The Challenge

The IIX-N-­Peace Innovation Challenge 2015 was an Impact Enterprise (IE) competition accelerating Asia’s inclusive peacebuilding agenda by identifying and supporting IEs working to empower women, engage youth, and catalyze innovation and technology in a scalable and sustainable way.

By strengthening economic, social and political capacities, this process creates scalable, sustainable and inclusive outcomes for peace, effectively reducing the risk of lapsing or relapsing into conflict.

We accepted applicants from Afghanistan, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Philippines

The Challenge was a platform for existing mission-driven social enterprises, SMEs with positive social impact, and non-profits that generate revenue to:

  • Showcase the positive impact they are creating to transform lives

  • Magnify their ability to create sustainable and inclusive peace using market-based solutions.

One winner was awarded from each country. The six winning enterprises presented their solutions for peace and shared their impact story in a celebration at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 22 October 2015.

All six winners were provided with tailored mentorship, impact assessment frameworks and intensive investment readiness services to scale their impact. Winners were additionally embraced as part of IIX’s community and connected with its network of Impact Investors to help them raise capital to reach the next stage of growth.

“The winners are celebrated, not just for their own impact and peacebuilding efforts, but also for the potential they represent through their innovative and replicable models that can transform millions of lives in Asia and beyond. There are fresh possibilities here for unlocking new sources of capital to expand current peacebuilding efforts,” Durreen Shahnaz

A strong underlying theme threading through the winning enterprises was their steadfast investment in women and youth as agents for peace and development. By empowering women and youth, these enterprises enabled the most vulnerable sections of the community to become co-creators of prosperity and progress, instead of victims of conflict.

Ultimately this competition supported sustainable, scalable, inclusive peacebuilding that has long-term and transformative impact.

The Organizers

The IIX-N-Peace Innovation Challenge was a joint initiative by the N-Peace Network, United Nations Development Program, and Impact Investment Exchange Asia (IIX)

Impact Investment Exchange Asia (IIX)

IIX is a leading organization in the global impact investing space
whose mission is to impact 100 million lives by 2020 by linking development with finance.

N-Peace Network

N-Peace is a UNDP-managed multi-country network of peace advocates in Asia advancing women’s leadership for conflict prevention, resolution, and peacebuilding.

United Nations Development Program (UNDP)

UNDP works in more than 170 countries and territories, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty, and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion. We help countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and build resilience in order to sustain development results.


Arzu Studio Hope weaves peace by helping women in Afghanistan break the poverty cycle. By giving them access to skills and market, Arzu is acting as a catalyst for resilience – enabling women to become the authors of their own story in the nation’s peacebuilding process.

Yayasan Kopernik is energizing Indonesia’s peace and security agenda by empowering women to become micro-social entrepreneurs that sell life changing, clean-energy technologies to remote villages.

Koe Koe Tech’s apps are acting as a bridge for peace in Myanmar, leveraging the power of technology to democratize healthcare. These apps are designed to educate and connect underserved populations, particularly women, to affordable healthcare, contributing to reduction of maternal mortality and infectious disease rates and stimulating rural markets by enabling purchase of low-cost, high quality medicine.

Higher Ground Nepal uses an innovative, cross-subsidy model to build peace from the bottom up in Nepal, training and employing at-risk youth and women in their Bakery and Crafts enterprises to sustain operations for the Higher Ground Community Development Initiative [HCDI].

Buksh Energy’s Lighting a Million Lives initiative is ensuring a brighter future for the nation by tackling energy poverty in Pakistan, a nation that is in the midst of an energy crisis with 63% of the population in off grid areas. By providing low-income families with access to clean and affordable energy, Buksh Energy is stabilizing society and strengthening their economic capacity to reap a ‘green peace dividend’.

Coffee for Peace uses a unique, triple-bottom line formula to brew peace for over 800 families in the high-conflict zone of Mindanao, Philippines – ‘Farmers, Environment, Peacebuilding’. The farmers (80% of which are women) are paid a fair price for their coffee, empowering them with a sustainable livelihood, magnifying their economic security and financial stability.

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