The Swiss Re Foundation Entrepreneurs for Resilience Award recognises entrepreneurial initiatives that take innovative approaches to building resilient societies and realising the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Whilst resilience is the core theme of the annual award programme, its specific focus changes from year to year with current trends and developments.
The 2018 award will focus on innovative solutions that offer affordable access to renewable energy for households in low-income communities.
The following technology areas are in scope: improved cookstoves, solar lanterns, solar home systems, decentralised grids, productive uses, mini wind turbines and biogas generators.
The award programme involves a financial grant from the Swiss Re Foundation and, depending on the nature, scope and needs of the enterprise, non-financial contributions from Swiss Re employees, such as coaching and technical advice.
Three finalists are invited to pitch their ventures face-to-face to an independent award jury consisting of senior Swiss Re experts, academic representatives and selected Swiss Re clients. The total prize money of CHF 800 000 is divided amongst the winner (which receives up to CHF 400 000) and the two runners-up.
The Foundation seeks enterprises that address the above-listed challenges and meet the following criteria:
- Level of maturity:
Are established as formal start-ups, growing and on a clear path to full or partial financial sustainability (e.g. if only some operations are commercially based) but still dependent on grants (or other support) to improve their business model and/or reach full financial sustainability.
- Innovation focus:
Understand their customers and the systemic and/or behavioural barriers that prevent broader access to and use of renewable energy. Address these barriers with their business model and provide an innovative solution, whether a technology, product, service or delivery model, to a problem faced in the respective industry.
- Mission and purpose:
Have a social purpose whilst using commercial mechanisms to achieve sustainability and scale.
Operate in emerging and/or developing markets in no- or poor-grid areas.
- Target group:
Serve moderately to very poor communities in rural and/or urban areas.
HOW TO APPLY
To apply for the 2018 Entrepreneurs for Resilience Award, complete this online questionnaire about your enterprise by 30 September 2017. Only applications completed in English and submitted by this deadline will be considered.