The 2020 edition of the FT/IFC Transformational Business Awards marks 15 years of collaboration between the Financial Times and the International Finance Corporation on awards that have had a substantial impact on the way financial and non-financial organisations approach sustainable investment. The Awards highlight ground-breaking, long-term private sector solutions to major development issues, with the core categories directly related to global efforts to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Core categories for 2020
Transformational Solutions in Urban Infrastructure
This award relates to Sustainable Development Goal 9 “Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation”, and Goal 11 “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”. It highlights projects that address the most crucial infrastructure needs in the fast-growing cities of the developing world, with long-term socio-economic impact. This category is open to private sector businesses only, but recognises the importance of public-private partnerships in infrastructure and builds on the success of the award for City-Led Transformation, established in partnership with Cities Alliance from 2015 to 2017.
Transformational Solutions in Food, Water and Land
This award relates to Sustainable Development Goal 2 “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture”, and Goal 6: “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”, with an additional emphasis on access to land, land tenure rights, land management, and land governance – all critical for the achievement of both food and water security.
Transformational Solutions in Health, Wellness and Disease Prevention
This award relates to Sustainable Development Goal 3: “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”. Although significant strides have been made in increasing life expectancy in developing economies, much more needs to be done to reduce the mortality rate, particularly among mothers and infants; improve the delivery of medicines, healthcare and health education; reduce the impact of a wide range of diseases; and rapidly address new and emerging health issues. Special attention will be given to innovative, replicable business models that improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of healthcare delivery.
Transformational Solutions in Education, Knowledge and Skills
This award relates to Sustainable Development Goal 4: “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”, with an additional emphasis on the provision of skills-based training that will empower young people, help them gain employment, and also help entrepreneurs secure their livelihoods, in line with Goal 8: “Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.”
Special Award: Innovating for the Most Vulnerable and Disadvantaged
Inclusion is a major factor across a number of the Sustainable Development Goals, whether the focus is education, employment, housing or access to finance. This new category will showcase solutions that harness the power of innovation and technology to ensure inclusion among the most marginalised and vulnerable groups, including the disabled, refugees from conflict and persecution, and those that are excluded due to their gender, age, location, caste, religion or sexual identity. Special attention will be given to initiatives that give access to affordable assistive technologies, bridge the digital divide, and reduce stigma and discrimination.
Overall Awards for 2020
Excellence in Disruptive Technologies
This award will recognise the short-listed initiative that stands apart across all categories for its ground-breaking use of new technology and the strength of its disruptive approach to markets and business models.
Excellence in Climate Solutions
This award will recognise the short-listed entry that across all categories most effectively addresses one or more of the effects of climate change in the context of a developing economy, or that can be replicated in a developing economy.
Excellence in Transformational Finance and Impact Investing
This award will recognise the short-listed entry that stands out across all categories for its innovative financing approach. Special attention will be given to entries that embrace best practice in impact investing, and blended solutions that bring together diverse sources of capital.
Excellence in Transformational Business
This prize will be awarded to the initiative that in the opinion of the judging panel stands apart among the winners of all categories for its level of innovation, impact, replicability, financial viability and sustainability in the context of a developing economy.
Source: Financial Times Live
Illustration Photo: Oneida Gómez, 30, shows her coffee plant nursery she has planted with the help of Blue Harvest project in Canton Las Quebradas, San Simón municipality, Department of Morazán, El Salvador. Catholic Relief Services through local partner ACUGOLFO has worked with small producers with Blue Harvest project to conserve water in soil and to have better agricultural practices in order to get higher yields. (credits: Maren Barbee / Public domain)