Type of Funding

Partially funded




The ASEAN Impact Challenge 2019 is inviting entries from social innovators and private sector entrepreneurs from Southeast Asia who are accelerating the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals through cross-sector partnerships and disruptive tech innovations. In the past, initiatives by participant teams have ranged from waste management, agriculture, microfinance, microbiology, improving livelihoods, alternative education, environment and construction. The ASEAN Impact Challenge provides a platform for innovations, businesses, and social purpose organisations to create partnerships that can further the achievement of a national, regional and global agenda for development.

The theme for this year’s challenge is ‘Circular Futures: Innovations for a Circular Economy’. The circular economy is a US$4.5 trillion business opportunity, presenting huge potential for global economic growth and that which will also accelerate society towards a sustainable future.

Initiatives submitted could fall under any of the following 10 Circular Economy themes:

  • Travel and hospitality
  • Cities and built environment
  • Fast moving consumer goods (FMCG)
  • Agriculture and food
  • Automotive
  • Banking and finance
  • Energy
  • Health
  • Fashion
  • Telco


Entries are to be made by teams, which should submit their applications to 1 of the following 2 categories:

  • StartImpact Track: Circular innovations with proposals, ideas, concepts and prototypes with the potential to deliver long-term solutions and impact on pressing community, social and environmental issues.
  • ScaleImpact Track: Proven Circular innovations with the potential and capacity to increase impact by expanding its beneficiary base, which have been in operation for a minimum of 2 years and which have generated a minimum of US$100,000 in revenue.


The 20 Regional Finalist teams (10 from StartImpact Track and 10 from ScaleImpact Track) will have the opportunity to attend the Global Goals Labs, an 8-week acceleration programme held in the ASEAN country the finalist team is in. The Global Goals Labs will be held from 22 September to 30 November 2019.

The total cost for flights and accommodation for the top 20 finalist teams to attend the Regional Finals in Thailand from 1 to 4 November 2019, will be covered. One or 2 finalist team members must be able and willing to travel to the Regional Finals in Thailand.

Finalists will therefore benefit from tailored capacity building and support provided by local and regional industry mentors. They will gain access To strategic partnerships in ASEAN and abroad, as well as to finance for growth. In the last 4 years, AIC finalists have been connected to over US$5 million of capital. Finalists will also gain regional and global visibility and get opportunities to pitch solutions in New York during The Global Goals week, in addition to the ASEAN Summit and related events.


Applicants have to be from ASEAN and they have to form teams. All team members must be over the age of 18 and able and willing to travel to Bangkok, Thailand for the Regional Finals. The team members do not have to be citizens of the same country but must reside in the same country. They do not have to be citizens of that country.

They have to submit circular innovations with the potential to scale and which are designed to encourage, empower and support partnerships and innovations that will create impact in the region.  For early stage innovations, participant teams do not need to have an incorporated business in order to enter the competition. But those wishing to participate in the scale stage category would need to have an incorporated business that has been operating for the last 2 years.

The idea submitted must be original and innovative and falls under 1 of the 10 circular economy themes. It has to solve an existing social or environmental challenge and the initiative will impact the communities in the region, or fill an existing gap in the region.


Applications are to be done online by 8 September 2019.

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