The Entrepreneurs Award in Social Innovation (EASI) 2023 final took place at the Skyline of Tower Suites hotel in London on May 30.
Bio-tech company, DiRobanna, impressed the judges with its plan to regenerate soil that has been damaged by generations of farming and took home the first-place prize of a £10,000 grant and an incredible package of business support and access to a world-class network of entrepreneurs.
Innovative. Ethical. Impactful. This is how EASI is described by its founders, supporters and participants.
EASI was created by the Company of Entrepreneurs, who are based in the City of London. They are dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs and businesses that are having a positive social, environmental and economic societal impact.
The finalists had their chance to pitch their business ideas and answer questions in front guests, Masters of Livery, companies, entrepreneurs, and the expert panel of judges. The judges included owner of Tower Suites and The Blue Orchid Hotels, Tony Matharu.
He had some expertly positioned questions to ask the finalists pitching their business ideas. It’s no secret that investors and consumers are more eager than ever to support entrepreneurs and businesses that have a positive impact on the world. Terms such as ‘ESG’ are becoming increasingly popular, as industry leaders are transforming their strategy and business models to become sustainable and socially positive as possible.
However, with accusations such as ‘greenwashing’ continually being thrown at businesses, it’s often concluded that the people that are genuinely pushing this societally positive movement are the businesses that were built from the ground up with a positive impact being the key concept, not just an afterthought to gain some business benefits. These genuine drivers of positive change are the projects EASI aims to highlight, to support and accelerate the growth of.
The awards had a vast number of quality applicants. The carefully selected finalists consisted of a range of exciting and impactful business ideas including: drone delivery of important products in rural areas, an initiative to recycle fast fashion products, a data system that analyses the ethics of supply chains, an app which can give health advice; and finally the winners: a team that analyses damaged and unusable soil and finds the solution to bring it back to a healthy condition.
Past Master Entrepreneur and EASI founder, Judy Hadden, said: “Through the Entrepreneurs’ Award for Social Innovation, the Company of Entrepreneurs and our Trust provide support to early-stage social innovation entrepreneurs developing critical and innovative solutions to big social and environmental issues. This year’s applicants consisted of such a fascinating and impactful group of ideas. We are so pleased to be able to support businesses that are going to change the world.”
EASI is growing quickly and is now in its second year, with last year’s inaugural award being won by the incredible agricultural technology company, Pastoral. This company reduces damage to the environment and helps low-income farmers improve their efficiency with agricultural tracking and data technology.
EASI and the Company of Entrepreneurs aim to continue to drive positive change through this incredible award by giving a financial launchpad to entrepreneurs who have a viable idea to make a positive change to the world. Most importantly, the Company of Entrepreneurs and its members can connect new entrepreneurs to an already existing world class network of London and worldwide expert entrepreneurs.
The Company of Entrepreneurs and EASI have a range of brilliant events coming up throughout the year, including a wonderful showcase event where the finalists and winner of EASI 2023 will once again, present their business ideas to a room of experienced entrepreneurs.