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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

Winner of 2019 Unilever Awa

29 November 2019 – Last night Unilever and the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership announced that Emmanuel Emodek, founder of digital platform ChapChap, has been chosen from eight winning entrepreneurs as the recipient of this year’s HRH The Prince of Wales Young Sustainability Entrepreneurs Prize.

ChapChap is a digital platform that helps small businesses balance the books and keep track of transactions all from their very own smartphone.

Half of all small and medium businesses in Africa fail because of poor book-keeping, a lack of inventory management, and bad business practices. With SMEs accounting for 90 per cent of the continent’s businesses, and contributing to 80 per cent of Africa’s employment, it’s a big problem.

Business owners can use ChapChap to track their inventory, evaluate sales performance, and ultimately optimise their profits. Better still, having reliable, digital business records opens the door to financial inclusion and that is a lifeline for many businesses, giving them access for the first time to affordable credit. 

So far, ChapChap has helped more than 5,000 businesses in Uganda to improve their performance management and increase their revenues. The company now aims to extend its reach beyond Uganda into Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Nigeria.

Alan Jope, CEO of Unilever said: 

“These brilliant young innovators are tackling some of the biggest challenges that the world is facing.  They’re opening our eyes to new possibilities and pushing boundaries for a better world.  We are inspired by their ideas and action, and proud to be associated with CISL and these awards.” 

Now in its sixth year, the Awards have reached more than 13,000 entrepreneurs, from over 150 countries resulting in 45 winners - supporting and celebrating inspirational young people who have initiatives, products or services that are tackling some of the planet’s biggest sustainability challenges.

Dame Polly Courtice, Director of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership said:

“Tackling the world's most pressing challenges requires the talent and ideas of leaders who are willing to go beyond business as usual. The eight inspiring winners of the Unilever Young Entrepreneurs Awards remind us the power of passionate young leaders, who perceive the change that’s needed and are innovating to chart a course towards a better world.

“My congratulations to Emmanuel Emodek, founder of ChapChap and winner of the HRH The Prince of Wales Young Sustainability Entrepreneur Prize, for pursuing his vision for supporting small businesses. At Cambridge, we look forward to working with Emmanuel and the other seven winners over the next year through our mentoring support programme as they scale and grow the impact of their ventures.”

In 2019, 1,850 entrepreneurs from around the world entered the Unilever Young Entrepreneurs Awards. Through an intensive selection process led by CISL, eight winners were chosen. These inspiring young innovators and business leaders were flown to Cambridge for an all-inclusive accelerator programme, delivered by CISL and designed to help the winning initiatives achieve scale for impact.

HRH The Prince of Wales Young Sustainability Entrepreneur Prize winner Emmanuel Emodek will receive a €50,000 cash award and the remaining seven winners will each receive a €8,500 cash award. All winners benefit from tailored one-to-one mentoring sessions for 12 months provided by experts from Unilever and CISL.

The world’s problems will only be solved with the ideas and talents of a new generation of leaders who are challenging business as usual.  The Awards are an opportunity to support, inspire, reward and collaborate with these leaders; innovators who are the future of sustainability.

CISL has worked as the key delivery partner for the Unilever Awards. Building on this, CISL has also recently launched its own Accelerator programme, offering support to entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs to accelerate innovation in sustainability. SMEs based in the Greater Cambridgeshire and Greater Peterborough area can apply to receive up to 12 hours free support.

For 2019, the other winners are:

Prince Kwame Agbata, Coliba

A mobile platform linking waste collectors in Ghana with the plastic waste that can then be recycled and sold on.

Abdul Khogali, Genecis Bioindustries 

An organisation using bacteria to convert food waste into high-quality, environmentally friendly bioplastics.

Francis Xavier Asiimwe, Kaaro Health 

A business providing Uganda’s rural communities with remote access to doctors through solar-powered container clinics 

Sebastian Groh, Me SOLshare

An organisation connecting households and mirco-businesses in Bangladesh through solar home systems, allowing off-grid rural communities to use and trade energy.

Sonal Kapoor, Protsahan India Foundation

A non-profit supporting girls who have been victims of violence and abuse to break the cycle and get back into school.

Nidhi Pant, Science for Society 

An Indian organisation which has developed a solar conduction dryer to dehydrate food - reducing post-harvest losses and improving nutrition

Virtue Oboro, Tiny Hearts Technology 

An organisation creating solar powered, lightweight phototherapy cots to treat babies with jaundice across rural Africa.