Unilever Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneurs Awards

Unilever Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneurs Awards

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales supports the Young Sustainability Entrepreneur Prize.
Read more

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

Poor hygiene, lack of safe drinking water and poor sanitation are the cause of millions of preventable deaths.
Do you have an inspiring solution?
Enter it today

Nutrition

People are living more sedentary lives and calorie-rich foods are more available and affordable. There is a higher incidence of obesity, while at the same time millions of people around the world remain hungry or lack sufficient essential nutrients in their diets.
Do you have an inspiring solution?
Enter it today

Water scarcity

Water shortages are increasingly prevalent and are exacerbated by a number of factors, including climate change and population increase.
Do you have an inspiring solution?
Enter it today

Greenhouse Gases

Extreme weather patterns, water scarcity, and their impact on agriculture and communities are affecting people everywhere, with developing countries among the most vulnerable to climate change.
Do you have an inspiring solution?
Enter it today

Waste

Increasing scarcity of resources makes it ever more urgent to be efficient with packaging and find solutions to deal with “post-consumer waste.”
Do you have an inspiring solution?
Enter it today

Sustainable Agriculture

Agriculture and forestry are the largest contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions, while food security is also increasingly under threat.
Do you have an inspiring solution?
Enter it today

Smallholder Farmers

World food production will have to increase 50% by 2030 to meet growing demand. The most productive agricultural areas are already used, so the focus needs to be on increasing productivity elsewhere, especially in emerging economies.
Do you have an inspiring solution?
Enter it today

Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever

Unilever’s CEO wants to hear about your scalable, sustainable solution.

Judges Panel

Director, Africa Team & Rural Innovation and Farming

Ashoka

Director, Programme for Sustainability Leadership

University of Cambridge

CEO

Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd

Founder

Centre for Social Markets


President and CEO

PSI

SVP Global Communications

Unilever

Chief Marketing and Communications Officer

Unilever

Founder and Director

Legatum Center at MIT

Unilever Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneurs Awards

Entries to the 2013 Unilever Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneur Awards are no longer being accepted. Sorry! But that doesn't mean that the sustainable living challenge is over. Far from it.

Our panel of expert judges (to be announced shortly) will be evaluating all entries based on innovation, measurable impact and financial sustainability. Finalists will be announced on Nov. 26, 2013, and then go on to participate in a pitch-off in January 2014.

Check back often for updates!

Next year's Awards are right around the corner. Ready for action? Drop us a line here to be notified of competition dates in 2014.

 

 

Help make sustainable living commonplace
See Winners
There are 508 entries
9/2/2013
11/1/2013
11/26/2013
1/30/2014

9/2/2013

Competition Launch

11/1/2013

Deadline for Ideas

11/26/2013

Finalists Announced

1/30/2014

Winners Announced

About This Competition

The Unilever Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneurs Awards, developed in partnership with the Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership, are looking for innovative yet practical, tangible solutions created by young people that help make sustainable living commonplace.

Young entrepreneurs (aged 30 or under) are invited to submit groundbreaking initiatives that tackle the challenge of sustainable living. Are you a young entrepreneur with a product, service, or application that could change a practice or behaviour to enable sustainable living? If so, enter your solution before 1 November, 2013.

A total of €200,000 in financial support and tailored mentoring will be awarded to the seven most impressive entries. Please read our Welcome Letter to learn more about the search, and visit the Guidelines & Criteria page for more information on how to enter.

Connect with us on Facebook and track #SustLiving on Twitter for the latest about the Awards.

For general questions and support submitting an application, or to nominate an innovator, please contact Sobel (Africa) sngom@changemakers.com; Indrani (Asia) isharma@ashoka.org; Isabela (Brazil) icarvalho@ashoka.org; ThienVinh (Europe & South Africa) tvnguyen@changemakers.com; Leandro (Latin America) lasensos@ashoka.org; or Jen (North America) jko@ashoka.org.

Welcome Letter

Sustainable living – a world where everyone lives well and lives within the natural means of the planet – doesn’t have to be a pipedream. If entrepreneurs develop sustainable ways of doing business, and people adapt to live and work in ways that secure our planet for future generations, we can make it a reality.

