D-Prize Challenge for Aspiring Entrepreneurs Worldwide (Up to $20,000 USD)

D-Prize Challenge for Aspiring Entrepreneurs Worldwide (Up to $20,000 USD)

Deadline: November 8, 2020

The D-Prize Challenge 2020 is now open. The world has already invented products and services to end poverty. Yet millions of people still don’t have access. Can you design a business or NGO that solves one of the Distribution Challenges below?

D-Prize supports new entrepreneurs who can distribute proven poverty interventions. They will award the most promising teams with up to $20,000 USD to launch a pilot version of your new organization wherever extreme poverty exists. 

D-Prize Challenges

  • Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene
    • Chlorine Dispenser Challenge: 400 million people in sub-Saharan Africa lack access to improved water. Chlorine dispensers at community water sources treat water and lower the occurrence of waterborne disease like diarrhea. Can you distribute community chlorine dispensers and teach people to use them?
  • Girl’s Education
    • Sugar Daddy Awareness Challenge: 14 million unintended teen pregnancies occur annually in sub-Saharan Africa, and girls are 5x more likely to be infected with HIV. A one-hour “sugar daddy awareness” class reduces these risks 28%. Can you teach “sugar daddy awareness” classes to girls in need?
  • Agriculture
    • Quality Inputs Challenge: Increasing the productivity of sub-Saharan African smallholder farms has potential to lift millions of people out of extreme poverty. High quality seeds and microdosing of fertilizer are cost-effective ways to ensure higher crop yield. Can you distribute a bundle of proven agricultural inputs and teach farmers to use them to grow more?
    • Custom Agriculture Challenge: D-Prize is specifically interested in distributing proven agriculture interventions to smallholder farmers. If you know of a highly-effective intervention that is backed by credible evidence, we want to hear your plan to increase its distribution.
  • Energy
    • Solar Lamp Challenge: 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa use kerosene lanterns to light their homes. Pico solar lamps are cheaper, cleaner, create cost savings, and increase household incomes by 30%. Can you sell solar lights to rural or slum-dwelling households in need?
  • Global Health
    • Self-injectable Contraceptive Challenge: Over 200M women globally lack access to family planning products. Sayana® Press is a self-injectable contraceptive in a single-use package. Since the product is simple enough for recipients themselves to administer, it may be particularly valuable for women who prefer injectable contraceptives but do not have regular access to health facilities. Can distribute Sayana® Press to underserved women through a private health network?
    • Patient Identification Challenge: Obstetric fistula, cervical cancer, club foot, and cataracts all have effective treatments. Yet identifying patients among large populations is difficult. Can you create a way to identify patients and connect them to early treatment solutions?
    • Maternal Health Challenge: Misoprostol is a $3 drug that could prevent 100,000 maternal deaths from postpartum hemorrhaging. Can you develop an organization to train birth attendants to administer misoprostol?
    • Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision Challenge: The incidence of new HIV infections in many countries in Eastern and Southern Africa remains high. Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) can substantially reduce the risk of HIV acquisition for men, and can also reduce the risk of transmission of high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) to the men’s partners. Can you develop an organization to identify candidates for VMMC and connect them to health facilities?
    • Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission Challenge: HIV can be transmitted from pregnant women to their infants. A short round of antiretroviral therapy (ART) can substantially reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission. Can you prevent mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV by helping HIV-positive pregnant women adhere to an ART regimen?
    • Child Immunization Challenge: Millions of infants in developing countries do not receive the routine immunizations recommended by the World Health Organization. Increased immunization rates in low-coverage areas could prevent a large number of childhood deaths from preventable diseases. Can you direct 500 caregivers (parents or other guardians) to bring their infants to health facilities for routine immunizations that otherwise would not occur?
  • Education
    • Teaching at the Right Level Challenge: In many resource-limited countries over 50% of Grade 2 students are unable to read a single word of a short text or perform two-digit subtraction. Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) is an education program that tailors instruction to the learning level of the child, rather than their age. The result is that basic literacy and numeracy are achieved by students before they finish primary school. Can you implement an effective TaRL program to teach students in a resource-limited classroom?
  • Governance and Infrastructure
    • Government Transparency Challenge: Public services in developing countries are rife with corruption. Public reporting and scorecards creates real accountability. Can you improve transparency and report data on the public service performance?
  • Custom
    • Propose Your Own Challenge: Propose your own challenge! If you know of another proven intervention in need of greater distribution, we would like to hear it. The only requirements are to choose an already proven poverty solution that is in need of distribution to more people in the developing world.


  • Up to $20,000 USD will be awarded to selected applicants to launch a pilot version of their new organization in any region where extreme poverty exists.


  • D-Prize is for aspiring entrepreneurs from anywhere in the world, of any age, and any background.
  • D-Prize is also open to any business model (for profit, non-profit, and everything in between).
  • They will consider funding existing organizations only if: you are piloting a new distribution-focused initiative, and you need high risk capital.


  • Round 1 – Submit your concept note and resume(s).  We generally receive 1800 submissions a competition.
  • Round 2 – Top 5% of entrepreneurs are invited to submit a full 10 page proposal. You will have  four weeks to draft and submit.
  • Final Round – Top entrepreneurs interview via phone and email.  The top 1-2% will receive up to $20,000 to launch.
  • Launch – You will spend the next three months using your talent to start a venture that can grow and help millions of people.


  • Early Submission Deadline: October 18th, 2020 at midnight PT (pacific time) 
  • Regular Submission Deadline: November 8th, 2020 at midnight PT (pacific time) 
  • Extension Deadline (limited to 200 people who register): November 29th, 2020 at midnight PT (pacific time)

Click here to apply.

For more information, visit D-Prize.