Unilever recently launched a global search for young entrepreneurs aged 35 and younger offering practical and innovative solutions to some of the world’s biggest sustainability challenges for the 2015 Unilever Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneurs Awards. In line with this initiative Unilever Sri Lanka (USL) is looking for budding young local entrepreneurs that meet the criteria and offer them the opportunity to compete globally for the top prize.
Currently in its third year, the awards are part of Unilever’s efforts to support the 17 United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development, ratified on September 25. These ambitious goals set out to end extreme poverty, tackle climate change, empower women, secure universal water access and reduce hunger by 2030. If the goals are met, they will ensure the health, safety and future of the planet for everyone on it.
Unilever supports the Global Goals because it sees that there is not only a moral imperative, but that it also makes good business sense. The challenges that the Global Goals aim to tackle have a huge impact on Unilever’s business and are aligned with its own ambition set out in the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan.
“Sri Lanka is on the cusp of a new economic age with our young entrepreneurs leading the charge towards positive social and environmental outcomes and greater prosperity. Their unwillingness to accept the world as it is and their commitment to change it is more than deserving of being nurtured and encouraged,” said Unilever Sri Lanka Director Human Resources and Corporate Relations Sameer Nagarajan.
“The Unilever Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneurs Awards seeks to identify and recognize young innovators anywhere in the world aged 35 or under, who have already begun to address some of the challenges at the heart of the Global Goals such as renewable energy, gender equality, responsible consumption and climate action. We believe that given the chance and the right support, they can create positive movements for change and a brighter future.”
The awards, run in partnership with the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), and in collaboration with Ashoka, offer seven young people a total of more than €200,000 in financial support and individually tailored mentoring. The overall winner also receives the prestigious HRH The Prince of Wales Young Sustainability Entrepreneur Prize.
Polly Courtice, LVO, Director of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, said,“2015 is an exceptional year that sees the convergence of a number of important international agreements on sustainable development, culminating in the long-awaited climate change summit in Paris in December. The young entrepreneurs supported by the Unilever Awards exemplify the creativity and dynamism we need to respond to and construct a new economy that will deliver prosperity long into the future whilst delivering positive outcomes for societies and the environment. We are delighted to bring the research insight of the Cambridge community together with our worldwide network of business leaders, to support these awards in encouraging the innovation and leadership we so urgently need.”
The awards are hosted online at Ashoka Changemakers, at www.changemakers.com/globalgoals2015. Applications must be submitted by November 18, 2015. Finalists will be announced in March 2016, with the Cambridge accelerator workshop and final judging taking place in London in the following months.