HiiL Justice Challenge

€10 000 grant for innovations that focus on solving and preventing justice problems

While protesting against injustice has become a daily occurrence in South Africa, Covid-19 has further influenced the fractures in the country, increasing and influencing inequality and economic injustice. This has disempowered so many South Africans and resulted in untold poverty and unemployment. The Hague Institute for Innovation of Law (HiiL) recently launched its HiiL Innovating Justice Challenge and is looking to mentor and grow a digitally led innovative solution to widespread injustice.

Themba Mahleka, co-head of the HiiL Justice Accelerator Southern Africa, says that what Covid-19 has done is bring to the fore so many systemic issues already prevalent in our local society: “Across the globe, injustice remains one of most prominent social issues. We believe that 60% of justice issues come from family, employment, crime, land and neighbours. This year, we have added one more because of its severity, Covid-19. The HiiL Challenge is looking to work with startups to further develop a product or service that will help to prevent and resolve justice problems that have spiked as a result of the pandemic.”

Offering 10 000 EUR non-equity funding as well as numerous other benefits, the Challenge is centred on finding promising innovations that are already showing measurable impact, have the potential to become financially sustainable, and have the plans and ambition to scale across different markets. These enterprises are led by a strong team with experienced and inspiring founders.

“Our mission is to ensure that by 2030, 150 million people will be able to prevent or resolve their own justice problems. We cannot achieve this alone, which is why we launched the accelerator programme hoping to find game-changing innovative startups in the region. If there is a sustainable and scalable solution that can alleviate injustice, we want to help develop and expand its reach,” says Mahleka.

HiiL believes that access to justice underpins every other right and sustainable development goal. “This is the fifth year that we’ve run the Innovating Justice Challenge in the region, and we’ve seen the enthusiasm for innovation in the sector grow. This year, as a result of Covid-19, it’s become even more important to identify and support those startups and organisations which are modernising access to justice, and help them to reach more people, more quickly,” explains Mahleka.

The deadline for submissions is 5 August 2020. Any interested businesses should apply for the HiiL Innovating Justice Challenge 2020 and win a chance to be selected for support through the prestigious HiiL Justice Accelerator.

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