IDB Lab launches Silver Economy challenge in Latin America and the CaribbeanFriday, June 18, 2021
The Inter-American Development Bank's innovation laboratory (IDB Lab) has opened the Silver Economy Innovation for Inclusion Challenge in the Latin American and the Caribbean region.
This Silver Innovation seeks to find and support innovative solutions that facilitate the rapidly growing ageing population to become an engine of social inclusion and economic recovery.
“Today, Latin America and the Caribbean is the fastest ageing region in the world. The vulnerability to which those over 60 have been exposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has only underscored the challenge of responding to the growing demand for pension benefits, health services, and dependent services,” IDB said.
“However, the great challenges that an aging population brings, also comes with opportunities for economic development with a generation of new enterprises and the creation of more and better jobs for the entire population, including opportunities for seniors,” it continued.
The Silver Economy also has important implications for gender equity, the bank said, noting that “women live longer and bear most of the burden of the unpaid domestic labour associated with caring for dependent seniors”.
The challenge calls for the participation of business models with innovative solutions ready to be implemented in the areas of health services and long-term care, financial services and products, employment and training, and housing and transportation (mobility), as well as those that support the promotion and development of technology-based ventures that generate solutions for any sector related to the Silver Economy.
The proposed business models must be innovative in nature and present a novel solution that has not been implemented before in the country of the proposal, or that adds an innovation component to an existing model; promote the social and economic inclusion of poor and vulnerable aging population with key indicators to measure results; and contemplate a path for scalability or replication, as well as financial sustainability, with the aim to be implemented in one or more of the 26 borrowing member countries of IDB.
Proposals may be submitted from June 16 to July 31, 2021 and the announcement of the selected applicants will take place in October.
Potential participants include, among others, emerging companies, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), foundations, non-profit organisations, corporations, universities, think tanks, public innovation agencies, accelerators, and other actors of the entrepreneurial ecosystem that come from any of the 48 member countries of the IDB Group.
The challenge establishes two categories of participation, depending on where the legal registration of the participating applicant is located, which will allow applicants to obtain financial support or an honourable mention and the possibility to be included in the network of global innovators of IDB Lab to develop opportunities for knowledge exchange and disseminating their innovative solutions.
Initiatives selected for financial support will be eligible for contingent recovery loans and or financing, both reimbursable, or non-reimbursable grants for amounts ranging from US$300,000 to US$2 million, depending on the type of financial instrument.
“Today there are more than 80 million people over 60 years of age in the region and in 30 years it is expected that there will be almost 200 million. This is the time to prepare for this rapid demographic change. Focusing on this new reality will be one of the most strategic issues for the IDB Group in the coming years,” said Irene Arias, chief executive officer of IDB Lab.
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