Young Entrepreneur Awards 2018: Apply for 100,000 AED in funding

Unilever in the Gulf is hosting its second annual Unilever Young Entrepreneurs Awards (YEA) in the UAE. The awards provide a platform to inspirational young minds aged 18-35 from the region who are keen on tackling some of the planet's biggest sustainability challenges. 

Ultimate prize: up to AED 100,000 cash

Deadline: 11 November


2018 Themes

The 2018 Unilever Young Entrepreneurs Awards will be focused on 6 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The idea proposed should be tackling at least one of the 6 challenges identified below: 

  • Goal 2: Zero Hunger. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
  • Goal 3: Good Health and Well Being. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
  • Goal 4: Quality Education. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  • Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
  • Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
  • Goal 13: Climate Action. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impact.

Who can enter

Any entrepreneur or entrepreneur teams (up to 4 people) aged between 18 and 35 are eligible to participate. The participants must be based in either the United Arab Emirates or Kuwait. The ideas proposed must provide innovative and scalable technologies or solutions that are contributing to one or more of the six United Nations Sustainable Developments Goals identified (Global Goals 2, 3, 4, 7, 12 and 13). 

How to enter

To submit your entry, you will need to complete an application form. This form will detail your concept, and how you plan to deploy and scale it out. The more you can share, the better we are able to understand your idea.

To apply, please complete the application form and send it to Vineetha Mathew at [email protected] 

Deadline: 11 November

Timelines & Process

The YEA 2018 will have three levels of selection 

  • Level 1 – Interested participants fill out an application form and submit it.
  • Level 2 – 15 entries will be shortlisted based on the idea and information provided in the application
  • Level 3 – the 15 shortlisted entrepreneurs will be invited for an elevator pitch, from which 6 entrepreneurs will go into the final stage. The 6 finalist will be paired with mentors from the industry to prepare for the final presentation & application.


  • October 10, 2018 – Applications open 
  • Nov 11, 2018 - Deadline to submit applications
  • Nov 14, 2018 – 15 shortlisted entrepreneurs/entrepreneur teams announced
  • Nov 21, 2018 – 6 finalists announced
  • Dec 3, 2018 – 6 finalist submit the final application
  • Dec 6, 2018 - Finalists present idea or solution to a panel of judges

The YEA 2018 Finale will take place on 6th December, 2018. The 6 finalist will make the final presentation to a panel of judges.

Guidelines & Criteria

  • Entries cannot be accepted from current Unilever employees. However, the entrepreneur may have worked with Unilever in the past.
  • Entries must be submitted in English.
  • If shortlisted, entrants will be required to submit further information in the form of a pitch deck OR business plan, and financial projections (further guidelines will be sent to shortlisted entries).
  • If shortlisted, entrants will be required to participate in an acceleration program with selected mentors to finalize their ideas.
  • Shortlisted entrants will be required to present their idea to a judging panel in Dubai.
  • Flight ticket and hotel costs will be covered by Unilever if you are coming from Kuwait.
  • Candidates opting to drop out at any stage of the program, for whatever reason, will be automatically disqualified.