The FT/IFC Transformational Business Awards, the leading global programme that highlights innovative, long-term private-sector solutions to major development challenges, returns for a sixth year with a special category focused on harnessing technology for people with disabilities.
FT/IFC Transformational Business Awards 2019
Harnessing Innovation and Capital for Impact
Centre for Global Development
The Financial Times and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, have launched the sixth edition of the FT/IFC Transformational Business Awards.
The 2019 Awards include a new, special category on harnessing technology for people with disabilities, supported by the UK Department for International Development (DFID). The new category was announced by World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva at the Global Disability Summit organised by DFID in July 2018.
The important role of cities in driving progress in sustainable development is highlighted in a revamped category focused on Urban Infrastructure.
The core categories are now all directly related to global efforts to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Within this overall focus, special attention will continue to be given to initiatives that address climate change and harness disruptive technologies and business models to increase impact and scale. Innovative financing solutions will also be highlighted, along with the role of institutional investors and other large holders of capital in supporting the SDGs.
The Awards are open to all private sector organisations. Start-ups with innovative solutions and a clear roadmap to financial sustainability are encouraged to apply.
The 2018 Awards attracted 189 entries from 278 organisations involving projects in more than 126 countries.
The deadline for entries is 15 March 2019 at 5pm GMT.
The Financial Times and IFC have worked together for more than a decade on global awards initiatives that have had a significant impact on the way financial and non-financial institutions approach sustainable investment. These initiatives began in 2006 with the FT/IFC Sustainable Banking Awards, which evolved into the Sustainable Finance Awards in 2011 and the Transformational Business Awards in 2014.
Pilita Clark is an Associate Editor and Business Columnist at the Financial Times. She writes a weekly column on modern corporate life, as well as features and other articles. Pilita has worked for the FT since 2003, covering aviation and the environment. She was the FT's Environment Correspondent from 2011 to 2017.
Pilita was previously a Washington correspondent for Australian newspapers and a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.
Samir Abhyankar is a Partner at TPG Growth based in London, working across sectors covering the group's investment activities in Africa. Prior to joining TPG Growth in 2015, Mr Abhyankar was a Partner with Satya Capital, where he focused on IT, consumer, financial services and retail investments. Previously he spent six years at Citi Venture Capital International, where he was responsible for its African investment activities, and CDC Group, where he was the Director of Strategy. He was also formerly a management consultant with Marakon Associates. Mr Abhyankar started his career with the World Bank as a banking sector analyst. He graduated with an MBA from INSEAD and holds an MA from Johns Hopkins' School of Advanced International Studies.
Kalipso Chalkidou is the Director of Global Health Policy and a Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development, based in London, and a Professor of Practice in Global Health at Imperial College London. Her work concentrates on helping governments build technical and institutional capacity for using evidence to inform health policy as they move towards Universal Healthcare Coverage. She is interested in how local information, local expertise and local institutions can drive scientific and legitimate healthcare resource allocation decisions. She has been involved in the Chinese rural health reforms and health reform projects in Colombia, Turkey and the Middle East, working with the World Bank, PAHO, the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Inter-American Development Bank as well as national governments. In 2007-2008, she spent a year at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, as a Harkness fellow in Health Policy and Practice, studying how comparative effectiveness research can inform government drug pricing policies.
Kalipso led the establishment of NICE International, which she headed for eight years, and, more recently, of the international Decision Support Initiative (iDSI), a multi-country network working towards better health around the world through evidence-informed spending in healthcare in low to middle income countries. IDSI is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, DFID and the Rockefeller Foundation and is currently involved in national reform projects in China, India, Vietnam, Ghana, Indonesia and South Africa.
Kalipso holds a doctorate on the molecular biology of prostate cancer from the University of Newcastle (UK), an MD (Hons) from the University of Athens and is a visiting Professor at King’s College London and an adjunct professor at Griffith University in Australia. She sits on several journal editorial boards and has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters.
