Dubai, United Arab EmiratesAugust 31, 2020The Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity (the Global Prosperity Initiative), today launched its four-day Virtual Pitch Event, as part of the #Make4ProsperityWeek, where the 20 finalists of the Global Maker Challenge will pitch their innovative solutions to expert judges and more than 1000 social impact enthusiasts in a bid to win prizes and mentorship worth up to US$1 million. 

The finalists were selected based on the potential impact of their solutions to change the lives of millions by addressing current and future global challenges related to Innovation for Peace and Justice, Sustainable and Healthy Food for All, Innovation for Inclusive Trade, and Climate Change. The #Make4ProsperityWeek will conclude with the announcement of the Cohort 2 winners at the Virtual Global Maker Challenge Award Ceremony that will take place on September 6, 2020. 

Supporting the need to view economic recovery from the pandemic as the opportunity to reform, Badr Al-Olama, Head of the Organising Committee for the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS) explains; "Innovation has always been at the centre of human progress and prosperity, and hence there is a pressing need to develop as many innovative ideas and solutions that can help rebuild communities, alleviate suffering, and tackle climate change.

During the #Make4ProsperityWeek, we have seen solutions from our second cohort that have the ability to truly change our world, and make a considerable difference to the lives of those that have been severely impacted by the pandemic." 

The need for innovative solutions that support international development has never been more pressing. Globally, the pandemic forced 105 countries to close educational institutions affecting more than 897 million children and young people. Although many schools and universities adopted digital learning, a significant proportion of students do not have access to the internet, worsening an already widening global digital divide. Meanwhile, as borders closed and workers fell sick, global supply chains were pushed to breaking point. The result was empty shelves and businesses of all sizes struggling to survive – reversing years of progress in inclusive trade - and mountains of food going to waste as restaurants and cafes were forced to close. All the while, the climate emergency continued to worsen with critical deadlines looming ever nearer. 

The progress on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has been put into reverse as a result of the numerous emergencies COVID-19 has exacerbated, with a recent UN report estimating that 71 million people could be pushed back into extreme poverty by the end of 2020 - the first rise in global poverty since 1998. 

"Even before the virus, our societies were on shaky footing, with rising inequalities, worsening degradation of the environment, shrinking civic space, inadequate public health and untenable social frictions rooted in governance failures and a lack of opportunities," said UN Secretary-General António Guterres recently. "We cannot go back to what was, but rather must turn the recovery into a real opportunity to do things right for the future," he added. 

The #Make4ProsperityWeek will gather global experts who will present keynote speeches and participate in high-level panel sessions on critical global issues relating to the Cohort 2 Global Maker Challenge themes: Sustainable and Healthy Food for All, Climate Change, Innovation for Inclusive Trade, and Innovation for Peace and Justice. Speakers include Kenneth Kwok, Founder & CEO for Global Citizen Capital, Mayank Midha, Co-Founder of Garv, Lisa McAuley, CEO for Global Trade Professionals Alliance, Noor Sweid, Founder for Global Ventures, Lucy Chow, Director for Women's Angel Investor Network (WAIN) and Theodore Goede, Head of Portfolio Management for Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures who will address:

Ahead of appearing at #Make4ProsperityWeek Kenneth Kwok, Founder & CEO, Global Citizen Capital said: "The challenges we will discuss during #Make4ProsperityWeek have always been critical, but since the pandemic emerged, impact investment into solutions that alleviate the issues these challenges create has become more urgent. By bringing together SDG-oriented experts and innovators from all over the world, the MBR community can realize ideas which are both affordable and scalable, truly transforming millions of lives. I look forward to sharing our strategies on sustainability and impact philanthropy at this meaningful event, influencing all corners of the globe to raise awareness of the importance of innovation in boosting equality and driving prosperity for all." 

Throughout the week, the finalists of the Global Maker Challenge will pitch their innovative solutions, competing for prizes and mentorship worth up to US$1 million. The 20 finalists were selected from over 3,400 entries based on their solutions innovation, scalability, and ability to support communities to recover from the pandemic in the most impactful and sustainable way. 

Speaking ahead of their live pitch for the Innovation for Peace and Justice award, Aaron Friedland, Executive Director of Simbi Foundation said: “At Simbi Foundation, we believe that every learner should have access to a quality education, no matter their location or background. We exist to provide this quality education which combines 21st Century educational resources with state of the art BrightBox solar-powered classrooms. These classrooms provide enhanced access to offline digital content for up to 6,000 learners per week, solar power for an entire school, and built-in revenue generation for local communities. Through our BrightBox solutions, we have supported over 37,000 remote and refugee students in Uganda and India. 

“If we had the privilege of winning the Global Maker Challenge, we could further our work in Bidibidi refugee settlement (Uganda), providing an additional two BrightBox Macro classrooms, and supporting another 12,000 refugee learners on their path towards a brighter future." 

As part of the #Make4ProsperityWeek, the four-day pitch event will be live-streamed at 14:00 GMT across the Initiative's social platforms and website:, according to the following program; 

The Cohort 2 winners will be awarded at the virtual award ceremony of the Global Maker Challenge which will be held on September 6, 2020 at 14.00 GMT. Participants can register to attend the Global Maker Challenge Award Ceremony at 


Photo Captions: 

Image 1: Badr Al-Olama, Head of the Organising Committee for the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS) 

Notes to the Editor: 

Media Collateral

About the Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity:

A gift from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and Ruler of Dubai, to the world – The Mohammed bin Rashid (MBR) Initiative for Global Prosperity is an ambitious and impactful worldwide extension of the UAE's own transformational vision, built on four core values: resilience, community, harmony, and dignity. It combines the Global Maker Challenge – an online open-innovation platform for 'makers' and innovators to solve specific real-world challenges, and the Global Prosperity Award – a prestigious global accolade that recognises and rewards social innovation brought by manufacturing for the betterment of humanity. The Initiative brings together companies, startups and entrepreneurs, governments and NGOs to create an ecosystem designed to enable new businesses to be built, new jobs to be created, and new solutions to be unlocked in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 

To learn more, please visit and follow the Initiative on Twitter:  @Make4Prosperity, Instagram: @make4prosperity, LinkedIn: Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity, Facebook: @Make4Prosperity, and YouTube: Make4Prosperity

Cohort 2 Challenge Themes: 

Sustainable and Healthy Food for All: How can urban populations increase access to healthy and sustainable foods, despite rapid urbanisation? 

The finalists are:

Innovation for Inclusive Trade: How can rural communities increase their access to new supply chains and markets in order to create better livelihoods for themselves? 

The finalists are:

Innovation for Peace and Justice: How can displaced populations access affordable and quality services that are essential to their safety and wellbeing? 

The finalists are:

Climate Change: How can communities move towards a low-carbon circular economy by eliminating waste and utilising existing resources? 

The finalists are:

Press Contact: 
Reethu Thachil
Communications Manager
M Three Marcomms LLC
Press Office for:
Global Manufacturing & Industrialisation Summit
Mohammed Bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity



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