Green-minded entrepreneurs and sustainable start-ups from all over the world are being urged to come forward and take on this year’s Postcode Lottery Green Challenge. The annual, international competition – which is open for entries – will see five winning entrepreneurs walk away with a share of €1million (£891,000) to help make their business ideas tackling climate change a reality.
Now in its 12th year, Postcode Lottery Green Challenge is amongst the world’s largest sustainable entrepreneurship competition. This unique initiative, pioneered by the Postcode Lottery and endorsed by Sir Richard Branson, supports the development and realisation of the best entrepreneurial, innovative and eco-friendly business ideas which combat CO2 emissions, that the world has to offer – contributing towards a better world for people and planet.
The overall winner will receive funds of €500,000 (£446,000) towards the development of their winning green idea, helping take it from concept to completion. The competition also awards €200,000 (£178,000) to the runner-up and each of the three other finalists receive €100,000 (£89,000). In addition to their prize money, all five Green Challenge finalists also receive expert coaching support.
Entrepreneurs have until June 1st 2018 to submit their detailed business plans online at www.greenchallenge.info.
People’s Postcode Lottery’s Head of Charities and Deputy Managing Director, Clara Govier, said: “As part of the Postcode Lottery family, along with our sister lotteries in the Netherlands, Sweden and Germany, we have a shared aim of creating a better world for people and planet. Reducing our impact on the environment by tackling climate change is an important part of this aim.
“Now in its twelfth year, Postcode Lottery Green Challenge provides green entrepreneurs and start-ups with an incredible opportunity to put their sustainable business plan forward for the chance to win significant funding to help bring their idea to life. Each year, it’s hugely inspiring to see the diverse range of creative and innovative environmental ideas and the positive difference they could have on our environment.”
Last year, Rwandan-based start-up EarthEnable’s co-founder, Gayatri Datar beat 515 other entrepreneurs and entries from 89 countries to claim the top prize of €500,000, after impressing the international judging panel with her sustainable alternative for cement.
2014’s winner, UK-based Arthur Kay, CEO and founder of bio-bean, which industrialised the process of recycling waste coffee grounds into advanced biofuels and biochemicals, was able to use the funds from Postcode Lottery Green Challenge to set up a factory and begin extensive research and development work. Since then Kay has gone on to be named BusinessGreen Leader Awards’ Entrepreneur of the Year and even partnered with Shell to power London’s iconic double-decker red buses with coffee.
Marieke van Schaik, Managing Director of the National Postcode Lottery, jury member and co-founder of Green Challenge, added: “We are being confronted with the consequences of climate change around the world. At the Postcode Lottery, we are working towards a green and just world. We do so by supporting charities, but also by giving start-ups with amazing green innovations a boost. With the prize money and our global platform, we want to help them move forward. I look forward to this year’s entries.”
The shortlist for this year’s Postcode Lottery Green Challenge will be announced in July, with the five finalists being invited to the grand final in Amsterdam in September. Each finalist will then pitch to an international panel of experts and invited guests, before the judges name the 2018 winner and runner-up live at the event.