Helen Clarkson joined The Climate Group in March 2017 as Chief Executive Officer. Prior to joining The Climate Group, she worked at Forum for the Future where she founded the organisation’s US office. At Forum, Ms Clarkson led work with large US corporations such as Target, Walmart, Nike, Gap and Levi Strauss & Co to solve complex sustainability challenges at both the organisational and broader systemic level. She also served as Interim Chief Operating Officer for several months. Ms Clarkson joined Forum from Médecins Sans Frontières where she worked on humanitarian missions in countries including Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Burundi, Pakistan and Nigeria. She has an undergraduate degree in Philosophy from Cambridge University, and a Master’s degree in Business Strategy, Politics & the Environment from Birkbeck College, University of London. She is also a Chartered Accountant.
Chris Locke is the Founder of Caribou Digital. He is also a Visiting Fellow at the University of California, San Diego's Center on Emerging and Pacific Economies, and Digital Ambassador to the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF). Caribou Digital works with development organisations to build digital economies in emerging markets, helping to take critical mobile services covering health, agri, money and learning tools to scale at a nationwide level. Mr Locke was previously the Managing Director of GSMA Mobile for Development. He has spent the past 15 years working in the mobile and internet industries for companies including the Virgin Group, Three, AOL and T-Mobile. Previous to his industry career, he was the Xerox Lecturer in Electronic Communication and Publishing at University College London, and has maintained strong links to the research community. He is co-editor of Thumb Culture: The Meaning of Mobile Phones in Society, an anthology of research considering the global social effect of mobile technology.
Kanini Mutooni is a UK Chartered accountant and Harvard Kennedy School alumnus with experience at Director and board level at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, KPMG, EY and Kleinwort Benson Private Bank. She is currently the Managing Director of TONIIC, an impact investing network based in London and San Francisco. She is also Board Chair of the Global Innovation Fund (GIF), a $225m fund focused on impact investment in emerging market commercial innovations that help solve social constraints.
Kanini is also an investment committee member of the African Agricultural SME fund II, a $120m fund focused on investing in small cap Pan-African early-to-growth stage agribusiness firms. The fund closed in June 2018 and has already committed over 30 per cent of its capital. Kanini was previously founding Investment Committee member of the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF), a $227m continent-wide impact fund focused on agriculture and clean energy sub-sectors. AECF was one of the early patient capital investors in M-KOPA and Mobisol, two clean energy companies that have made a significant impact in the provision of solar power to communities in the region. She was also Vice Board Chair of Shelter Afrique’s Finance and Risk Committee. Shelter Afrique is a Development Finance Institution with membership from 43 African countries that provides debt and equity finance for affordable housing projects.
Kanini has an MBA from Cass Business School, City University London and was recognised by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader in 2014 for her contribution to business and entrepreneurship. She is also a visiting lecturer at the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business.
Henrik Skovby is the former Global Managing Partner and founder of Dalberg. In his current capacity as Chairman of Dalberg Group, most of his time is dedicated to industry innovation and establishing new business lines under the Dalberg brand. As a strategy consultant, Mr Skovby's main focus has been corporate strategy and organisational reforms. He has led a series of institutional reviews in the development sector and has been involved in launching several global commissions and thought leadership initiatives. Prior to Dalberg, Mr Skovby worked at McKinsey & Company, where his focus was financial and public institutions. He began his professional career with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), where he worked on project management, budget matters, and strategic positioning of the organisation. Mr Skovby holds a Master's of Public Administration degree from Harvard University, a degree in Business Economics from Copenhagen Business School, and an undergraduate degree in Political Science from University of Aarhus.
The Transformational Business Awards are open to all financial and non-financial private sector organisations, as well as NGOs that can meet the judging criteria. The focus is on specific projects and transactions and the impact those initiatives have or promise to have on the problems they are targeting.
While the focus of all categories is on transformational impact in developing economies, the awards are also open to projects that address similar market deficiencies in the developed world and that could be replicated in severely under-supplied regions.
The aim is to recognise, showcase and reward private sector innovation, impact, replicability, financial viability and sustainability across a number of key areas identified in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are designed to achieve by 2030 the eradication of poverty in all its forms, as well as protect the planet from degradation, and generally ensure that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives.
Special attention will be given to initiatives that address climate change, and/or harness disruptive technologies and business models to achieve impact. Entries that focus on projects in fragile and conflict-affected states and the world’s poorest countries are encouraged.
