The SDG Impact Accelerator (IA) has been initiated by the Government of Turkey together with the funding of UNDP, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Eczacıbaşı Group and Limak Foundation for the feasibility study and the pilot phase. The central function and aim of the SDG IA is to accelerate the impact of Sustainable Development Goals through the acceleration of “systems entrepreneurs” for market-creating innovations offering solutions that strengthen the resilience of refugees and of its communities and relevant institutions.

The first of the working group meetings of the SDG IA was held on May 16th of 2019 at the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ankara. During the working group meeting the SDG IA Project Team was introduced to the working group members and the BETA version of the SDG IA website was successfully launched.

The meeting brought together representatives of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UNDP Turkey, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Eczacıbaşı Group, LİMAK Foundation, as well as other relevant partners and stakeholders of the SDG IA.

The working groups defined the scope, objectives and discussed the targeted groups of SDG IA. The call for proposals to entrepreneurs for both pilot projects are being finalized and will be issued by the end of May. During this gathering, the teams discussed the road map and call for the execution of the pilot stage of the SDG IA.

SDG Impact Accelerator will be looking for passionate and productive teams from all around the world with a focus on commercializing their inventions and building sustainable business models to solve big challenges of Livelihood Opportunities and Access to Basic Services, Clean Water and Sanitation. The Call also specified Innovation challenges around “Digital ID” and “Portable Non-sewage Toilet” to be implemented by applicants under the initiative. The pilot stage will have the objective to simultaneously enhance the livelihood conditions of refugees and host communities.

Teams or individuals working on new technologies or product offering a solution to a big problem or wanting to propose an innovative solution to the innovation challenge topics of the pilot projects, will be able to apply.

Thanks to a platform-based approach, the initiative will bring together stakeholders, knowledge and ground expertise to attract talent and distinguished entrepreneurs aiming at solving big challenges. Working groups are established to support the startups during the implementation of pilot projects.

The SDG Impact Accelerator aims to accelerate “systems entrepreneurs” for market-creating innovations initially for refugee populations, and consequently for the least-developed country (LDC) populations. Turkey is currently home to approximately 3.6 million Syrians under temporary protection, making it the most appropriate ground to develop solutions to enhance the living conditions of these vulnerable populations.