Young people who are
changing the world
Meet the finalists in our Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneur Awards who are making waves in the world of sustainability.
Change-makers, go-getters, groundbreakers or trailblazers, call them whatever you like but one thing’s for sure, the finalists in the 2014 Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneurs Awards are going places.
That’s why these awards were created, to support inspirational innovators and take their programmes to the next level. Now in it’s second year, the competition – held in partnership with the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and in collaboration with Ashoka – saw a huge increase in groundbreaking entries from all corners of the world.
Tasked with the challenge of creating practical and innovative solutions to the world’s biggest sustainability problems, these young people have bowled us over with their creative initiatives. From communication tools to distribution programmes to digital inventory platforms, each project is testament to the power of a pair of fresh eyes and a young, determined mind in problem-solving on a large scale.
This year, the finalists visited the UK to participate in a three-day accelerator workshop at Cambridge University where they received expert support on developing their idea. Each finalist was awarded €10,000 with the overall winner receiving €50,000 and the HRH The Prince of Wales Young Sustainability Entrepreneur Prize.
With such a high standard of entries, choosing finalists was no easy feat, but here are our chosen seven:
Due to the unpredictable electricity supply in India, kerosene for lighting is an expensive addition to many family’s budgets, which they often can’t afford. That’s why Jackie, and her co-founder Diana Jue, launched Essmart, a programme that offers cheap and sustainable lighting for rural communities through family-run shops. Find out more about Jackie and her project here.
For many farmers in rural Ghana, accessing agricultural information or even weather updates can be a struggle, which means that many are unprepared and lose crops when storms strikes. Alloysius’s mobile tool Farmerline provides advice, enabling farmers to produce and sell more to support their families. Find out more about Alloysius and his project here.
When power cuts strike in India, poor communities no longer need to rely on expensive fuel for lamps thanks to Pollinate Energy and their sustainable solar lights. Through payment plans, the business provides job opportunities to unemployed locals who make sales in exchange for a wage. Find out more about Katerina and her project here.
Health centres in developing countries often run out of supplies and don’t have internet access. Knowing that 90% of people own a mobile phone, Daniel created Reliefwatch which uses automated voice calls to manage inventories, among other things. Find out more about Daniel and his project here.
62% of youth are unemployed in Uganda, while deforestation is occurring at a rapid rate. Charles’ project Tree Adoption Uganda helps both by funding training for young entrepreneurs with tree-planting. Find out more about Charles and his project here.
On a trip to Ghana, Mark noticed that many of the local people that organisations were trying – and often failing – to help, had mobile phones. His brainchild VOTO Mobile links the world’s poorest people with officials who can assist them in areas like health education and farming. Find out more about Mark and his project here.
Being a farmer in Uganda has numerous challenges. Since 80% of the population earn their living this way, David’s project Ensibuuko is making a difference in his homeland. This mobile and web app helps rural smallholders get better access to money and markets, resulting in a simpler and safer way for locals to manage their savings and credit. Find out more about David and his project here.
UPDATE - WINNER ANNOUNCED! On 27th January 2015, Daniel Yu was awarded the HRH The Prince of Wales Young Sustainability Entrepreneur Prize for his project Reliefwatch. Read more about Daniel and his winning entry, here.