Apply for the Changemakers Green Skills Innovation Challenge


The Green Skills Innovation Challenge is now open for entries! Submit your application before 4th June 2021!!

Ashoka and HSBC are collaborating on the first-of-its-kind Green Skills Innovation Challenge.

This global innovation competition is open to social entrepreneurs in selected markets with ventures that equip individuals and communities with the skills needed to thrive in the transition to a green economy.

As we look towards a post-pandemic world, we have an opportunity to shape a recovery that leverages solutions that address the climate crisis and promote health, equality, and financial wellbeing.

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This Green Economy requires a workforce equipped with robust green skills—the competencies that allow individuals to step into new green jobs or transition aspects of their current careers towards jobs that will have positive impacts on the planet.

The Green Skills Innovation Challenge will award social entrepreneurs with funding. We’re looking for social entrepreneurs with ventures which recognize:

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  • The power of multi-solving. Green skills can bring about an inclusive and sustainable future, solving the climate crisis along with social problems
  • Everyone is necessary. As environmentally harmful jobs are phased out, people’s valuable skills can be repurposed towards growth sectors in the green economy
  • Young people are critical. With green skills, youth across the world will be able to jump into the green economy with confidence and thrive

Table of Contents


  • April 5: Challenge opens (During this time, participants may submit entries, edit, and resubmit until the entry deadline)
  • June 4 at midnight UK time: Final entry deadline
  • June 5 –June 25: Application screening and feedback
  • June 28: Semifinalists announced
  • Early July to late July: Semifinalists can refine applications
  • Late July to late August: Second round of screening
  • September: Judges review and due diligence
  • September 30: Winner announcement
  • October to December: Funding and winner support

The Green Skills Innovation Challenge is a competition for social entrepreneurs who are equipping those most in need of opportunity with the green skills needed to thrive, ensuring that the transition to a green economy benefits all.


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  • All applicants will:
    • Receive feedback from Ashoka and/or HSBC representatives
  • Semifinalists (up to 50) will:
    • Receive additional feedback from experts from HSBC & Ashoka
    • Be referred as semifinalists in the announcement communications
    • Access a webinar for semifinalists to connect with peers
  • The challenge will have up to 15 winners, with at least 3 being youth-led organizations. The Challenge Team will decide funding amounts awarded to each winner. There will be two award categories:
    • Most Innovative solutions:
      • Awarded to solutions with proven models who have the potential to begin scaling their impact
      • Winners receive and up to $20k cash prize plus support & mentoring from HSBC and Ashoka on how to scale
      • Available to general entrants and youth-led entrants

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    • Best early-stage solutions:
      • Awarded to solutions with highly innovative ideas which are still at an early-stage
      • Winners receive up to $15k cash prize plus support & mentoring to help develop their innovation
      • Available to general entrants and youth-led entrants.


  • You must have incorporated it as a non-profit, for-profit, or hybrid organization.
  • You must be over 18 by the time you apply.
  • If your product has not launched, you must have a business plan and MVP (prototype, pilot, or another proof of concept).
  • Entries will only be accepted in English (winners will be expected to engage in activities that require English proficiency).
  • Only one application per initiative will be accepted.
  • Employees of HSBC, advertising agencies, promotion agencies, and other service providers for this Challenge, their immediate family members (spouse, parent, child, sibling, regardless of where they reside) are not eligible.
  • Partners or initiatives that are already financed or supported by HSBC its affiliates, subsidiaries, or joint ventures are not eligible.

Application Deadline: June 4, 2021

For more information and application, visit the official website of the Changemakers Green Skills Innovation Challenge.

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