BIC Somali: A New Opportunity for Startups and SMEs in Somalia

Published Date :

May 23, 2023

Time to Read :

6 Minutes

BIC Somali Project

UNIDO, in collaboration with SIMAD iLab announces a Call for Ideas to select individuals or teams that are committed to developing business in Somalia with a solid entrepreneurial vocation and capable of generating a strong social and economic impact.

The primary purpose of this call is to support young people - through services and resources- to create their own businesses and promote a culture of entrepreneurship among the students.

To promote businesses and ideas that have relevance to the Somali context with a focus on existing resources, the Call for Ideas seeks to collect applications in three main thematic areas, specifically in the following sectors:

1.    Agro-processing:

  1. Milk ValueChain
  2. FisheryValue Chain
  3. LivestockValue Chain
  4. Vegetable/AgricultureValue Chain
  5. AgricultureLogistics
  6. Warehousing& Storage
  7. InnovativeAgriculture Practices
  8. Other relevant sectors

2.    Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

  1. Energy efficient devices
  2. SolarEnergy (on-grid and Off-grid solution)
  3. WindEnergy
  4. Distribution of Energy
  5. Other relevant sectors

3.    Creative Industry

  1. FashionTextiles
  2. DesignerJewelry
  3. Traditional handicraft items with innovations
  4. Productdesign
  5. Gaming
  6. Pottery
  7. Furniture
  8. Other relevant sectors

Target and requirements

The call is aimed at young people - especially women- who want to develop their business ideas or have an existing business over one-year-old. Applicants, either individual or in Teams, are preferable to young people under the age of thirty with encouragement for women’s participation.


The winning teams will be able to benefit for a period of 9-12 months of:

  • Training activities (face-to-face lectures, self-learning online insights, collaborative group activities, participation in seminars, and thematic events).
  • Mentoring and coaching services (individual and group) for developing the entrepreneurial idea.
  • Technical mentoring to build prototypes and commercialization of the product idea.
  • Use of productive assets in the form of machinery & equipment for piloting the business activity.
  • Few selected project ideas or businesses will be supported in equipment purchase for their business idea.

How to participate

To participate, each applicant/team must complete the APPLICATION FORM via this link. The applicant/s who will be shortlisted will be notified by email (to the email address indicated in the application). The invited applicants will attend a three-day boot camp, where the invited applicant/s will pitch their business idea. A jury will select the final applicants who will be attending the 1st Cohort of Incubation.

After the publication of the results, each member of the selected teams will have to sign a declaration of total acceptance of the specific Internal Regulations.

Evaluation criteria

The applications received at the initial stage and in the boot camp will be evaluated by a specific Evaluation Committee appointed by UNIDO and composed of experts. The judgment of the commission is unquestionable.

The selection criteria with which the evaluation of the initial phase will be carried out are divided as follows:

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