The Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center has launched a $250,000 equity-free prize for Startups in the Middle East and Africa operating in the Foodtech and HealthTech sectors.

The UCAN (Ubuntu Care And Nurture) Startup Challenge was established to identify startups whose unique socially-minded health-tech and food-tech solutions are meeting the urgent needs of not just the communities they serve, but the world at large, given the current global challenges due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The UCAN initiative is a follow up to the #UbuntuLoveChallenge – a global movement founded by Sheraa’s Chairperson Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi and Africa 2.0 Foundation founder Mamadou Kwidjim Toure, to inspire changemakers to actively help their communities during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.


To be eligible, startups must:

1. Have a fully developed product or minimum viable product (MVP)

2. Showcase traction (revenue/active users) and social impact

3. Be a Foodtech or Healthtech startup

4. Be interested in expanding into the MENA market.


The deadline for application for the UCAN Prize is 21st October 2020.

How to Apply 

To apply for the UCAN Startup Award, create an account on the GEN Accelerates platform. Click here to start

For more information visit their website on