The Justice Innovation Circle (JIC) is the key training component of the Justice Entrepreneurship School incubation programme. The incubation programme is for startups that fit into the incubation stage, meaning there is a basic product, an MVP, but there is no traction, that is, the product is still not in the hand of users, or it’s only in hands of a small number of early adopter users, where we still do not see enough evidence that this product or business can work. In terms of the team status, there is a possibility that the team is also not yet solidified, where the size is 2 or 3, and new co-founders are coming in or leaving.

As such, the focus of the training at JIC is as the following: 

  • Team building: how to put together a team, identify like-minded and skills individuals with complementary skills in the team 
  • Lean startup, including basics of testing and analytics and specifically in-depth MVP 
  • Customer discovery, with a focus on Mom Test methodology 
  • Basics of pitch, what goes into the pitch (the different components)

Who can apply?

We are calling for applicants from the East African Region in the countries of Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Somalia, Burundi, Ethiopia, and South Sudan. The applicants should meet the selection criteria.  

Selection Criteria

The selection criteria for the incubation programme is as follows:

  • Having a team of at least 2 people (preferably co-founders), where the team shares a drive for justice impact.
  • A solution that meets the needs of those with unmet justice needs who struggle to access effective, easy to understand, affordable and accessible means to prevent or resolve their justice problems 
  • An MVP (Minimal Viable Product)

Eligibility Criteria

The JIC incubation program will consider applicants whose eligibility meet the criteria below:

  •  The startup is a social enterprise with a business model.
  •  The startup is solving a specific pressing justice problem in society i.e crime, family, land, employment, neighbor, housing, or SME justice and legal issues.  
  •  The startup has an existing product, service, or prototype that is preferably tech-based i.e there is a website or mobile app and the prototype is accessible on the filled application form.
  • The startup has a few or minimal users using the product, prototype, or service.
  •  The startup is based in East Africa i.e Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somalia, and Burundi.

Ineligibility Criteria

The JIC incubation program will not consider applicants who have the following features:

  • The startup is an NGO (Non-governmental Organization) or CBO (Community Based Organization) fully reliant on donor funding.
  • The startup does not solve a justice problem.
  • The startup is just an idea or at the ideation stage.
  • The startup has not had any users using the product, prototype, or service.
  • The startup is based outside the East Africa jurisdiction i.e Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somalia, and Burundi.

Post Programme Engagement and Benefits

All startups that successfully participate in the JIC will be given e-certificates and will be invited to pitch for 3 minutes at the JIC Pitch Perfect event we will host, where the innovators will stand to win a grant of 1,000 Euros (125,000 KES) for the best pitch. In addition, their profiles will be showcased in our newsletter and other marketing channels.

To ensure we build a vibrant community, the Hub will proactively engage the startups in order for the entrepreneurs to develop a sense of belonging to a community where everyone is on a similar journey and facing similar challenges. This will give the founders the sense that they aren’t alone and have a support network, that they trust and can reach out to when needed. This in itself promotes a healthy learning environment where knowledge is shared and people think and learn collectively.

There will be 1-hour startup-connects (Mentorship Sessions) with each startup after the training in the following weeks for a month. This time allows for the startup to process the learning from the training session and complete any homework. The purpose of the Start-Up Connects is to provide more customised support based on the need of the startup. It is also an opportunity to better know the startup (for future selection into the acceleration programme). 

Dates and Duration

The Justice Innovation Circle (JIC) is divided into 6 sessions spread over the course of 5 working days. This cohort will run from the 4th to the 8th of October 2021.


To register for the Justice Innovation Circles, click on the button below.


The Call for Applications for the 2021 Justice Innovation Circles closes on 24th September 2021 at 23:59 Eastern African Time.