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UNFPA and Life Makers Foundation launched the Social Innovation Incubator in Sohag on September 4, aiming at addressing grass-root challenges in the areas of reproductive health, family planning, maternal health, gender-based violence and harmful practices through innovative solutions, with the support of the Royal Norwegian Embassy. 

The launch event was attended by Governor of Sohag Major General Tarek Mohamed El Fiqi and Head of the Board of Trustees at Life Makers Foundation Major General Mohsen ElNoamany, UNFPA Youth Specialist Dr. Manal Eid, along with representatives from the Ministry of Social Solidarity, Ministry of Health and Population, Ministry of Youth and Sports, the National Council of Women and the National Council of Childhood and Motherhood.

The Social Innovation Incubator offers young people, development practitioners and social entrepreneurs, an opportunity to design innovative solutions to local developmental challenges under UNFPA’s mandate. During the incubator, social innovator teams will be supported with both technical and financial support (minimal seed funding) to enable them to prototype/test their solutions, in order for the solutions to be operational.

The solutions would then be presented to potential development partners (including private sector, incubator hubs/centers, academia, etc.), to potentially provide advisory guidance and/or support to the implementation of these solutions.

The pilot program targets Sohag and its neighboring governorates, with the “Dafayer” initiative, which aims to employ innovative solutions to combat Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

UNFPA launched the Social Innovation Incubator in December 2021, building on existing national partnerships, engagement with civil society and youth networks, and the growing social enterprise ecosystem in Egypt.