The Swiss Re Foundation Entrepreneurs for Resilience Award recognises entrepreneurial initiatives that take innovative approaches to building resilient societies and realising the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. While resilience is the core theme of this annual programme, its specific focus changes from year to year.
Despite real progress in improving global health and reducing mortality, according to the World Bank around 400 million people still lack access to essential healthcare services. In 2017 the Geneva Association estimated the health protection gap in emerging markets – defined as the sum of financially stressful out-of-pocket expenses and the estimated cost of medical non-treatment due to unaffordability – at USD 2.9 trillion. The Swiss Re Foundation aims to improve access to health, especially to life-saving healthcare in low-income and low-middle-income countries, and to have made basic healthcare more accessible to 1 million people by 2021.
The 2021 Resilience Award focuses on innovative solutions that increase financial access to healthcare in low-income communities. More specifically, we are looking for innovative, market-based solutions that increase the household resources available for healthcare and/or reduce health shocks that lead to poverty or economic vulnerability following a disease or an accident.
For those ventures where the financial solution is part of a more comprehensive approach, they are in scope for this award if the financial solution is both a) at the core of the broader approach used and b) innovative or distinctive in some way.
The Award program involves a grant (paid in several instalments over one to three years) from the Swiss Re Foundation and, depending on the nature, scope and needs of the enterprise, non-financial contributions from Swiss Re employees, such as coaching and technical advice.
Three finalists are invited to pitch their ventures face-to-face to an award jury consisting of senior Swiss Re experts, academic representatives and selected Swiss Re clients. The total prize money of USD 700 000 is divided amongst the winner (which receives up to USD 350 000) and two runners-up.
The Award program also offers Swiss Re employees across the world a chance to select their favorite enterprise from the three finalists. The finalist with the most votes receives the “Employee Award” and a special prize. The same enterprise may win both the Employee Award and the Resilience Award in a given year.
A more detailed overview of the scope, selection process and criteria can be downloaded here.
How to apply
To apply for the 2021 Entrepreneurs for Resilience Award, complete the questionnaire by 8 November 2020, 23.59 CET. Only applications completed in English and submitted by this deadline will be considered.
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