Unilever Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneurs Awards 2016

Unilever Sustainable Living

Applications are now open for the 2016 Unilever Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneurs Awards, a partnership between Unilever, the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, and Ashoka. They are looking for innovative and scaleable technologies or initiatives that are contributing to one or more of the eight following Global Goals for Sustainable Development: No Poverty, Zero Hunger Gender Equality, Clean Water and Sanitation, Affordable and Clean Energy, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Responsible Consumption and Production, and Climate Action.

The search is on for young innovators aged 35 or under that have begun to address the challenges at the heart of the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development. If you’re working to tackle some of the world’s greatest sustainability challenges, they want to hear from you.


  • Six finalists will each receive cash prizes of €10,000, along with support and mentorship (worth €10,000).
  • One winner will receive a €50,000 cash prize and will be awarded the HRH The Prince of Wales Young Sustainability Entrepreneur Prize at an event in London in Spring 2016 and €25,000 worth of support and mentoring.

All entrants will benefit from exposure to a range of leading sustainability experts, entrepreneurs and investors during the process, along with recognition via Unilever’s global channels and the networks of the University of Cambridge and Ashoka.

The cost of travel to the UK and accommodation during your stay in Cambridge and London will be covered by the competition.


  • The competition is open to individuals from any part of the world.
  • Applicants, or the the founder on whose behalf the applicant is applying, must be 18-35 years old at the time of entry.
  • Entrants are required to be the initiative’s founder, co-founder, or equivalent.
  • Initiatives must have grown beyond the conceptual stage—with the product, process, or enterprise already gaining traction among local communities or other markets.
  • Entries cannot be accepted from current Unilever employees.
  • Applications must be submitted in English. (The online programme, accelerator event and the pitch will all be delivered in English, and proficiency in written and oral English is required.)
  • Solutions must relate to one or more of the UN Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) listed below:
    • Global Goal 1 – No Poverty: End poverty in all its forms everywhere
    • Global Goal 2 – Zero Hunger: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture
    • Global Goal 5 – Gender Equality: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
    • Global Goal 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation: Ensure availability and suitable management of water and sanitation for all
    • Global Goal 7 – Affordable and Clean Energy: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all
    • Global Goal 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all
    • Global Goal 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production: Ensure responsible consumption and production patterns
    • Global Goal 13 — Climate Action: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Assessment Criteria

Entrants will be assessed on three main criteria:

  1. 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 their solutions are driven by original, ground-breaking ideas or are being implemented in a way that will make a new significant difference to the community that they are operating in.
  2. 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 clearly demonstrate potential for making a big difference by being expanded to new markets, sectors, or geographies.
  3. 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 relying 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 full potential of the solution.
  • The contribution that the awards process and prizes will have on the success of the initiative.

How to Enter

  • Click “Enter” in the menu and follow the instructions.
  • For advice about how to create a stronger entry, read these tips.
  • You must enter by Midnight GMT on 18 November 2015. No entries will be accepted after this point.

Deadline: November 18, 2015

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