HDIF’s Institutional Capacity Building activity provides support to local Tanzanian organisations to build their capacity to manage projects and develop their business models. On 10th September 2019, six selected organizations pitched to HDIF and other innovation stakeholders to refine their applications for the Institutional Capacity Support activity HDIF is running. The primary purpose of the pitching session was to have the shortlisted organizations share their ideas with other players in the innovation ecosystem (e.g. development partners, private sector partners etc.) and to receive feedback from a panel of judges that helped them to further refine their ideas. After the pitching session, HDIF selected the final organisations to work with to further develop the concept notes into fully-fledged projects.

The Institutional Capacity Building activity was conceived out of the need for HDIF to further strengthen the innovation ecosystem in the country, with a primary focus on ecosystem enablers (hubs). HDIF did a scoping of aspects of the ecosystem that need further strengthening and identified institutional capacity as the top priority, especially the capacity of local institutions (those founded and registered in Tanzania, led by Tanzanians). Institutional Capacity Building activity is therefore meant to strengthen the capacity of local institutions, primarily innovation ecosystem enablers (innovation hubs, incubators, accelerators, living labs etc.).

HDIF analysis of Tanzanian innovation ecosystem enablers’ (hubs) capacity found that these enablers can be categorized in two main groups: 1) those that do not have business models that are strong enough to allow them to generate sufficient revenues to become financially sustainable (early-stage enablers) and 2) those that are financially sustainable but require more capacity in project management and/or process management.

Therefore, to meet the needs of enablers in both groups, HDIF decided to have two main sub activities under the Institutional Capacity Building activity: 1) Business model improvement track and 2) Project management capacity improvement track, targeting the first and second groups of enablers respectively.

Among the five organizations selected to take part in the activity. Project management track participants are: SmartLab, Catholic Relief Services and Mbeya University of Science and Technology, and Anza. Business model improvement track participants are: Rlabs Tanzania and Cube Zanzibar

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