Green-minded entrepreneurs and sustainable start-ups from all over the world are set to take on this year's Postcode Lottery Green Challenge. The annual, international competition gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch for a share of €1 Million (£891,000) to help bring their climate change tackling business idea to life.
Now in its 12th year, Postcode Lottery Green Challenge is the world's largest sustainable entrepreneurship competition. This unique initiative was pioneered by the Postcode Lottery, and endorsed by Sir Richard Branson. It supports the development and realisation of the world's best entrepreneurial, innovative and eco-friendly business ideas which combat CO2 emissions.
The overall winner will receive funds of €500,000 towards the development of their winning green idea, helping take it from concept to completion. The competition also awards €200,000 to the runner-up and each of the three other finalists receive €100,000. In addition to their prize money, all five Green Challenge finalists also receive expert coaching support.
Head of Charities and Deputy Managing Director at People's Postcode Lottery, 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 12th 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, co-founded by Gayatri Datar, beat 515 other entrepreneurs and entries from 89 countries to claim first place, after impressing the international judging panel with a sustainable alternative for cement.
The 2014 winner was UK-based Arthur Kay, CEO and founder of bio-bean, who industrialised the process of recycling waste coffee grounds into advanced biofuels and biochemicals. He 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.
The shortlist for this year's Postcode Lottery Green Challenge Green 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.