Hosted by:
UNDP – Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Polish Challenge Fund

Submission deadline:
September 30, 2020


The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted not only the health sector, but also the global socioeconomic situation. The Polish Challenge Fund is launching a second call for innovative solutions to address the emerging development issues resulting from the global health crisis.

BOOST will support the implementation of solutions in Ukraine and the Republic of Belarus and scale them across the Europe and Central Asia region and beyond. ​Applicants can apply for any of the following issue areas: new digital services and voice, low touch economies, wellbeing. Up to five applicants will be selected to join the BOOST acceleration program and receive funding between $20,000 USD and $40,000 to prototype and implement their solution. The applicants should provide co-funding of at least 20% of the total cost of the project. Partnerships with local partners need to be documented.

Guiding Principles

Budget Breakdown

Contract Template Form

Eligibility Criteria

  • The applicant must be a registered entity – private sector entity (commercial company), university or research institute – in the Republic of Poland.
  • The project must be implemented in one of the partner countries: Ukraine or Republic of Belarus
  • The applicant must provide co-funding of at least 20% of the total cost of the project. Co-funding can be in-kind or financial. Co-funding above the minimum threshold is preferred and will be taken into account during evaluation.
  • An applicant may submit one application per country (Ukraine and Republic of Belarus), however, only one application per applicant will be selected for funding.

Selection Criteria

  • Scalability​: Solutions that arescalable across countries
  • Viability​: The applicant is required to engage local partners to ensure viability in Ukraine and the Republic of Belarus.
  • Management: ​The applicant must demonstrate it has an adequate team in place and will have the capacity to implement the solution in 3–6 months
  • Potential for impact​: Solutions that can improve the livelihoods of the most vulnerable groups.
  • Innovation​: Solutions that use cutting-edge technologies, social and digital innovation tools and that transform current business models with digitalization
  • Effectiveness​: Solutions that demonstrate how they will tackle one of the issues areas impacted by Covid-19.


27 July:
Open Call
30 September:
Submission Deadline
Winners Announcement
October 2020 - April 2021:
BOOST Program Delivery

Who can apply

Type of applicant:
Private sector entities (commercial companies), Research institutes, Universities
List of eligible countries:
Republic of Poland


Low touch economy

New Digital Services & Voice



BOOST is an intensive six-month online acceleration program designed to prepare organizations and businesses to roll out their digital solutions. This will include both workshops and individual mentoring sessions taught by experienced business, med-tech, social-tech, digital technologies and impact professionals. BOOST will support a wide-range of solutions and organizations under one umbrella program.

BOOST Journey

1 Launch of open call
2 Announcement of winners
3 Needs assessment of organizations
4 Sensemaking workshop 1 (for all)
5 Grants disbursed
6 Business and Impact Track + Mentorship
7 Solution implementation
8 Sensemaking workshop 2 (for all)
9 Reporting results and evaluation
The selected applicants will pass a needs assessment prior to the program launch, and will receive a personalized plan to follow specific tracks. The BOOST acceleration program for the Polish Challenge Fund consists of two online components (see below) and mentorship, including 1-on-1 sessions with field experts. Organizations will take part only in the tracks and activities that are outlined in their personalized plan based on prior needs assessment at the beginning of the program.
Sensemaking Workshops (mandatory)

BOOST will kick-off with a sensemaking workshop that will support organizations in navigating a world of rapidly increasing complexity through strategic and transformative innovation. It will utilize tools and frameworks that will seek to address the effects of the pandemic through establishing the strategic relevance of activities, ensuring program coherence, generating network effects and accelerating portfolio impact.

Business and Impact Tracks (optional)​

A deep dive into the social, environmental and economic dimensions of impact, this track is intended to help applicants map and use the theory of change and impact value chain. From value proposition to design thinking, the business training aims to provide the teams with a validated tool to define, clarify, and understand the value of innovation efforts, giving teams the confidence required to commit fully to the objective. Workshops will go through how teams should position themselves for success and explore the many concepts necessary for making intelligent, strategic decisions while validating the viability of a new idea.

The BOOST acceleration program will be conducted through an online-based platform which will encourage experience sharing and collaboration between teams. Each of the online sessions will be led by experienced industry experts. Mentorship and guidance will continue following the end of the training program. The solutions will be supported by our established UNDP and innovation partnership network to ensure their scalability and transformative nature.

Apply today for the
Polish Fund Challenge
Join our program

About the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland:

In December 2019, the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and UNDP launched the Polish Challenge Fund (PCF), which supports private sector engagement in development cooperation. PCF is an innovative platform for gathering, identifying and implementing solution proposals that will be sustainable, relevant to the local context of implementation, scalable and replicable. The first call for proposals was launched in early 2020 and five innovative solutions in the ICT sector and green technologies were selected for implementation in Ukraine and the Republic of Belarus. The goal is to facilitate the transfer of Polish know-how, technology and innovative solutions in these areas from the private sector, research institutes and universities. PCF is funded by the Polish Aid programme, coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Polish Aid focuses on good governance, democracy and human rights, entrepreneurship and the private sector, sustainable agriculture and rural development, and environment protection.