Open Call for BOOST: Women Innovators

02 Feb 2022 Calls Women in STEM

BOOST: Women Innovators has opened a call for women-led or women-owned startups, SMEs, social enterprises, non-profits and academic institutions in Europe and Central Asia. If you have innovative and/or tech-driven ideas in four key areas: women & digital access and use, women in the digital economy & STEM, women in data, and women in tech innovation, this may be for you.

Over 20 innovating organizations will be selected to participate in the BOOST regional acceleration program, from which four will be awarded grants of USD $10,000 upon graduation. Apply by March 1!

The support will be granted for 30+ women innovators from across Europe and Central Asia with training, mentorship, funding (up to USD $10,000 in grants or equity-free capital), investor access and much more to reimagine their organizations/business models and scale their social impact innovations.

BOOST: Women Innovators

BOOST is rooted in UNDP’s Strategic Plan 2022-25, which aims to support governments and communities to rebound from COVID-19 and build forward better

BOOST: Women Innovators is an open call for innovative ideas that leverage the power of technology to address gender inequalities and boost opportunities for women and girls to advance and thrive. Tapping into the innovation potential of the region, together, we can bring about social change, articulate alternative futures, and lay the groundwork for a new inclusive reality.

What is BOOST looking for?

  • Women and digital access and use: Innovations that help bridge the gender digital divide, enabling women and girls to equally access and use digital technologies – from creating affordable tech and enhancing digital literacy skills to tackling gender stereotypes.
  • Women in the digital economy and STEM: Innovations that help increase women’s active participation in digitally transformed economies and STEM or boost opportunities for women to be creators/drivers of innovation – for instance by leveraging the amplifying effect of emerging technologies, or by facilitating access to affordable finance.
  • Women in data: Innovations that can help close the gendered data gap, using gender-sensitive data – data specific to women – to improve research, policy, planning, design, monitoring in urban planning, transportation, manufacturing, and other fields.

Selection criteria

  • Viability and scalability: Innovations that have the potential to be implemented and scaled within or even beyond their respective geographical area of operations.
  • Degree of innovation: Innovations that use cutting-edge technologies or innovative digital tools.
  • Potential for impact: Innovations that can help bridge the gender digital divide by addressing one, two or all three thematic areas, and their underlying challenges.
  • System transformation: Organizations that work to understand the systems in which they operate, and continuously re-assess and adapt their organizations and businesses to the context and markets.
  • Management: Organizations must demonstrate that they have an adequate team in place, with clear roles and responsibilities, and the capacity to implement their innovations in 6–9 months


1 February: Open call launch

1 March: Application deadline

21 March: Selection announcement

4 April – 22 July: BOOST program

July: Graduation & Demo Day


Who can apply?

Type of applicant: Academic institutions, Non-profits, SMEs, Social enterprises, Startups

List of eligible countries: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo*, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan


BOOST engages a wide range of public and private, local and international partners to co-design and jointly launch open calls for innovations that tackle specific development challenges related to inequality and poverty, governance, energy, environment, resilience and gender equality.

BOOST calls are open to private sector entities, non-profits and academic institutions.

Apply here!

*All references to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of the Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999).