Launching your Idea into reality (Products or Services) can be made possible with IsBN Business Competition for young entrepreneurs and small business owners willing to expand their business in Sub-Saharan Countries. The IsDB Business Plan COMPETITION aims at identifying high-impact Sub-Saharan entrepreneurs, linking them to investors and mentors, training them, and celebrating their successes. IsDB Group is an international financial institution aiming at fostering the economic development and social progress of its member countries. The IsDB group will provide several benefits including; Cash prizes, Training materials on business plan development, Mentorship from prominent entrepreneurs, networking opportunities with well-known entrepreneurs, investors, and potential partners, Media exposure for finalist entrepreneurs
General Conditions:
  • Individual application is allowed but applications by teams are highly encouraged. In the case of team application, each team shall select a member who will be the “applicant” for the team in this competition,
  • The applicant must be a citizen of the IsDB Group Member Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa Region
  • The applicant shall be at least 18 years old and able to read and speak English or French proficiently,
  • All members of a team can only enter the competition once with one submission,
  • Team composition adjustments are allowed in Phase 1 and 2 but no changes are allowed after the submission of full business plans,
  • The products or services offered or intended to be offered should have commercialization potential, be legal, and Shariah-compliant. The following applications will not be accepted
  1. Projects which does not have commercialization potential,
  2. Non-for-profit type projects such as charities, NGOs etc.,
  3. Projects entailing production, sales, promotion, or distribution of the non-shariah compliant products/services (such as alcohol, gambling etc.)
  • The applicant shall have a valid passport and be eligible to travel to Senegal/Dakar to participate in the award ceremony,
  • Each applicant must choose to enter the competition as either a ”Idea Track” or “Growth Track” classification as indicated below:
 Specific Conditions:
  • For the Idea Track, applicant must demonstrate how they will make the project bankable within 1 year of winning the competition
  • All teams/individuals that previously received award for the idea/business venture from another organization must disclose information on the type and amount of the award, date of receipt, and organization providing this award.
IsDB Group has the right to disqualify the entries that do not meet any of the above conditions.
Timeline of the Competition
 The competition will be conducted in three phases as explained below:
Phase 1Submit a short-executive summary of your business plan between the dates of: January 1st2014 and April 30th 2014
The first phase is open to all interested entrepreneurs meeting IsDB eligibility criteria. The application procedure is easy and straight forward. Please go to “Start Your Application” section of their website, where you will be required to answer a set of questions in two steps. The first step will let IsDB Group know more about you, and include questions such as your background, future plans and contact information. After providing all necessary information, you will be able to move to the 2nd Step, where you will be required to answer 6 main questions about your business plan. In a nutshell, these 6 questions will cover areas such as potential, originality as well as financial viability of your business plan, and provide an executive summary for us. The application should be prepared in either English or French. The idea needs be commercially viable solution to a problem. You should also demonstrate the market potential, strategy to raise funds, and generate revenue for your business. If your proposal is accepted then you will be asked to provide a comprehensive business plan.  Applicants are advised to start working on their application well before the deadline to ensure timely assistance if there are technical issues with their submission. All candidates are requested to provide their application latest by April 30th 2014 11:59 p.m. (Jeddah time). The submissions will be reviewed IsDB judges, who are experienced entrepreneurs, businessmen and leaders in their fields. After the review of all submissions, a total of 25 semi-finalists will be short-listed from both Idea Track and Growth Track by June 2nd2014. Then, the qualifying 50 entrepreneurs will be requested to provide their detailed business plans for the second phase.
Phase 2: Provide your detailed business plan between the dates of: June 2nd 2014 and August 20th2014 
In the second phase, the short-listed entrepreneurs will be asked to provide their detailed business plan online. This phase is about developing the business opportunity and writing a full business plan, which should be a maximum of 2,500 words including, if any, text in figures, tables and other materials in the document. There is no limitation on the number of diagrams and the document should be sized to print out on A4 paper. Bear in mind that the judges will appreciate brevity and clarity. The business plan should be prepared either in English or French. A jury consisting of industry experts will review the submitted business plans and select 10 finalist entrepreneurs from both Idea Track and Growth Track, who will be announced latest by October 5th 2014
Phase 3:  Final Competition (3rdWeek of November, 2014)
The 20 finalist entrepreneurs will be invited to Dakar/Senegal with fully-paid travel and accommodation expenses, to participate in the final portion of the IsDB Group Business Plan Competition. The program will include a two-day of events including mentorship sessions, pitch sessions and award ceremony. During the program, applicants will receive personalized coaching and mentorship from investors and entrepreneurs. Additionally, each applicant will be asked to present their business plan to a panel of judges. 3 winning individuals/teams for each track will be announced on the same day during the Award Ceremony. The winners will be determined based on the score of the jury for their pitches. Finalists must attend the event to be eligible for a prize.
For more information on how to apply click HERE

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