BOOST programme

Supporting innovative entrepreneurship

People born in fortunate circumstances are extremely accustomed to the current digital societies. They use apps to shop, to call a taxi, to sort their bank affairs online via online banking, and so much more. Rural communities or people born in less fortunate circumstances need their own solutions, relevant to their own needs and local settings. And who is more knowledgeable than the entrepreneurs in those communities?

Leap 2 is part of the new strategy of Close the Gap. This program supports young African entrepreneurs developing and scaling digital solutions for societal issues. Concretely, Close the Gap organises innovation challenges with GoodUp. 


The process

Per innovation challenge, 10 projects are selected and coached. The selected teams learn to test their ideas on the market through crowdfunding. They receive matching funding when they reach their crowdfunding goals. In addition, they learn how to pitch and expand their network with the help of experts, coaches and potential investors.



Of the 600.000 motorbikes in Kenya, 12.000 are stolen every year. The finalist of the first innovation challenge (in Kenya Spring 2017), Btrack Global, helps resolve this issue by installing a tracking device into the motorcycle.



Overview of the Leap² Innovation Challenges


The first innovation challenge

Kenya - June 2017

The LEAP² Innovation title went to Ebursary: An online platform incorporating smart tools and search capabilities to create a centralised platform serving both students and organisations. 

Other winners include: B-trackEMEDEN Farmer’s market link and EsVendo

The second innovation challenge

Kenya - January 2018: Fintech

The focus was on fintech.

7 of the 10 innovations reached their target amount. The winner of the pitch was TozzaPluss. The second winner was Marks RateThey obtained the highest crowdfunded amount.

The third innovation challenge

Uganda - Spring 2018: Women in Tech

This challenge focused on women tech entrepreneurs in Uganda.

8 out of 9 innovations reached their crowdfunding target.  The winner of the pitch was mSCAN (Mobile Scan Solutions Uganda Limited). 

Sustainable Technology For Africa

Winter 2018-2019

Close the Gap's Leap² Platform is hosting the entrepreneurs and start-ups participating in Ondernemers voor Ondernemers' SusTech4Africa Challenge. Through the Leap² Platform, participants set up crowdfunding pages and campaigns for their innovative ideas.

The fourth innovation challenge

Kenya - Spring 2019: Swahili-tech Women Innovation Challenge

This Challenge focuses on either female entrepreneurs whose business is changing the digital field in the Mombasa region or businesses focussed on changing the lives of women.

5 our of 9 innovations reached their target amount. The winners were Pwani Tekhnogalz, Okoa Jamii, and Walccs.

The fifth Innovation Challenge

Kenya - Fall 2019: Innovative Light & Circular Economy

This challenge, taking place in Close the Gap's Innovation Hub in Mombasa, kicked-off on October 3rd. This Leap² focuses on innovative solutions focused on either light or the circular economy.

Winners: Digital Egg Incubator, Bioethanol Coconut Husks Fuel Gel & Trash to Cash.