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Young Entrepreneur Awards

The 2014 Unilever Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneurs Awards in partnership with the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) recognises young people aged 30 and under that have come up 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 seven finalists are:

  • Jackie Stenson, Essmart: Helping villagers in rural India access life-improving products like affordable solar lanterns and non-electric water filters
  • Alloysius Attah, Farmerline: A mobile communications tool that provides agronomic advice and weather forecasts by sending voice messages in local languages to smallholder farmers in Ghana
  • Boyan Slat, The Ocean Cleanup: Working to develop a feasible method to clean up the millions of tons of plastic that pollute the oceans
  • Katerina Kimmorley, Pollinate Energy: Setting up networks of micro-entrepreneurs to distribute sustainable technologies (like solar-lights and clean cooking stoves) on payment plans to India's urban poor
  • Daniel Yu, Reliefwatch: Simple software helping medical clinics operated by multi-national NGOs in the developing world to digitise and manage inventory records via automated voice calls from feature phones
  • Charles Batte, Tree Adoption Uganda: Helping young entrepreneurs set up businesses by providing mentoring and training funded by trees planted by the entrepreneurs themselves which are sold on to companies looking to reduce their carbon footprint
  • Mark Boots, VOTO Mobile: A voice-based mobile platform helping the world’s poorest people feedback to the organisations who serve them

The finalists were selected from 816 entries received on the Ashoka Changemakers platform hailing from 88 countries.

€200,000 In Financial Support & 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 aim to find 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

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: “In its second year, the Awards have attracted an outstanding diversity of applications from ground-breaking leaders across the world. We look forward to welcoming our finalists to Cambridge and supporting this vibrant new network of young entrepreneurs for change.”

Entries for this year’s awards are now closed. The Cambridge Accelerator Workshop and final judging take place in January 2015.

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