SAA'ID Entrepreneurship and Innovation




Mycetoma Background:

Mycetoma is a localised chronic granulomatous inflammatory disease caused by certain fungi or bacteria. If it is untreated early and appropriately, it usually spread to affect the deep structures and bone, resulting in massive damage, deformities and disabilities. Currently, the available disease control method is early case detection and proper management. However, most patients present late with immense disease and for many of them, daring substantial deforming surgical excisions or amputation are the only prevailing treatment options.


Mycetoma is a member of the Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) group, which are infectious diseases that are the source of tremendous suffering because of their disfiguring, debilitating, and sometimes deadly impact. They are called neglected because they have been largely wiped out in the more developed parts of the world and persist only in the poorest, most marginalised communities and conflict areas. Social stigma is a significant consequence of NTDs. In addition to causing physical and emotional suffering, these devastating diseases hamper a person to work, keep children out of school, and prevent families and communities from thriving.

Mycetoma enjoys all the NTDs characteristics. It frequently affects the poorest of the poor in poor communities in remote regions. The affected population are of low socioeconomic status, low visibility and low political and social voice, and hence they are neglected.  The disease is considered a social stigma in particularly among females and children. Thus, they tend to hide it for a prolonged period, and when they are compelled to seek medical care, the condition is then at a late stage. 

Mycetoma patients have many financial constraints that hinder them from having appropriate medical and health care. In the remote Mycetoma endemic areas, health and medical facilities are meagre, and difficult for the patients to reach the regional health centres. Thus, the majority of patients present with late advanced disease and amputation or heroic surgery are the only available treatment options for the majority of patients.

In Sudan and other developing countries, amputation is a social stigma. Many patients withdraw, loss their social life, job and education. Many of them may go begging or become socioeconomically independent on family members, leading to various negative impacts on patients, families, and the community.


The Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Centre (SAA'ID)

To overcome all the above-stated problems, the Mycetoma Research Centre initiated SAA’ID to help the patients and the surrounding community be healthy and productive. SAA'ID is a hub for vocational and entrepreneurship training, business development, and entertainment, located within the Mycetoma Research Centre, University of Khartoum, Khartoum, Sudan.

SAA'ID has various vocational training programs such as Sudanese handcraft and leather industry, artisan-work, painting, graphics, woodwork, etc. Furthermore, it qualifies trainees on business development skills to become professional entrepreneurs and establish small developing enterprises.

Its main vision is to create equality and empowerment of Mycetoma disables and elimination of social stigma around them and aims to create an appropriate environment for the mycetoma amputees and disabled persons to learn and develop income-generating skills, perform and upgrade their talents, and be prepared to lead a new life of being productive, self-reliant and confident and avoid cured patients from being a burden fully dependent on their families or others. Patients suffering from other neglected tropical diseases and the surrounding community in the Soba area will also benefit from this project.




This project is expected to rehabilitate and train 150 participants of Mycetoma amputees and disabled patients and 100 individuals from the surrounding area yearly. Furthermore, the start of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) will help to eradicate poverty, illiteracy and stigma that affected the patients. Also, that will lead to funding generations to support other Mycetoma patients care.

Therefore, SAA'ID is organising this competition for boasting innovative and creative businesses ideas of startups that can serve Mycetoma patients and communities in terms of sensible products or services.


Competition Concept:

  • The main concept of SAA'ID competition is to focus on Mycetoma patients as the main client and think of business ideas that tackle problems that directly or indirectly affect their lives in their originated areas.
  • The ideas output is expected to generate products, services, or work opportunities for Mycetoma disabled patients.
  • Teams may need to conduct their market surveys in Mycetoma endemic areas (i.e. Gaziera, White Nile, Sennar areas) to predict problems and restrictions that face patients or find ideas that help in preventing or reducing the number of infections.


Prizes and Awards:

Mycetoma Prize for Innovation and Creativity


Mycetoma Community Hub first winning project                    750,000 SGD

Mycetoma Community Hub second winning project              500,000 SDG

Mycetoma Community Hub third winning project                250,000 SDG


The first five winning teams will be allowed for a 6-month incubation in SAA'ID business incubator.


Competition Application Requirements:

  • Applicants can apply by any supportive idea in different areas
  • no age limit is assigned
  • Application period starts on 17/3/2021 till 25/4/2021.


Judging criteria:

This competition will be judged by five national and international expert judges that will focus on the following points in the proposed business idea

  • Business idea feasibility
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Applicability
  • Marketability and sustainability
  • Product competence
  • Socio-economic impact
  • Environmental sustainability

Registration, Phase 1 and 2 will be carried out virtually


Competition Timeline:






17 March 2021 to 25 March 2021

Orientation day at the Mycetoma Research Centre

27 March 2021

Business plan writing  training course

28 March 2021 to 29 March 2021

Phase 1

Ms PowerPoint Presentation

Business plan submission in PDF

 17 April 2021 to 23 April 2021

Filtration and results

30 April 2021

Phase 2

Video submission

6 May 2021 to 10 May 2021


14May  2021




20 May 2021


24 May 2021

Award giving Ceremony

28 May 2021


Team Formation:

  • Teams can be formulated in a maximum team number of three (males and females)
  • No limitation of the age group or specialisation
  • Cv's of all team members must be submitted
  • No change in team structure or number or members can be done after submission
  • One participant cannot apply or be a member of more than one group
  • Teams can not apply with more than one idea
  • Teams must register on the competition website in the above stated period


Guideline for submission:

  • A team must apply for only one award.
  • Teams must submit their first submission on Ms PowerPoint slides of 15 slides to show idea description, importance, uniqueness and innovation.
  • Each team should prepare its business plan and submit it to this email: saaid@  
  • Each team  must  specify its business topic, team members and date on the cover page of its business plan
  • Videos to be submitted in phase two should be a five min video that explains the idea and its importance to Mycetoma patients and social impact to be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • No requests for deadline extensions are accepted
  • Teams can use numbers, pictures, graphs, figures in their business plan to state the reference document.


Business plan submission tips:

The business plan should consist of the following:

  • Covering page that shows the topic, name of group members, date
  • Executive summary
  • Idea description by highlighting its importance and social impact
  • SWOT analysis
  • Market analysis survey
  • Execution
  • Financial plan