Projects or transactions must have passed the implementation stage, and should result in measurable impact. They must be financially viable now or potentially within five years of implementation. Only initiatives that have been implemented since 2013 will be eligible. Start-ups with innovative solutions and a clear roadmap to financial sustainability are encouraged to apply.
The following core award categories for 2019 are now open for entries:
- Transformational Solutions in Urban Infrastructure
- Transformational Solutions in Food, Water and Land
- Transformational Solutions in Health, Wellness and Disease Prevention
- Transformational Solutions in Education, Knowledge and Skills
- Special Award: Innovating for Disability
The winners of the following Overall Awards will be selected by our esteemed judging panel from those short-listed for the above core categories:
- Overall Award: Excellence in Disruptive Technologies
- Overall Award: Excellence in Climate Solutions
- Overall Award: Excellence in Transformational Finance
- Overall Award: Excellence in Transformational Business
The winner in each category will be announced at a special dinner in London on 13 June 2019. The dinner will be preceded by the FT/IFC Transformational Business Conference, a major gathering of thought leaders who will explore and debate the issues generated by the Awards.
Core categories for 2019
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 Disability
This new category, established in partnership with the UK Department for International Development (DFID), relates to Sustainable Development Goals 4, 8, 10, 11 and 17, and aims to raise global awareness of an area that arguably has been neglected compared to other development challenges. It will showcase solutions that harness the power of innovation and technology to ensure inclusion among people with disabilities, particularly in developing economies. 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 2019
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
This award will recognise the short-listed entry that stands out across all categories for its innovative financing structure, including 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 private sector categories for its level of innovation, impact, replicability, financial viability and sustainability in the context of a developing economy.
The programme is open to all financial and non-financial private sector organisations. Start-ups with innovative solutions and a clear roadmap to financial sustainability are encouraged to apply.
Productive sector companies, investment institutions, and advisory firms involved in projects addressing key challenges in urbanisation, technology and sustainability with respect to developing economies, including:
- Infrastructure developers
- Energy companies
- Engineering companies
- Technology companies
- Healthcare providers
- Pharmaceutical companies
- Design houses
- Pension funds
- Sovereign wealth funds
- Life insurance companies
- Private equity firms
- Investment banks
- Fund managers
If your entry is short-listed in one of the awards categories:
- Your organisation and the initiative that has been short-listed will be promoted in an advertisement in the global FT newspaper and through FT Live social media channels
- You will be invited to attend the FT/IFC Transformational Business Awards dinner, where the winners in each category will be announced.
- All short-listed entries are presented in detail at the Awards dinner before the winners are revealed. You will also be able to network with other organisations short-listed for the awards.
If the judging panel selects your entry as a winner in one of the categories:
- Your organisation and the award-winning initiative will be promoted in an advertisement in the global FT newspaper and through FT Live social media channels
- A summary of your entry will be featured on the Awards website
Who can apply?
The Transformational Business Awards are open to all private sector organisations – financial and non-financial. Social enterprises can also apply if they meet the judging criteria, including the financial viability of the project highlighted.
What is the cost to enter?
There is no cost to enter the awards.
Can transactions-in-progress be submitted or do they have to have been completed and in the implementation stage?
Projects or transactions must have passed the implementation stage.
Should transactions have been completed in 2018 or can applications cover transactions from an earlier date? If so, how far back?
Only initiatives that have been implemented since 2013 will be eligible.
Do transactions have to be financially viable?
Projects or transactions must be financially viable now or potentially within five years of implementation.
Are only transactions in emerging markets allowed?
No, transactions or programmes active in developed economies can be submitted, as long as they have potential replicability in severely under-supplied regions.
What will the judges be looking for?
Our panel will be assessing your entry against judging criteria, which will shortly be downloadable from the Awards website.
The questions in the entry forms are designed to match the criteria.
When will the judging occur?
The submission window will open nearer the end of the year.
If you can't find the answer to your question, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com.
"The FT/IFC Award is one of the industry-leading recognition programs, and receiving a commendation was a great honor. Our stakeholders definitely took notice of that, and shortly after the announcement, we had secured the largest-ever financing round of $90 million, including the extension of our OPIC facility for a total of $50 million. The award became a critical part of our story of excellence."
