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Unilever Young Entrepreneurs Award 2017

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The Unilever Young Entrepreneurs Awards are all about supporting and celebrating inspirational young people from all over the world with existing initiatives, products or services that are tackling some of the planet’s biggest sustainability challenges.

What to enter?

We’re looking for initiatives relating to one or more of the four categories we’re focusing on: Farm to Table, Opportunities for Women, Waste and Water. Whether it’s with an initiative, product or service, if you’ve gone beyond the initial concept and started to make an impact, we want to hear from you.

Who can enter?

Anyone from around the world, aged between 18 and 35 (as of 30 June 2017), who is working on an initiative in one of our four categories; Farm to Table, Opportunities for Women, Waste and Water. Your initiative must have already progressed beyond the idea stage and started making an impact.

How to enter?

To submit your entry, you’ll need to create a profile and complete the application form. You’ll need to tell us all about your initiative’s story so far, and your vision for its future. The more you can share, the better.



  • The competition is open to founders or co-founders, aged between 18 and 35 (as of 30 June 2017), 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: Farm to Table, Opportunities for Women, Waste and Water.
  • Entries must have grown beyond the conceptual 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.
  • Entrants must be available to attend the Accelerator Programme in Cambridge from Friday 27th October, and subsequent events in London the following week.

Assessment Criteria

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 measures impact through both quantitative and qualitative data. The best solutions will demonstrate social, economic, and environmental impact.
  • 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.

Deadlines, Procedures & Rules

Applications must be submitted online through the Awards website. The competition opens on 18th May 2017 and closes at 11:59 BST on 30th June 2017.

Only individual entries are accepted. If your initiative has multiple founders, only one person can enter the competition. Prizes will be awarded to individuals only and we cannot accommodate co-founders in the competition process. Co-founders may, however, take part in the on-going mentoring process if the winning individual agrees to this.

Finalists will be announced in September 2017. They will then be contacted by the Awards team to review their learning needs for the Accelerator Programme.

There are a number of events to which all finalists must commit: Attendance is required at the Accelerator Programme in Cambridge from Friday 27th October, and all finalists must attend 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.

As part of the amazing opportunity offered to finalists, the cost of travel to the UK and accommodation during your stay in Cambridge and London will be covered by the competition.

Support is provided to all Award winners and will be designed and structured around individual requirements through the online programme and for the 12 months following announcement of the prizes.

Click here to apply


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