IIX-N-Peace Innovation Challenge 2015 kicks off (Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines – The IIX-N-Peace Innovation Challenge 2015 is now open for applications to encourage impact enterprises (IEs) to show how they are building peace through market-based solutions for development challenges. Six IEs will win the Challenge and get a chance to showcase their work at a special UNDP-hosted event in New York.

Starting with six countries this year Afghanistan, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and the Philippines, the IIX-N-Peace Innovation Challenge is a platform for existing IEs to showcase how their business and social impact are creating sustainable and inclusive peace. IEs include mission-driven social enterprises, SMEs with positive social impact, and non-profits that generate revenue.

The Challenge invites IEs to showcase their impact based on any of the three focus areas – empowering women, engaging the youth, and catalyzing innovation and technology for peacebuilding.

“Innovative technologies that allow us to easily interact with people worldwide and give voice to the marginalized, such as women and youth, offer us unprecedented opportunities to build and spread lasting peace across the world,” said Caitlin Wiesen-Antin, chief of regional policy and program of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The UNDP initiated N-Peace Network, a multi-country network of peace advocates in Asia that supports women’s leadership for conflict prevention, resolution and peacebuilding.

“By empowering women and youth to participate and lead in peace building, we can rapidly transform communities, intensify the drive for peace and strengthen a country’s resilience to conflict,” Wiesen-Antin added.

“Impact enterprises are the perfect fit in the nexus of peacebuilding and impact investment. Many such enterprises already have their social impact aligned with critical development agendas such as health, education, and financial inclusion, and they are well-poised to scale transformative peace through their work,” said Durreen Shahnaz, founder and chairwoman of Impact Investment Exchange Asia (IIX), a leading organization in the global impact investing space whose mission is to impact 100 million lives by 2020 by linking development with finance.