Young Unilever award boost for childbirth kit
Mothers' delivery aids win recognition for sustainable entrepreneurship
Adepeju Jaiyeoba, founder of Mother’s Delivery Kit, has been chosen from eight other entrepreneurs as the recipient of this year’s Unilever Young Entrepreneurs Award.
The awards, now in their fifth year, are delivered by Unilever and the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.
Mother’s Delivery Kit supports expectant mothers in rural Nigerian communities by providing the supplies they need at childbirth at an affordable price. More than 500,000 delivery kits have been sold so far, and more than 4,000 birth attendants have received vital training thanks to Adepeju and her team.
Adepeju receives the HRH The Prince of Wales Young Sustainability Entrepreneur Prize which includes “mentoring for a year from Cambridge experts” and a 50,000-euro prize.
Dame Polly Courtice, founder and director of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, said: “Tackling the world’s most pressing challenges requires the talent and ideas of leaders who are willing to challenge business as usual.
“The eight inspiring winners of the Unilever Young Entrepreneurs Awards remind us of the power of passionate young leaders, who perceive the change that’s needed and are innovating to chart a course towards a better world.
“At Cambridge, we look forward to working with her and the other seven winners over the next year through our mentoring support programme as they scale and grow the impact of their ventures.”
Over five years, the awards have reached more than 5,500 entrepreneurs and 37 winners from 150-plus countries – supporting and celebrating inspirational young people who have initiatives, products or services that are tackling some of the planet’s biggest sustainability challenges.
Themes for this year’s young entrepreneurs included projects to destigmatise mental health issues (Letter to Strangers); creating a solar-powered classroom on a backpack (Light of Hope); providing clean toilets to families in rural India (GARV Toilets) and a machine learning company which applies advanced imaging technology to food supply chains to reduce waste, maximise yields and improve quality (Impact Vision).
This year’s Unilever Young Entrepreneurs Award saw 2,120 entrepreneurs from every continent enter the competition from which, after a comprehensive selection process, eight finalists were chosen.