Daniel Yu, 21, founder of Reliefwatch - a simple software helping medical clinics in the developing world to digitise and manage inventory records for better patient outcomes - was awarded the prize at a prestigious awards ceremony and dinner at The Guildhall, London, UK last night.
The prize is the top accolade in the Unilever Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneurs Awards, delivered in partnership with the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL).
The dinner also served as a celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) and so united current and future sustainability leaders in a call for business to continue its role in helping make the shift to a low-carbon economy.
The awards celebrate inspirational entrepreneurs aged 30 and under who have developed a product, service or application that helps make sustainable living commonplace.
816 entrepreneurs entered the awards from 88 countries on the Ashoka Changemakers platform, a community of action that connects social entrepreneurs around the globe to share ideas. The winner was selected from a shortlist of seven finalists following a demanding interview process and an intensive accelerator programme to prepare finalists for the final pitch.
As part of the prize Daniel has been awarded €50,000 and he will be supported with a tailored mentoring programme delivered by the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and Unilever experts over the course of 2015. The six runners up each receive a cash prize of €10,000 in addition to mentoring and support.
Through the Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneurs Awards, Unilever and the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership are supporting young people to develop high impact sustainable business solutions.
Unilever CEO Paul Polman said: “I am delighted to see the increased interest our second year Awards programme has received, and incredibly impressed by Daniel and the other inspiring young people with excellent initiatives that we are able to support.
“Government and business cannot tackle the world’s greatest sustainability challenges on their own. We need to empower individuals to take action - young men and women who embrace the need for change and who want to make a difference.
“That’s why we created our Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneur Awards in partnership with CISL: to help give young people access to much needed help and support to turn smart ideas into practical and scalable solutions.”
Polly Courtice, Director of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) said:
"Congratulations to the winner of the Prince of Wales Prize and to all our finalists – inspiring leaders of today and of the future. From innovative distribution networks for solar lanterns and clean cookstoves to mobile applications for farming advice and healthcare, CISL looks forward to working with you over the coming year to help develop your award-winning ideas.
"For a decade CISL has brought together European business leaders through The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group, to work with national and international policy-makers to address sustainability challenges. Working in partnership holds the key to driving forward green growth that will strengthen our economies for the future.”
Notes to editors:
The finalists are:
- David Opio, : A mobile and web application that integrates SMS and mobile money services to handle savings and make loans to smallholder farmers in Uganda.
- Jackie Stenson, : Helping villagers in rural Indiaaccesslife-improving products like affordable solar lanterns and non-electric water filters.
- Alloysius Attah, : A mobile communications tool that provides agronomic advice and weather forecasts by sending voice messages in local languages to smallholder farmers in Ghana.
- Katerina Kimmorley, : Setting up networks of micro-entrepreneurs to distribute sustainable technologies (like solar-lights and clean cookstoves) on payment plans to India's urban poor.
- Charles Batte, : Helping young entrepreneurs set up businesses by providing mentoring and training funded by the sale of trees planted by the entrepreneurs themselves which are sold on to companies looking to reduce their carbon footprint.
- Mark Boots, : A voice-based mobile platform helping the world’s poorest people feedback to the organisations who serve them
About the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL):
The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) brings together business, government and academia to find solutions to critical sustainability challenges. Capitalising on the world-class, multidisciplinary strengths of the University of Cambridge, CISL deepens leaders’ insight and understanding through its executive programmes, builds deep, strategic engagement with leadership companies, and creates opportunities for collaborative enquiry and action through its business platforms.
Over more than 25 years, CISL has developed a leadership network of over 5,000 alumni from leading global organisations and an expert team of Fellows, Senior Associates and staff. HRH The Prince of Wales is the Patron of CISL and has inspired and supported many of the institute’s initiatives.
About The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG):
The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) is a select group of European business leaders working together, under the patronage of The Prince of Wales and with the support and advice of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, to advocate solutions to climate change to policy makers and business peers at the highest level, both within the EU and globally. Unilever is one of the CLG's member companies.
About Ashoka Changemakers:
Ashoka Changemakers is a community of action that connects social entrepreneurs around the globe to share ideas, inspire, and mentor each other. Through its online collaborative competitions and open-source process, Changemakers.com is one of the world’s most robust spaces for launching, discussing, and funding ideas to solve the world’s most pressing social problems. Changemakers builds on Ashoka's three-decade history and belief that we all have the ability to be a Changemaker.