The Unilever Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneurs Awards, developed in partnership with the Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership, are looking for innovative yet practical, tangible solutions created by young people that help make sustainable living commonplace.

The seven young entrepreneurs, 30 years and under, who submit the most impressive entries will receive funding and widespread recognition, as well as expert mentoring, customised to their individual needs, to help them take their projects from good to great.

The winning initiatives must involve products, services, or applications that have already had some success and that enable changes in practices or behaviours relating to sustainable living. They should cover one or more of the following categories:

  • water
  • sanitation and hygiene
  • nutrition
  • water scarcity
  • greenhouse gases
  • waste
  • sustainable agriculture
  • helping smallholder farmers

The Awards offer a total of more than €200,000 in financial support and tailored mentoring for finalists. Seven finalists will take part in a four-week online development programme followed by a two-day accelerator workshop at the University of Cambridge in the UK to help them further develop their ideas and receive professional guidance. This will be followed by a pitch to senior executives and leaders in sustainability, from which an overall winner will be chosen who will be presented with the HRH The Prince of Wales Young Sustainability Entrepreneur Prize at a prestigious dinner in London.

Enter your initiative today!

Guidelines & Criteria

Eligibility:

  • The competition is open to individuals aged 30 years and under, from any part of the world
  • Entries must fall within one or more of the categories listed below

Assessment Criteria

  • Entries must have grown beyond the conceptual stage to include actions the applicant has already taken – whether through informal networks, via an existing institution, or by creating a new enterprise
  • Entries must involve products or practices that change behaviour to enable sustainable living
  • Entries cannot be accepted from current Unilever employees, nor can entries promote Unilever or its products
  • Entries must be submitted in English

Prizes:

One overall winner will receive the HRH The Prince of Wales Young Sustainability Entrepreneur Prize alongside a cash award of €50,000, and a tailored programme of advice and mentoring (worth €25,000).

Six finalists will also receive cash prizes of €10,000 along with mentoring support (worth €10,000).

All will benefit from exposure to a range of leading sustainability experts, entrepreneurs, and investors during the process. They will also receive recognition via Unilever’s global channels and the University of Cambridge’s network, as well as at a prestigious dinner in London in January 2014.

How to enter:

  • For advice about how to create a stronger entry, read these tips.
  • You must enter by 12:00 midnight GMT on 1 November, 2013.

Assessment Criteria

Entrants will be assessed on three main criteria:

  • Innovation: The best entries will demonstrate a creative approach to the challenge they tackle and the solution they propose. This innovation may comprise new products or practices, or new applications or hybrid combinations of existing tools. The initiative does not have to involve inventing something entirely new, but entries should describe how they are driven by original, ground-breaking ideas.   
  • Measurable Impact: Entries should explain how the initiative delivers positive social, economic, and/or environmental impact, using both quantitative and qualitative data. The best projects will tackle a significant sustainability issue, and will have the potential to make a big difference by being expanded to new markets, sectors, or geographies.
  • Financial Sustainability: Entries should have a clear plan for reaching long-term goals and securing financial backing—they should describe not only how they currently finance their work, but also how they plan to finance it in the future. The strongest entries will outline how their solution can be sustained without reliance on philanthropic donations or aid for core funding.

Entries will also be evaluated on:

  • The leadership qualities of the entrepreneur, including how effectively they are able to engage with relevant communities and stakeholders to realise the potential of the solution
  • The contribution that the awards process and prizes will make to the success of the initiative

Entries must fall within one or more of the following seven categories:

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

Poor hygiene, lack of safe drinking water and poor sanitation are the cause of millions of preventable deaths. 780 million people do not have access to an improved drinking water source and 80% of diseases in the developing world are water-borne.

Entries in this category address how individuals in the developing world can be healthier—and communities more productive—if they have access to clean water and better sanitation. Entrants may address how to improve hygiene practices in any country, or offer an innovation to improve access to sanitation in remote areas.

Nutrition

Around the world, concern is rising about the role that nutrition plays in public health. People are living more sedentary lives and calorie-rich foods are more available and affordable. The result is a higher incidence of obesity, while at the same time millions of people around the world remain hungry or lack sufficient essential nutrients in their diets.

