Rwandan startup EarthEnable has been named the winner of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge 2017, walking away with EUR500,000 (US$600,000) in prize money.
Disrupt Africa reported last month EarthEnable, alongside fellow Rwandan startup ARED, was one of five finalists selected for the annual Postcode Lottery Green Challenge, one of the largest annual international competitions in the field of sustainability innovation.
During the final, EarthEnable co-founder Gayatri Datar impressed the international jury with her sustainable alternative for cement to replace dirt floors, and walked away with a cheque for EUR500,000 to further develop her green innovation.
“Being proclaimed as winner out of 515 entries is unbelievable! This is a really important strategic endorsement for us. With the prize money we plan to scale within Rwanda and likely in three other countries,” she said.
“The prize money gives us the opportunity to test different scaling models to find a viable scale strategy to improve the health and lives of millions of people who are still living on dirt floors.”
The international jury was chaired this year by Leila Janah, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Samasource, a social enterprise that helps underprivileged people from Africa find work in the digital sector.
“People often consider “doing good” and “making a profit” to be irreconcilable, but in fact an important path to lasting change can be created where these two meet. All these startups are great examples of this,” she said.
“The way in which Gayatri has been able to tackle two major issues at the same time with her start-up EarthEnable is very impressive. Her innovative product improves the health of the world’s poorest people and ensures an enormous reduction in CO2 emissions. As such, she and her team are this year’s deserving winner. I expect to hear a great deal from this startup in the future.”
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