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Background to the awards

The Awards are based on the belief that given the chance and the right support, young people around the world can create positive movements for change and a brighter future.

Over the last three years, we have worked closely with Unilever to ensure the awards programme meets the company’s strategic ambitions to support young people and create life-changing impact on the ground of diverse communities around the world. 

The 2015–16 Awards criteria also reflected the United Nations’ Global Goals. The criteria related to the eight Global Goals identified as being the most relevant to Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan:

United Nations Global Goals

Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) contributes academic insight in framing the competition, co-ordinates the selection of the finalists and provides mentoring support to the winning entrepreneurs.

Who is the competition aimed at?

The competition looks for young entrepreneurs who have an innovation to help tackle the world’s greatest sustainability challenges. 


The finalists will receive a combined total of over €200,000 in funding and support to help take their sustainable living initiatives to the next level.

The prize package also includes customised expert support, an accelerator programme and networking with senior executives and sustainability leaders at Unilever’s headquarters.

"Young people will soon represent 50 per cent of the population in developing and emerging countries, but they are 100 per cent of the future, so it’s absolutely vital we continue to enrol them in the task of making sustainable living commonplace and invest in their ideas."

Paul Polman, Chief Executive, Unilever


, Programme Director

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