WasteAid, a UK based international NGO, is launching the Zero Waste Cities Challenge to find entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas that help reduce or recycle waste and create green employment opportunities.
The competition is part of WasteAid’s Circular Economy Network funded by Huhtamaki, which is running events across three cities: Johannesburg in South Africa, Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam, and Guwahati in India.
Two winners in each city will be awarded €10,000 and business mentoring support to help make their idea a reality.
Michelle Wilson, WasteAid Circular Economy Network Director said: “We are really excited to launch this competition in the three hubs today. There are already some fantastic examples of the circular economy in each of the cities. We hope that through the Circular Economy Network activities, and in particular the Zero Waste Cities Challenge, we can help entrepreneurs turn their ideas into reality.”
Currently, only a fraction of waste generated in Johannesburg, Ho Chi Minh City and Guwahati is recycled, and the remaining waste ends up at landfill or littered in the environment. WasteAid believes that local innovations hold the key to a green economy and can make the environment cleaner and healthier for the city’s population.
We hope that through the Circular Economy Network activities, and in particular the Zero Waste Cities Challenge, we can help entrepreneurs turn their ideas into reality.
WasteAid’s Circular Economy Network is funded by Huhtamaki, a key global provider of sustainable packaging solutions.
Thomasine Kamerling, EVP Sustainability and Communications at Huhtamaki, said: “Huhtamaki is proud to support this initiative which will help fast track local solutions to the circular economy. This initiative complements our own efforts to design for circularity and embed sustainability in everything that we do, both in our local communities and across our global enterprise.”
WasteAid has already run events in Johannesburg, Ho Chi Minh City and Guwahati demonstrating the Circular Economy Network in action.
Tram Nguyen, WasteAid Project Manager in Vietnam said: “Building a circular economy takes many different people and businesses. The level of interest in our activities has been very high and we look forward to running more events, as well as this competition to identify and support innovative ideas for the city.”
The Zero Waste Cities Challenge will run over a period of six months. The application process is open until the 19 of June 2021. In July 12 semi-finalists will be selected and will receive intensive business support to hone their idea and create a pitch. The final round will involve pitching at a Shark Tank event in front of a panel of industry experts.
These panellists will then select the final two winners. Awards are likely to be made in October 2021.