2021 UNLEASH Plus Incubation Program for Entrepreneurs working on the SDGs

Deadline: July 25, 2021.

UNLEASH Plus is a global 6-month incubation program for entrepreneurs working on social or environmental challenges, in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The program provides teams with the right skills, mindsets, and resources to test and launch their solutions, and design them for large-scale impact. This year, the program is open to all youth entrepreneurs looking to advance solutions that address the SDGs.

Co-hosted with UNLEASH’s Lead Scale Partner, Chemonics International, the program supports teams with an early stage prototype to become an impactful social venture. UNLEASH Plus enables teams to create an effective organizational strategy, build a cohesive vision and team, develop clear financials towards fundraising goals, determine a go to market approach, and measure their impact. Participants access applicable learning materials, join interactive workshops, and receive direct support from world-class experts. Facilitated connections to investors and partners are made throughout the program to accelerate teams’ intended positive impact.


  1. UNLEASH Plus is designed for young innovators around the world who are solving problems to achieve the SDGs.
  2. Applicants may be social entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, or activists who have an early stage solution but seek support to further test, refine, and plan for its launch.
  3. Participants do not need to be working on their ventures full-time to qualify for the program.
  4. Previous experience participating in UNLEASH programs is beneficial, but it is not required.

Qualifying criteria for UNLEASH Plus include:

  • At least 2 team members in the applying team
  • The majority of team members should be below 35 years of age
  • A tested prototype of a solution
  • Documented feedback, references, or testimonials from early testing with real users
  • Ability to commit at least 4 hours per team per week for program
  • Less than 50,000 USD raised to date


Phase 1: Kick-off and introduction:

The first phase is an inspiring and practical two-day event that kicks off the UNLEASH Plus program and ensures teams are set on a trajectory to reach new heights!

Participants will meet the other passionate youth from around the world in their UNLEASH Plus 2021 cohort, engage with the mentors who will accompany them throughout this journey, and gain alignment within their teams around their visions and priorities that will inform their six-month plan during the program.

Phase 2: Virtual learning program and solutions development

The second phase is the core 21-week virtual program within UNLEASH Plus, focusing on team development, solution testing and refinement, strategy, and pitching, with the goal of launching a first complete solution that will attract the right customers, partners, and funders to accelerate their journey.

Participants will learn how to run their venture in a lean way, grow a strong team, design their solution for scale, develop a financial model, raise funding, measure their impact, and bring their solution to market.

Phase 3: Final event and pitches to investors

The last phase is the four-day grand finale of UNLEASH Plus, where teams receive intensive support from world-class experts to refine their strategies, meet with potential partners, and pitch their solutions to investors awarding cash prizes at the Dragons’ Den. By the end of the program, teams will leave prepared to continue on their journey towards achieving the SDGs!


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