Designing, improving, and accelerating solutions at the nexus of climate and gender.

Registration is open until August 9 at 11:59 PM (GMT +8) 

Ways4Waste Innovation Challenge

Ways4Waste Innovation Challenge by Villgro Philippines and The Incubation Network is a fully virtual 10-week program that seeks to support Filipino innovators solving challenges at the nexus of climate and gender, with a particular focus on waste management systems and female informal workers.

The program will provide 3 design challenges for participants to create solutions around the plastic problem in the Philippines, all of which are focused on creating circular economies and providing better livelihood opportunities to female informal workers.

Program Timeline

Application Period

June 30 to July 29

6-week program

August 9 to September 14

Final Pitches

September 13 to 14

Lean Incubation Support

September 20 to October 14

Program Details

Over the course of 6 weekly sprints, teams will go through the iterative design thinking process: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, test. After an initial round of testing, participants will pitch to a panel of judges and 3 teams will be identified to go through 4 additional weeks of lean incubation with a focus on business model development and further rounds of prototyping and testing, coupled with customized mentorship from Villgro’s and TIN’s networks.

Prototyping, customer validation, and testing weeks will engage corporate and local government partners to provide opportunities for the participants to test solutions on the ground with stakeholders that experience waste management challenges on a day-to-day basis. Engaging with female informal workers that these partners work with will be key to drive validation of participants’ solutions.

The design challenges are as follows:


Challenge 1

How might we encourage women working in landfills and coastal areas to create high-value products with longer life cycles?

Challenge 2

How might we ensure that contraceptives are accessible through effective supply chains?

Challenge 3

How might we provide more safe and profitable opportunities for informal workers, especially women and girls?

We are looking for

Individuals 18 years old and above

Teams of 3 to 7 individuals

Organizations and individuals

Drivers of Change

Benefits for Participants

Cash Prize

Winning teams will receive PHP 250,000 in cash prizes from Villgro Philippines and our partners to help in validating ideas, refining problem-solution fit, and piloting lean experiments to get their solutions off the ground.

4 Weeks Lean Incubation Support

The winning teams will undergo incubation support which consists of diagnostic panels and mentoring sessions together with investment readiness and fundraising strategy support. They will be able to access a wide network of market partners to develop partnerships, generate leads and convert customers and strengthen their value chain.

Go-to-Market Accelerator

Selected teams will also get access to a 3-month go-to market accelerator, where they can continue to build on the MVPs they created during the innovation challenge and refine their customer segments and build more robust strategies for their product and/or service rollout.

About us


The Incubation Network is a catalyst for action and investment in the circular economy that aims to prevent the flow of plastic waste into the world’s ocean. TIN has connected network of innovators, investors, civil society organizations, and government leaders across those key South and Southeast Asian countries. Collectively, they design and deliver programs that drive investment, innovation, and partnerships for inclusive and gender-responsive waste management and circular economy solutions.

To learn more, visit


Villgro Philippines is an early-stage impact enterprise incubator that mentors, funds, and nurtures entrepreneurs who are building innovative market-based solutions that can transform the lives of the poor.  Our incubation and acceleration model is designed to provide highly customized early-stage support that is anchored in access to risk capital, high quality mentoring, investment readiness and access to talent, networks and markets.

Launch Partner


Microsoft enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

Frequently Asked Questions

I have an idea but no team members. Can I still join?

Yes! We can help you find team members interested in the same design challenge with complementary skillsets to yours to create a team.

If a team that does not belong to an existing company or organization wins, do they decide whether to register one or work with a company to develop the final product?

The award subsidy for winners will be disbursed to individuals and not organizations. Teams can decide whether they would like to organize themselves and register a company or work with an existing one to develop the final product. The grant funding provided to winners will be tied to milestones to track effective use for the development, refinement and deployment of the product.

Who owns the intellectual property from the challenge?

The teams behind the solution will have sole ownership of their intellectual property.

Is the challenge open only to Filipino nationals?

Ultimately, products and/or services developed must have the Philippines in mind. Those outside of the Philippines are free to join, provided at least 2 team members are Philippine citizens and based in the Philippines.

What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.


Say hello, stay in touch

Once you’re part of the Villgro Philippines network, you are in a powerhouse of a groundbreaking, myth shattering, norm busting ecosystem of peers whose sole purpose is to move heaven and earth to create sustainable social impact.

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