Create momentum for, and drive projects and programs in the city that innovatively tackle social, system and structure issues that hinder growth and perpetuate poverty.


Collaborate with, and connect, stakeholders from all spheres, to work together to 'disrupt’ thinking, and practice and create new opportunities for active participation by all in growth and renewal.


Connect those in need with real opportunity, by providing practical tools, training, access to resources and support for self-improvement, business start ups and community-building and upliftment.


Celebrate the city of Durban, promote all that it has done, and will do, for its citizens, to attract, retain and support the business and investors needed to underpin growth and development.

Rebuilding Kwazulu-natal through innovation

The Youth Innovation Challenge is the Annual Flagship Programme of Innovate Durban which is held in partnership with institutions, organisations, businesses and government sectors locally and globally. 

The objective of the programme is to give the youth an opportunity and platform to come up with practical innovative solutions to existing problems; that will be implemented to eradicate issues that hinder growth and development. 

Challenge Statement

How can we use digital skills and innovation to avert and/or decrease direct economic loss, damage to critical infrastructure, and disruption to basic services caused by disasters, to ultimately build sustainable cities and communities in KZN?

The 2022 Youth Innovation Challenge gives young people a chance to explore innovative solutions to the real issues faced by KwaZulu – Natal.

  • Entry to the Youth Innovation Challenge is open to persons between the ages of 18-35 years only.  
  • You must be residing in KwaZulu – Natal  
  • Entrepreneurial-minded, innovative and with problem-solving skills
  • An Interest in innovative/solutions in the following sectors: Climate Change, Digitalization, AI, and Technology, Education and Skills, Employment, Energy, Engineering, Government and Politics, Health and Wellbeing, Housing, and infrastructure, Local and Regional Development, Transportation, is an added advantage.  
  • People living with disabilities are welcome to apply 
  • Undertaking or completing a STEM related tertiary qualification is an added advantage  
  • The YIC 2022 is run as an in-person event, participants must be able to attend the challenge activities in-person on stated dates and venues (UKZN Unite Building, Innovate Durban Co-Lab Cato Manor)
  • If you have participated previously in Innovate Durban Youth Innovation Challenge, you do not qualify to apply
  • Winners have an opportunity to join the Start-Up Support Programme 2023
  • Winning solutions will receive prize money of R35 000, R25 000, and R15 000.
  • Upskill the participants in innovation skills and concepts  
  • Innovatively tackle social, system and structural issues   
  • Arranging start-up and product development support with partners  
  • Business development and job creation 

How to apply?

Complete the application form by clicking on button below.

In Partnership With