STITCH FOR RMG Global Innovation Challenge
Futureproofing RMG workplace in Bangladesh- STITCH FOR RMG Announces its First Cohort
Launched in October 2021, the STITCH for RMG: Global Innovation Challenge has finally come to an end after three-month-long rigorous competition to crowdsource innovations that can safeguard the livelihood of Bangladeshi women garment workers of the RMG industry. BRAC, H&M Foundation, and The Asia Foundation announced the six winners last Tuesday, 7 February 2022.
In the concept stage, 220 teams from 29 countries submitted their concept ideas on the given themes. After being shortlisted, 39 teams submitted pitch videos of their innovations in the pitch round. The judges then finally short-listed 12 finalists and these finalists participated in a virtual marketplace, where a matchmaking process was conducted between the teams and 7 partner RMG factories based in Bangladesh.
The Marketplace Round was a unique opportunity for the finalists to discuss their ideas with factory representatives, through which they were able to understand buy-in of the factories and practicalities of testing their solutions on the factory settings. Through a two week-long phase of mutual introduction and interaction between finalists and partner factories, the finalists finally co-created a joint Expression of Interest (EOI) with their respective matched factories to test these solutions in the factory settings. Finally, an independent judge panel reviewed all these EOIs and finalized 6 winners.
Each winning team will be awarded grants up to USD 30,000 to develop proof-of-concept of the solution. The winners also will receive a wide range of incubation support from BRAC Social Innovation Lab (SIL) to develop proof-of-concept of their model during the next phase. Here are the snapshots of the winning teams:
2. i-SMART- Developing a standardized skill matrix for women sewing workers

i-SMART team aims to introduce a standardized skill rating matrix for the assessment of the workers’ skills, reducing the chances of exploitation and underappreciation of talents in factories. Through training and equipment dry-run in the factory, they will deploy the rating process and remotely monitor the progress through telephone/VC/e-mail. The pilot aims to complete the rating of 1000 sewing workers showing 09 different generic skill rating scores during the pilot phase, collect the feedback of direct stakeholders (women sewing workers and supervisors and management), and meet other prospective garment manufacturers for wider adoption across the industry. During the incubation phase, i-Smart will roll out the pilot at Aswad Composite Mills Ltd. (Partner Factory). During the incubation phase, i-Smart will roll out the pilot at Aswad Composite Mills Ltd. (Partner Factory).

Urban Innovation Challenge

Urban Innovation Challenge exists for one reason: to provide an enabling platform for young social entrepreneurs to solve some of the pressing urban challenges of our time through their entrepreneurial ventures.
The winners of this challenge received a wide-range of incubation support from BRAC that include pre-seed grant, office space, capability building bootcamps, mentorship, and pitching opportunity to investors. We have arranged two editions of Urban Innovation Challenge with BRAC Urban Development programme so far, incubating 12 startups from their ideation stage.

WASH Innovation Challenge

With this in mind, UNICEF ROSA and BRAC joined hands to launch the Regional WASH Innovation Challenge in 2018, calling for ideas on three categories: innovative behavioural change campaign and appropriate technologies to nudge mothers and caregivers and development of innovation systems to measure and monitor hand washing at home, schools and hospitals. More than 800 submissions were received and 55 short-listed teams were taken through a five-step WATER Challenge where they came up with unique solutions. Finally, three teams were announced as winners in the regional finale in Bhutan.

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