Seeking Sustainable Living Solutions to Change the World

Seeking Sustainable Living Solutions to Change the World

Diana Iovescu's picture

The 2014 Unilever Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneurs Awards in partnership with the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) and Ashoka is seeking young people aged 30 and under with practical, scaleable initiatives designed to tackle the challenge of sustainable living.  


Unilever Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneurs Awards

The overall winner will receive the HRH The Prince of Wales Young Sustainability Entrepreneur Prize. The Prize winner of the inaugural 2013 awards was Gamal Albinsaid, 24, for providing access to healthcare in Indonesia.

The Six Finalists Were

              •   Anu Sridharan, 26 - Water alerts in India

•   Blessing Mene, 26 - Supporting smallholders in Nigera

•   Curt Bowen, 26 - Low maintenance crops in Guatemala

•   Isabel Medem 28 - Improving sanitation in Peru

•   Manuel Wiechers, 26 - Solar power in rural Mexico

•   Surya Karki, 23  - Free education in Nepal


Watch the video about these programmes:


The Awards are looking for innovative but practical, tangible solutions to help make sustainable living commonplace.


€200,000 in Financial Support and Mentoring

A total of more than €200,000 in financial support and individually tailored mentoring is on offer to help entrepreneurs develop and scale-up their initiatives.

Seven finalists will take part in a four-week online development programme, followed by a two-day accelerator workshop in Cambridge, UK, to help develop their ideas. The final step is a pitch to a panel of judges in London, drawn from the worlds of business, sustainability and entrepreneurs.

The winner and finalists will attend a Prize Event in January 2015 at which the HRH The Prince of Wales Prize will be presented.

The Awards are looking for scalable and sustainable solutions in the form of products, services or applications that enable changes in practices or behaviours in one or more of nine categories:

•   Water, sanitation and hygiene

•   Nutrition

•   Water scarcity

•   Greenhouse gases

•   Waste

•   Sustainable agriculture

•   Smallholder farmers

•   Opportunities for women

•   Micro-Enterprise

•   Tackling critical issues

Commenting on the Awards, Unilever CEO Paul Polman said: “I believe that youth hold the key to unlocking solutions to many of the challenges our planet faces and last year’s finalists are proof of this. Young people will soon represent 50 percent of the population in developing and emerging countries, but they are 100 percent of the future, so it’s absolutely vital we continue to enrol them in the task of making sustainable living commonplace and invest in their ideas.” 

Polly Courtice, LVO, Director of CISL, said: “The first year of the Unilever awards highlighted the creativity and entrepreneurial dynamism of young people across the world in tackling critical sustainability issues.  We are delighted to bring the research insight of the Cambridge community together with our worldwide network of business leaders, to support these awards in encouraging the innovation and leadership we so urgently need.” 

Entries must be submitted online via the Ashoka Changemakers website by 1 August 2014 . 

Finalists will be announced in October 2014, with the Cambridge Accelerator Workshop and final judging taking place in January 2015.