Global Refugee Challenge

Every minute 20 people leave everything behind to escape war, persecution or terror.


The Social Shifters x Amazon Global Refugee Challenge is designed to enable young people (18-30 years) to explore, start and grow ideas that will help tackle the global refugee crisis.

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A cash award of $10,000 will be given to the best idea and our 100% FREE digital incubator program will be available to all eligible applicants, worldwide. The awards will support the winners in further developing & investing in their ideas.

Accelerating Next Gen Leaders, Innovators & Entrepreneurs

Social Shifters are next generation leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs with fresh solutions to the most pressing social and environmental challenges.

Our Global Innovation Challenge brings together a coalition of the world’s leading businesses to set Challenges that will accelerate the work of these young changemakers.

A Growing Crisis

At the end of 2020, there were 82.4 million forcibly displaced people in the world, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), of which more than a quarter are refugees. In 2021, 89 million people worldwide were forced to flee their homes due to conflicts, natural disasters, fear of persecution and human rights violations. As new refugee crises emerge, and as existing ones reignite or intensify, the need for action is now.


Ready To Take Part? Register Today

Why Should You Take Part?

Unlock Your Potential

Develop your skills, confidence & future prospects with help from skilled mentors & as part of a supportive global community.

Accelerate Your Idea

Get FREE access to a Digital Incubator program to help develop your project or business idea.

Make an Impact

Compete for an award of $10,000 to deliver activities that help create a settled future for refugees.

Examples Include:

  • A rapid response to the need for food, shelter & supplies.
  • Safe & welcoming spaces for people to stay.
  • Cultural orientation, language & other support to settle.
  • Timely information & psychological support.
  • Opportunities for refugees to get involved & integrate locally.
  • Access to education, training & economic opportunities.

Creating a Settled Future for Refugees

In this Challenge, we’re looking for your innovative ideas, projects, and business solutions which support refugees and enable them to rebuild their lives. These should be lasting solutions that can be delivered on an ever increasing scale. We welcome ideas at any stage and from anywhere in the world.

Global Innovation Challenge 2021 Award Winner

Tosin Ajibola | 25 | Welkom-U | Canada

Tosin is taking Welkom-U from a university project to a national-scale digital platform assisting refugees and immigrants to settle quickly in Canada, with immediate access to the localised information, connections and services they desperately need.

Ready To Take Part? Register Today

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or Global Goals are a collection of 17 interlinked global goals designed to be a "shared blueprint” for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future.


Social Shifters Global Refugee Challenge relates in particular to SDG 10 - Reduce inequality within and among counties. You can find more information on SDG 10 (and the global work contributing to it) on the UN’s SDG website.

Meet Winners From Our Other Competition Categories 

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Competition Rules & Timeline



7th September

Applications Open

9th November

Applications Close

14th November

Free Digital Incubator Opens

22nd November

Judging Begins

13th December

Judging Is Complete

15th January

Mentors Assigned

16th February

Pitches Begin


Winners Selected

What’s in it For Me?

All eligible entrants will receive free access to our Digital Incubator program, including access to e-learning, exclusive events, and online coaching. 

Finalists will be matched with coaches from some of the world's leading companies. 

The winner of the Global Refugee Challenge will receive a $10,000 USD award, and all shortlisted finalists will get access to mentorship and opportunities for media publicity.

A Challenge Supported by

Amazon logo

Amazon has a culture built around solving “impossible” problems and is using its speed, creativity and reach to mobilise large-scale responses to catastrophic events around the globe.

About Us

Social Shifters exists to help next generation leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs to make a difference in the world.

We operate on a non-profit basis, providing engaging learning experiences, practical mentoring, and a global community of support to move you, and your ideas, forward.

Use our revolutionary Social Shifters elearning and community platform to get your project, campaign or venture off the ground and meet Shifters (like you) in every corner of the planet!

Ready To Take The Next Step?

Explore, start and grow your idea, get access to our world-leading Digital Incubator program and compete for awards of up to $10,000!

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