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We are living in a world where temperatures are rising, water shortages are more frequent, food supplies are increasingly scarce and the gap between rich and poor is increasing. Populations are growing fast, making basic hygiene and sanitation even more of a challenge.

We can overcome these challenges and build a bright future for everyone, if we work together. But to do this, the world needs a plan. These Awards recognise 18 to 35 year olds who are putting ideas into action.

Why are we doing all this? We see a big opportunity: to support, inspire, reward and collaborate with a new generation of the world’s most brilliant young changemakers; innovators who are the future of sustainability. Imagine what we can achieve together.

We are looking for innovative and scalable technologies or initiatives that are contributing to one or more of these four categories:

Farm to Table

In this category, we are looking for inspiring entrepreneurs who are working on sustainable initiatives relating to food and drink production right through to consumption.

We are looking for entrepreneurs who can demonstrate innovation that not only protects the planet’s natural resources, but will help to transform our food systems, offering a long-term approach that can create value and enhanced livelihoods for farmers, and ensure security of supply for the long-term. Entries should ensure issues such as deforestation and land use, alongside social and community issues are managed responsibly. You may be working with smallholder farmers to improve their environmental practices across their supply chain, or helping them with social programmes such as access to education, community empowerment initiatives or encouraging young people into agriculture.

However, it’s not all about sustainable agriculture – we also want to hear from entrepreneurs who are working in the area of food and drink consumption and nutrition. You may be working to inspire and inform people about sustainable nutrition or helping them to make better choices. Perhaps you are creating food and drink products that support the long-term health of people and the planet.

Opportunities for Women

We are seeking initiatives that help to tackle the discrimination and disadvantages millions of women face around the world. You might be working to help provide access to skills and training for women, and creating opportunities for women to actively, safely and fairly participate in the economy.

Alternatively, you might be working on a micro-enterprise initiative to help women on low-incomes escape poverty. From Australia to Zimbabwe, if you are creating opportunities for women somewhere in the world, we want to hear from you!

Waste

Are there entrepreneurs out there with ingenious initiatives that help to tackle waste – to reduce, reuse or recycle waste throughout the pre-production, production and consumption lifecycle? Initiatives should demonstrate a clear business (financial), consumer (benefit), social and environmental case.

We are looking for initiatives across the waste spectrum – not just initiatives tackling packaging waste. For example, you could be developing an ingenious solution to reduce or rethink the choice of materials in production phase, or running a project that helps improve the livelihoods of people who are working in waste collection, or working on a recycling incentive scheme that is set to revolutionise the way a country tackles their waste issue, or an idea to reuse waste materials.

If it’s about tackling waste of any sort, we want to hear from you!

Water

Are you working on an initiative that tackles water scarcity, or one that addresses water pollution or sanitation and hygiene issues?

We are looking for solutions that conserve or reduce the amount of water used across communities, or during the extraction or cultivation of raw materials or through manufacturing processes. Perhaps you have an initiative that is helping people and organisations better manage access to water and adopt tools and behaviours which help them use less in the home or in a business?

Individuals in the developing world can be healthier—and communities more productive—if they have access to clean water and better sanitation. We are also seeking entrepreneurs with initiatives that address how to improve hygiene practices in any country, or offer an innovation to improve access to sanitation in remote areas.

https://youngentrepreneursawards.unilever.com/about-the-awards

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