Applications to the Pitch Competition now open!

Deadline for submission: March 31, 2021 (11:59 pm EST)

Submit your proposal here

The global nature of the COVID-19 pandemic calls for a coordinated effort toward recovery. The pandemic has resulted in the creation of not only a health crisis but also an economic one of a scale unprecedented in the recent years. How can we unleash the unique opportunities we have today to not only boost a sustainable economic recovery but also, ensure that this recovery is both sustainable and inclusive? Tell us about your ideas that aim at ‘building back better”!

The 2021 Word Bank Youth Summit Competition awards the most cutting-edge idea that supports either of the two youth summit themes listed below:

A Resilient recovery for the People: Empowers people in fighting the consequences of the pandemic and addresses growing inequality in societies

 OR –

A Resilient recovery for the Planet: Provides sustainable solutions to support the halt of climate change. 

Who can participate?

The competition is open to teams of 1 to 5 individuals aged 18 to 35. Participants must be nationals from World Bank member countries.  Participants can be students, as well as people in the work force or any other occupation. No prior experience in any particular field or topic is necessary. You need to be committed to implement the solution after the competition. Diverse team compositions are advised, but not required.

What’s in it for you?

  • Be mentored by Youth Summit 2019 finalists and World Bank experts 
  • Network with leading professionals and young social entrepreneurs around the world 
  • Participate and learn in events and workshops 
  • Seed-funding


Stage 1 – Submit your Proposal by March 31, 2021, 11:59 PM EST

Proposals will be evaluated by an expert committee. Shortlisted individuals/ teams will be announced by late April and will proceed to the next stage.  

Stage 2 – Refine your Idea & Prepare your Pitch (May 2021)

Individuals/ teams shortlisted in Stage 1 will receive feedback on their proposals and may be asked to submit further information, interview with the team, refine their proposals and/ or submit short pitching videos.  

Stage 3 – Pitch your idea at the virtual Youth Summit (June 2021)  

5 finalists will be selected to present their proposals live at the virtual youth summit in June.

Proposal format

A proposal with great potential might include an idea summary, outline the problem(s) it aims to address, pitch the proposed solution and why it stands out compared to existing solutions. In addition, you might want to explain the financial sustainability of your business model, potential to scale, actual progress (if any) and how you and your team Measure Success.

Important Submission Rules

  • Proposals must be created by and owned by the Participant(s).
  • Proposals must be submitted in English.
  • The problem/need and the proposed solution outlined in the proposals must relate to at least one of the subthemes of the Youth Summit 2021 and must apply to a least one member-country of the World Bank.
  • Proposals will be judged based on the following judging criteria: (1) Clarity, scope and relevance of the problem and of the proposed solution; (2) Innovation and originality; (3) Feasibility of implementation and sustainability; (4) Potential for impact.
  • Proposals must be between 1,000-2,500 words in length, all inclusive – i.e. including all bodies of text, titles, headings, tables, textboxes, footnotes, endnotes, references and appendices, etc. – and must not exceed 4 pages in total. Proposals that are shorter than 1,000 words, longer than 2,500 words, and/or longer than 4 pages will be disqualified.
  • The following information must be provided at the top of the first page of the Proposal: (a) the names of all Participant(s) submitting the Proposal, (b) the final word count, which must include everything, i.e. all bodies of text, titles, headings, tables, textboxes, footnotes, endnotes, references and appendices.
  • Participant(s) must submit their Entries by filling and submitting the “Youth Summit 2021 – Competition Submission Form”, accessible through the Youth Summit 2021 competition page. Participant(s) must ensure that their Proposal is entered through direct upload, in PDF format.
  • The deadline for submitting Entries is 11:59 pm EST, March 31, 2021. An Entry is timely, and will be accepted, only if received before this time. The time of transmittal will not be taken into account. The World Bank reserves the right to extend the deadline.

In case of questions, please reach out to us at

Submit your proposal here

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