Entries in this category focus on innovations in products with improved taste and nutritional quality that can form part of a healthy, balanced diet, or in promoting healthy diets and lifestyles.

Water scarcity

Water shortages are increasingly prevalent around the world and are exacerbated by a number of factors, including climate change and population increase. By 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity and two-thirds will experience water-stressed conditions.

Entries in this category provide solutions for conserving or reducing the amount of water used across our communities, from water use during the extraction or cultivation of raw materials, through manufacturing processes, to the design and use of household products.

Greenhouse Gases

Extreme weather patterns, water scarcity, and their impact on agriculture and communities are affecting people everywhere, with developing countries among the most vulnerable to climate change. To avoid the worst effects of climate change, new solutions need to be found to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to help people live sustainably.

Entries in this category provide solutions for society to reduce carbon footprints through innovation, new product development, cost efficiencies, or by adopting less carbon-intensive ways of living and working.

Waste

Packaging plays a key role in protecting products, but it can also end up as waste in landfills and dumping grounds, or as litter. Increasing scarcity of resources makes it ever more urgent to be efficient with packaging and find solutions to deal with “post-consumer waste.” This is particularly important in developing markets where infrastructure to manage packaging waste has not kept pace with the rapid rise in consumption.

Entries in this category will help to reduce, reuse, and recycle waste throughout the pre-production, production, and consumption lifecycle. Innovations to reduce packaging should demonstrate significant cost benefits in materials, energy, and transport.

Sustainable Agriculture

Agriculture and forestry are the largest contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions, and are major drivers of climate change. Food security is also increasingly under threat, and there is an urgent need to source food sustainably.

Entries in this category demonstrate innovation that not only protects the planet’s natural resources, but also offers a long-term approach that can create value for farmers, and ensure security of supply for the long-term. Entries also ensure deforestation, land use, and social and community issues are managed responsibly. 

Smallholder Farmers World food production will have to increase 50% by 2030 to meet growing demand. The most productive agricultural areas are already used, so the focus needs to be on increasing productivity elsewhere, especially in emerging economies. In emerging markets, three out of four low-income people depend directly or indirectly on agriculture for their livelihoods.  

Entries in this category help smallholder farmers improve their practices, by giving them access to education, community support, materials, and tools. Innovation may also focus on the supply chains of smallholders, or ways to improve the distribution of goods.

Deadlines, Procedures and Rules

Applications must be submitted online through the Changemakers website between 2 September and 1 November, 2013.

Seven finalists will be announced during the week of November 18. All finalists will be required to join online sessions beginning in December 2013 to develop their ideas and build their networks. Attendance is also required at the Accelerator Workshop in Cambridge, UK. Finalists must be able to arrive on Sunday, 26 January, 2014 to attend the programme beginning that evening and continuing through the 28th, followed by delivery of a pitch to final prize judges on 29 January. All finalists will also be invited to join high-level business executives, thought leaders, and international sustainability leaders at a prestigious dinner on the evening of 30 January, at which the HRH The Prince of Wales Prize will be awarded.  

Mentoring and ongoing support is provided to all award winners, and will be designed and structured around individual requirements through the online programme and until Autumn 2014.

Disclaimer – Compliance with Legal Restrictions

The sponsor of this opportunity reserves the right to disqualify at any time (in its reasonable discretion) any participant or entry for good cause, including, but not limited to, non-compliance with these Guidelines and Criteria, the Changemakers Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, or violation of any applicable laws, codes, or regulations.

Ashoka complies fully with all U.S. laws and regulations, including Office of Foreign Assets Control regulations, export control, and anti-money laundering laws. Any grants will be awarded subject to compliance with such laws. Ashoka will not make any grant if it finds that to do so would be unlawful. This may prohibit awards in certain countries and/or to certain individuals or entities. All recipients will comply with these laws to the extent they are applicable to such recipients. No recipient will take any action that would cause Ashoka to violate any laws. Additionally, Ashoka will not make any grant to a company involved in the promotion of tobacco use.

Get Involved

 
 

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