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Unilever is investing more than $170,000 to support young people with life-changing ideas about sustainability.

It is partnering with The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) and social entrepreneur investment organisation Ashoka to offer mentoring which helps entrepreneurs under 35 develop and scale up their initiatives.

As part of the 2017 Young Entrepreneur Awards, Unilever is inviting young people to come up with practical and innovative solutions to make sustainable living commonplace.

Open to anyone across the world, aged 35 years or under, the Young Entrepreneur Awards are looking for existing initiatives, products or services already in action that are tackling sustainability challenges.

More than $170,000 and individually tailored one-to-one mentoring is on offer.

The awards are looking for innovative and scalable technologies, initiatives or services that enable changes in practices or behaviours in one or more of four categories: farm to table, opportunities for women, waste, and water.

Up to eight finalists will be invited to take part in a three-day accelerator workshop in Cambridge, UK, at which expert help and professional guidance will be provided to assist them develop their initiatives.

This will be followed by a pitch to a panel of judges in London, drawn from the worlds of business, sustainability and entrepreneurs.

Previous winners

Last year’s winner was Oscar Andres Mendez Gerardino, whose enterprise Conceptos Plasticos recycles plastic and transforms it into construction materials for high quality, safe, low-cost housing.

Since taking out the award, Conceptos Plasticos has doubled its production capacity and increased sales.

In 2015, Australian Katerina Kimmorley won for her company Pollinate Energy, which supplies life-enhancing products such as solar lanterns and cookstoves to the urban slums of India.

Applications must be submitted online  by 30 June 2017.

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