Acumen-Unilever Social Innovation Challenge on Plastics


The Social Enterprise Incubator is an opportunity for early-stage entrepreneurs and SMEs to deepen their understanding of the areas for innovation and partnership around plastic waste reduction, refine their business models, and compete for seed funding and expert support for their solutions. In the seven-week Social Enterprise Incubator, you will work through Acumen’s Business Models for Social Impact curriculum independently, and participate in online office hour sessions with experts from Unilever.

What will you do?

  • Learn about the challenge of plastic waste and opportunities for innovative solutions.
  • Review case studies of social enterprises that are collecting, sorting, or processing plastic.
  • waste, while improving the welfare of people living in poverty.
  • Complete Acumen’s Business Models for Social Impact curriculum to refine your own business model for plastic waste.
  • Attend online office hour sessions to gain insights and feedback from technical experts at Unilever.
  • Submit your Business Model Canvas and a pitch deck for a chance to win seed funding and coaching calls from Unilever.


  • At least three winning teams will receive up to $25,000 in seed funding and a series of coaching calls with technical experts from Unilever.


  • Open to early stage or aspiring social entrepreneurs who want to develop new business models for managing plastic waste, particularly in Brazil, India, and South Africa.


Deadline is February 15, 2019


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