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HiiL justice accelerator opens call for innovative entrepreneurs


The Hague Institute for Innovation of Law’s (HiiL) justice accelerator is calling all entrepreneurs looking to grow and innovate the SA justice system to apply to join the initiative.

Applications for the accelerator close on 30 June and HiiL will be hosting pre-events in Maboneng, Johannesburg tomorrow (9 June) as well as Workshop 17 in Cape Town next Thursday (15 June).

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The accelerator is looking for lawyers, civil activists and technologists with innovations that could improve the way the law operates within South Africa. Aside from backing innovative ideas, the accelerator is also aiming to build its current network of law practitioners.

Over the last five years the HiiL accelerator — which has teams in Lagos, Nairobi, Johannesburg and the Hague — has attempted to address various issues surrounding justice systems. The accelerator has so far backed over 300 ideas, including 11 from South Africa.

Some of the ideas include the Citizen Justice Network, a South African citizen journalism platform; CashMadam, a Nigerian mobile app that records and analyses a business’ growth; Baraza, a Kenyan startup that aims to resolve conflict at a domestic level by the elders and chiefs of a community and XS2Justice Network, a Dutch system designed to reduce the cost of litigation.

In five years HiiL has supported more than 300 innovations, including 11 in SA

The accelerator has split its application process in two — a call for innovations and one for talent.

Calls for innovation

The call is aimed at teams working on an innovation or a strong idea of one they’d like to create. Winners within this category will receive up to EUR€20,000 in equity-free funding, as well as free business development services and acceleration. They will also get access to an international network of mentors and stand the chance to get further funding from future investors.

Calls for talent

The accelerator is also looking for individuals with a ‘justice entrepreneur’ mindset who are looking to make a strong contribution to justice ventures or initiatives.

Ten participants will be invited to local events which include some paid travel. They’ll also receive international exposure as well as local support for their ideas and activities.

For HiiL innovations typically fall into three categories:

  1. Legal information awareness and education: Legal education and rights awareness as well as data and transparency.
  2. Access to justice, legal services and dispute resolution: Legal services as well as dispute systems and procedures along with human rights and protective measures.
  3. Inclusive justice policies: Rulemaking and governance, compliance and enforcement as well as advocacy and tackling corruption.

Eligible justice entrepreneurs looking to apply need to do so via the accelerator’s website.

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