b'The Mauritania Innovation Challenge provides the opportunity for young people to develop the confidence and skills they need to become entrepreneurs through a series of classroom modules and competitive pitch competitions. The Mauritania Innovation Challenge takes entrepreneurs on a proven eight-step journey to develop a market-ready product or service. We received more than 170ecosystem by bringing together Developing incubators in local applications for the program.experts and decision-makers inuniversitiesFollowing a rigorous review ofthe public and private sectors.Facilitating access to publicthe online application processIn December 2018, we hosted atenders by micro-, small- and and individual interviews, Kosmosworkshop in Nouakchott for policymedium-sized enterprises, and selected the most promising 25makers, financial institutions, businesses to participate. Afterincubators, academics, small Developing incentives for several months of individualbusinesses, and internationalintegrating young entrepreneurs coaching and training indevelopment agencies to discussin the supply and distribution entrepreneurship, the field ofhow to best encourage and supportchains of large enterprises.participants was narrowed to 12the next generation of MauritanianOur work to promote businesses which then competedentrepreneurs. The event identifiedentrepreneurship also includes to win admission into a year-longa number of suggestions to helpsupporting events organized by key KIC incubation program, as well asentrepreneurs, such as: partners, including the World Bank. initial seed funding to help themIn 2018, we sponsored the World Establishing dedicated financing launch their businesses. instruments and mechanismsBanks Entrepreneurship Marathon The winners developed innovativeby awarding a $5,000 prize for the best innovation in their contest for Fostering collaboration between business ideas in a range of areas,microfinance institutions and including construction materials,promising start-ups.commercial bankssolid waste removal, electronic Creating a credit bureau money transfer, food delivery, officeSupporting Communities in Needspace, and distance education. to alleviate the information asymmetry betweenIn addition to our work in Kosmos is providing seed fundingentrepreneurs and financialentrepreneurship, we also to four of the companies, withinstitutions with the establishmentcontinued to support communities Banque Mauritanienne pour leof a credit scoring system in need by distributing food kits to Commerce International, a large100 disadvantaged families duringmproving the capacity of Mauritanian bank, and SEPCO,I Ramadan, as well as donating a waste management company,existing incubators and otherclothing to Institut Marie Diallo, a supporting two other businesses. entrepreneur technical supportnonprofit in Nouakchott that cares organizations for orphaned, abandoned, and In addition to running the Mauritania Improving the technical supportabused children.Innovation Challenge, we also supported the broader developmentcapabilities of micro-finance of Mauritanias entrepreneurialinstitutions45'