Deadline: June 29, 2018
Calling all young entrepreneurs! The Unilever Young Entrepreneurs Awards 2018 is now open for applications. Unilever is on the hunt for solutions that are tackling some of the planet’s social and environmental challenges. The Unilever Young Entrepreneurs Awards aims to recognise and support brilliant young innovators tackling the planet’s biggest environmental and social challenges, and to help them achieve scale for impact.
If you’ve got an initiative, product or service already in action that’s tackling a sustainability problem, or you know someone else whose brilliant work deserves recognition, they want to hear from you. The Unilever Young Entrepreneurs Awards can help you take your sustainability initiative, product or service to the next level.
This year, the Awards will recognise initiatives in eight key areas.
- Goal 2 – Zero Hunger
- Goal 3 – Good Health and Wellbeing
- Goal 4 – Quality Education
- Goal 5 – Gender Equality
- Goal 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation
- Goal 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth
- Goal 12 – Responsible Production and Consumption
- Goal 13 – Climate Action
The unique prizes of the Unilever Young Entrepreneurs Awards are designed to lift your initiative to the next level, helping to fuel growth and maximise impact.
- Up to eight winners will receive financial support to help them grow – with the overall winner of the HRH The Prince of Wales Young Sustainability Entrepreneur Prize receiving €50,000.
- The overall winner will receive the ‘HRH The Prince of Wales Young Sustainability Entrepreneur Prize.’
All winners will attend a special prize event hosted in London.
- The winner of the ‘HRH The Prince of Wales Young Sustainability Entrepreneur Prize’ will receive a €50,000 cash award and one-to-one mentoring support tailored to their specific needs for a duration of 12 months.
- The remaining winners will each receive a €8,500 cash award and one-to-one mentoring support tailored to their specific needs for a duration of 12 months.
- The competition is open to founders or co-founders, aged between 18 and 35 (as of 29 June 2018), of initiatives from any part of the world with the exception of those based in Russia, due to local data protection laws.
- Initiatives must relate to one or more of the categories: Zero Hunger, Good Health and Well-being, Quality Education, Gender Equality, Clean Water and Sanitation, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Responsible Consumption and Production and Climate Action.
- Entries must have grown beyond the idea stage to include actions the applicant has already taken – whether through informal networks, via an existing institution, or by creating a new enterprise.
- Entries cannot be accepted from current Unilever employees, nor can entries promote Unilever or its products. However, the entrepreneur may have worked with Unilever in the past or may be working with Unilever currently as a third-party supplier.
- Entries must be submitted in English.
- If shortlisted, entrants will be required to submit further information in the form of a pitch deck OR business plan, and financial projections, by 21 August 2018 (further guidelines will be sent to shortlisted entries in the first week of August).
- If shortlisted, entrants will be required to participate in a video call with a shortlisting panel on 11 or 12 September 2018.
- If shortlisted as a finalist, entrants must be exclusively available to attend all parts of the accelerator programme in Cambridge, UK and subsequent Awards events in London, UK from 25 October to 31 October 2018. Unfortunately, inability to attend any part of the agenda due to a competing commitment will mean participants forfeit their place on the programme.
Entrants will be assessed on:
- Initiative summary: You should describe your initiative succinctly, and communicate a compelling narrative that makes it stand out from the rest.
- Team: We are looking for founders / co-founders who are aspirational as well as inspirational, demonstrated through their dedication to making their venture work. Show us how you will, or are already building a team who can support your venture now and in the future.
- Impact: Explain how your solution has an impact in your selected category, and how this impact can be measured through both quantitative and qualitative data. The best solutions will demonstrate social, economic, and environmental impact, and the potential for scale. Entries that demonstrate both high impact at a local level, and the potential for broader impact at a larger scale, will be evaluated equally on their own merit.
- Business model, including:
- Financial plan and growth: You should describe how your initiative is currently financially supported, as well as your vision for growth and scaling up. This should include a plan for how you will fund your initiative’s growth, and how you aim to achieve a sustainable financial model. The strongest entries will outline how your solution can be sustained without reliance on philanthropic donations or aid for core funding when established. Entries from for-profit, non-profit as well as new units of existing organisations will be considered.
- Innovation and competitor awareness: We want you to show us a degree of novelty, whether an existing initiative in a new context or delivering a different outcome, or a different approach to a known problem. Innovation is distinct from invention by progressing from the lab into a real-world context with market applicability. This means your entry must demonstrate an awareness of competitors and alternative solutions and how your approach differs.
Entries will also be evaluated on:
- How the Awards process and prizes would impact the success of the initiative.
- How effectively the entrepreneur is able to engage with relevant communities and stakeholders to realise the potential of the solution.
- How the level of ambition is underpinned by the capability to deliver.
- How the initiative contributes towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (specifically, the SDG category selected by the entrant).
Winners will be announced in September 2018. They will then be contacted by the Awards team to review their learning needs for the Accelerator Programme.
If shortlisted, winners must be able to commit to exclusive availability from 25 October to 31 October 2018 to attend the Accelerator Programme in Cambridge, UK and the Awards Prize Event in London, UK, at which the ‘HRH The Prince of Wales Young Sustainability Entrepreneur Prize’ will be awarded to the stand-out entrepreneur across all the categories. Inability to attend any part of the required agenda due to a competing commitment will mean participants forfeit their place on the programme. The cost of travel to the UK and accommodation during your stay in Cambridge and London will be covered by the competition.
For more information, visit Unilever Young Entrepreneurs Awards.