Sustainable business competition to invest over £400,000 in winners

Planet-saving start-ups and entrepreneurs can apply to win up to €500,000 (£436,000) and a place on a six-month bespoke accelerator programme.

Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge, a sustainable entrepreneurship competition, is open for entries, with green start-ups and entrepreneurs based in the UK able to apply online until 1st April.

Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge rewards British, Dutch, German, Norwegian and Swedish start-ups that successfully combine sustainability, entrepreneurship and creativity to help tackle some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. Since the competition began in 2007, it has rewarded a variety of businesses, including bio-bean, a British company that recycles coffee for consumer and industrial markets, which won the top prize in 2014.

The competition is hosted by the Postcode Lotteries in the above countries as part of their mission to create a fairer, greener world. In Britain, players of People’s Postcode Lottery have raised over £500 million for more than 7,500 good causes. Together with its sister lotteries, over £10 billion has been raised.

George May, director and CCO at bio-bean, said: “Winning Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge was a springboard for bio-bean. The funds and business coaching helped us to expand our team and industrial facilities, not to mention the media attention and further investment interest we received off the back of winning the competition. Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge is a fantastic opportunity for green start-ups looking to scale up their operations.”

The competition awards €500,000 to the overall winner while the runner-up receives €200,000 and the three other finalists receive €100,000 each. All the finalists have the chance to participate in a bespoke accelerator programme to identify the biggest challenges they face and provide mentorship and valuable connections to tackle them.

Clara Govier, managing director at People’s Postcode Lottery, added: “If you believe you have a solution to one of the biggest problems facing the planet and would like to join world-class alumni, I urge you to enter this year’s Postcode Lotteries Green Challenge.

“We recognise the time constraints that many entrepreneurs face and so we have made the application process quick and free to enter. I also encourage you to sign up to our webinar to ask any questions you have and to ensure your application has the strongest chance of succeeding.”

The jury will look for innovative, exciting business plans that contribute to a sustainable planet and are close to a market release. Last year’s winner was Sofie Allert, CEO and founder of Swedish Algae Factory. Swedish Algae Factory, founded in 2014, cultivates algae that enhances solar panel efficiency and can be used as an ingredient in sustainable personal care products.

Applicants have one month – until noon 1st April 2020 – to submit a short business plan, outlining the description of the environmental problem(s) their business is tackling, their solution to the problem, the business’ USP and financial projections alongside a short video pitch. There are no fees for application submissions.

The jury will assess the pitch and proposal, team competencies, market strategy and business model, financial status and the impact of prize money. Former jury members include Dame Ellen MacArthur and Sir Richard Branson.

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