final phase of the UNLEASH Plus program during the Innovation Lab, Chemonics experts will lead a workshop on implementation concepts for the 1000 changemakers participating in the UNLEASH Innovation Process as part of the broader Innovation Lab. The session will help these young innovators define a path after their UNLEASH Innovation Lab journey to activate their ideas in their communities and beyond.


Stay tuned and follow UNLEASH and Chemonics on social media to learn more about how the UNLEASH Plus teams continue their journey to redefine the boundaries of innovation and pave the way for a better tomorrow.