Ron Margalit, Principal of Impact Investments, Nova Lumos (in partnership with OPIC)
Highly Commended, 2016 FT/IFC Transformational Business Awards/Achievement in Low-Carbon Urban Transformation
"Winning the Award was a great acknowledgement of our business model. Our brand has grown, boosted by this award, and is carving a niche in the global space. The companies thinking of applying should know the awards not only raise their credibility, but also drive the awareness of their business and unlock opportunities to connect with other industries and clients."
“This credibility is now helping us to fundraise and find new partners and investors to build our company and put money into African agriculture.”
Alloysius Attah, Co-Founder and CEO, Farmerline
Winner, 2016 FT/IFC Transformational Business Awards/Achievement in Sustainable Development/Sustainable Agriculture
"Winning the FT/IFC Transformational Business Award has boosted our reputation and awareness internationally including some global organizations showing interest in our work”.
Anuj Sharma, CEO, Piramal Sarvajal
Winner, 2016 FT/IFC Transformational Business Awards/Achievement in Transformational Technology
“Winning the FT/IFC Transformational Business Award has helped us gain credibility in the market and show that food waste is a solvable problem – not just for our customers but for the broader society. IFC and FT are at the forefront of sustainable development and business thought leadership, so to have their recognition was a great honor.”
“For a small company like ours, getting validated by organizations like the FT and IFC lends credibility to our conversations with large corporations and governments, and helps get a seat at these tables to drive growth.”
Marc Zornes, Founder, Winnow Solutions
Winner, 2017 FT/IFC Transformational Business Awards/Achievement in Sustainable Development/Food, Water and Land
“We were delighted that our vision for Africa was so well received by our peers. It opened doors to potential clients, investors, policy makers and regulators. This recognition has been especially important as we’ve begun fundraising for our second fund, which will support the installation of up to 50 MW of solar for African businesses.”
Matt Tilleard, Managing Partner, CrossBoundary Energy
Winner, 2017 FT/IFC Transformational Business Awards, Excellence in Climate Solutions
“Winning has opened many doors for us, allowing us to reach more potential partners and drive our growth. It also helped us triple our web traffic from 80,000 a month before the win to 250,000 a month later.”
Henry Motte-Munoz, Co-Founder and CEO, Edukasyon.ph
Winner, 2017 FT/IFC Transformational Business Awards/Achievement in Sustainable Development/Education
“Winning helped Huochebang gain additional interest and attention outside of China. We received inquiries from foreign investors as well as related companies for potential cooperation.”
Winner, 2017 FT/IFC Transformational Business Awards/Achievement in Transformational Agriculture
Terms and Conditions
2018 AWARDS WINNERS
Achievement in Transformational Infrastructure
CleanMax Rooftop Solar for Tata Group, India
Fluence Energy Storage Programme, US
Achievement in Transformational Infrastructure: Green Buildings
Capital House EcoHome Phuc Loi Project, Vietnam
Achievement in Transformational Finance
OASIS Loss Modelling Framework, UK
Alipay Financial Access Platform, China
Achievement in Sustainable Development: Food, Water and Land Food, Water and Land:
SunCulture RainMaker Irrigation System, Kenya
eWATERpay IoT Pre-Payment Meters, UK
Achievement in Sustainable Development: Health, Wellness and Disease Prevention
Logistimo eVin Vaccine Supply Chain Management, India
Telenor Health Tonic Ecosystem, Bangladesh
Achievement in Sustainable Development: Education, Knowledge and Skiils Education:
Andela Talent Ecosystem, US
Beyond Water Entrepreneurship Capacity Building Programme, UK
UX Biscate Skills Marketplace, Mozambique
Excellence in Disruptive Technologies: Lifetrack Medical Imaging Platform, Philippines
Excellence in Climate Solutions: Nissan Energy Electric Vehicle Power Solutions, France
Excellence in Transformational Business: SunCulture RainMaker Irrigation System, Kenya
PRESENTED BY (2)
The Financial Times is one of the world’s leading business news organisations, recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. The FT marks 130 years in 2018 with a record paying readership of more than 940,000, three-quarters of which are digital subscriptions. It is part of Nikkei Inc, which provides a broad range of information, news and services for the global business community.
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more than $23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org