The first edition of the Challenge Fund took place in 2017 and brought entrepreneurs together to reflect on and innovate in the tourism sector. Following a rigorous selection process, 4 projects were prized at the Innovation Made in Africa Forum (FORIMA). The entrepreneurs who received $ 150,000 are currently supported in the implementation of their prototypes by Incub’IMA, Sèmè City’s first incubator.

The second edition of the Challenge Fund begins of August 9th. This year, the focus is on connecting local communities with innovative startups. Through the Challenge Fund 2, seven communities in Benin will benefit from innovative and inclusive solutions to revisit and transform tourism experience.

Applications open until October 14th at 11:59 PM Cotonou time (GMT+1)

Numerous participants have manifested their interest in the Challenge Fund 2, and have participated in one our information workshops across the Republic of Benin in order to present the call for innovation in the tourism sector. We are delighted with the enthusiasm for this innovation challenge.

These information sessions were an occasion to hear very beautiful ideas of projects that unfortunately did not fit into the proposed thematics.

Since we are convinced that the tourism sector in the Republic of Benin will benefit from such projects, we have decided to extend de submission delay for applications in order to give these creative project leaders the opportunity to apply to the Challenge Fund 2.

As a result, applications for the Challenge Fund 2 will be extended until October 14, 2019.

The 7 selected local communities remain the proprietary experiment territories of the Challenge Fund 2, nevertheless, all projects which can be declined indifferently in all the local communities of the Republic of Benin will be studied. This is why we have added an “other” option in the drop-down menu in section 4 of the application form.

Download the information sheet.
More info 


Launched as part of “Revealing Benin,” the government’s unprecedented investment and development program, Sèmè City is the only project of its kind in Africa.

This city of innovation and knowledge brings together high-level training institutions, research and development centers, and incubators of innovative solutions to help solve the challenges facing Benin and Africa.

With Sèmè City, Benin will train a new generation of talents and foster the emergence of a new model of inclusive and sustainable growth based on Innovation Made in Africa. The stake is clear: we must face the economic challenges of Benin and more generally of Africa in order to provide the continent’s youth with opportunities for the future. By 2030, close to 200,000 learners will have benefitted from Sèmè City’s training programs, and more than 190,000 sources of direct and indirect employment, including ⅓ of self-employment, will be created.

Sèmè City will be built in successive phases on 200 hectares of land in Sèmè-Podji, a peri-urban area strategically located on the shore, 5km from the Nigerian border and near a classified forest. Sèmè City is a smart city that weaves technological innovations with the strengths and specificities of its unique environment.

The first innovation campus, Sèmè One, will open its doors in Cotonou in September 2019. It will house Epitech Benin, the school of reference in terms of computer science, and Africa Design School, the first of its kind to offer a Bachelor of digital Design (BDes) in West Africa.