The World Challenge, an annual competition run by BBC World News and Newsweek in association with Shell , has announced its 12 finalists for 2011. The competition highlights and rewards small enterprising and innovative businesses around the world and this year’s competition includes finalists from Cambodia, Chile, Egypt, India, Japan, Kenya, Mongolia, Nepal, Paraguay, UK, Uganda, and USA.
Launched in 2005, the annual competition, currently in its seventh year, has experienced phenomenal growth. The aim is to identify and reward people and businesses bringing economic, social and environmental benefits to local communities through innovation and enterprise at a grassroots level. Since its inception, World Challenge has awarded financial grants to 18 projects across the globe. The winning project will receive a US$20,000 grant from Shell, while two runners up will each receive US$10,000 to help develop their initiatives.
In October and November 2011, BBC World News will broadcast six 30-minute programmes profiling each finalist, with Newsweek mirroring the programmes’ content in a series of six advertorials about the nominees.
From mid-September 2011, BBC World News will also broadcast a series of 15-minute programmes, called Down to Business , which will see green business trouble-shooter Leo Johnson visit past projects to give them advice. Newsweek magazine will also run a special feature on Down to Business .
The World Challenge 2011 finalists are (alphabetically by country):
• Cambodia : ‘Funky Junk’ – recycling plastic bags.
• Chile : ‘Recylca’ – e-waste recycling.
• Egypt : ‘El Nafeza Foundation’ – paper making.
• India : ‘Hand in Hand’ – biogas energy.
• Japan : ‘Shunran-no-sato’ – sustainable rural community.
• Kenya : ‘Vava Coffee’ – coffee company.
• Mongolia : ‘Snow Leopard Enterprises’ – saving the snow leopard.
• Nepal : ‘Shiv Forestry’ – reducing human/wildlife conflict.
• Paraguay : ‘Guayati Yerba Mate’ – rainforest herbal tea and energy shots.
• UK : ‘Give a Car’ – vehicle recycling.
• Uganda : ‘Ugastore’ – fuel efficient charcoal store.
• USA : ‘Brooklyn Grange’ – rooftop urban farming.
The winning entrant for this year’s World Challenge will be announced at an awards ceremony in November 2011 which will be broadcast on BBC World News and detailed in Newsweek in the same month.