Press releases

Deadline extended: Calling young entrepreneurs with green solutions to compete for funding and awards

21 marzo 2024
ITC News

(Geneva) – Young entrepreneurs with green, sustainable businesses can now apply to participate in a global accelerator programme of the United Nations with the opportunity to pitch solutions on a global stage to win seed funding. 

The Ye! Youth Ecopreneur Programme is designed to build the skills and networks of green innovators under the age of 35, in particular those in developing countries, to guide them through a developmental journey as part of a global community of young entrepreneurs – Ye! Community – that includes a bootcamp, an accelerator stage and culminates in the Youth Ecopreneur Awards. 

The Programme is hosted by International Trade Centre (ITC) in partnership with the G20 Global Land Initiative of the United Nations Convention Against Desertification (UNCCD). The goal is to advance global environmental sustainability through young entrepreneurs over the next five years. 

Applicants can apply for one of two categories: Green Business Solution (which covers circularity and the green economy) and Land Restoration. To be eligible for the Land Restoration category, the entrepreneur must run a business that supports one or more of the following areas of work: reforestation or afforestation; soil conservation and enrichment; wetland restoration; erosion control; cleanup of contaminated land; agroforestry and carbon farming; invasive species control; forest or urban woodland fire management; stream and river restoration; and use of modern technology for any of the above. Learn more about land restoration here

Apply for the Ye! Youth Ecopreneur Programme here. The deadline to apply is 1 April 2024.  

Benefits for participants of the bootcamp and accelerator include capacity building, mentorship, business diagnostics, equity-free seed funding for the land restoration category ($100,000 to be divided among all programme participants in this category, given as grants), preferential access to the Google’s Startups for Sustainable Development programme; specialized support on intellectual property protection from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO); links to investors for additional funding; pro bono legal services from Sidley Austin; and international exposure through communications coverage from ITC. Finalists of the Youth Ecopreneur Awards receive a fully funded trip to pitch at an international conference, workshops/coaching and a chance to win $10,000. 

Recognizing excellence 

Mashrur Shurid, 2023 winner in the land restoration category for his Bangladeshi agri-tech firm iPAGE, recently secured $110,000 in funding, citing the credibility lent by the Youth Ecopreneur Awards as a key factor in this achievement. 

Previous winners of the Youth Ecopreneur Awards include Douglas Baguma of solar energy business Innovex of Uganda; Vedant Gandhi of waste upcycling company recycleX of India; and Lidia Diaz of plant-based food company Plant Powered of the Dominican Republic. 

Notes to the Editor 

About the International Trade Centre - The International Trade Centre is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. 

For more information, visit

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About the Ye! Community: The ITC Ye! Community powered by the Youth and Trade Programme is aimed at helping youth entrepreneurs to build scalable and sustainable businesses. The Ye! Community provides access to a global network of youth, mentors and ecosystem enablers, as well as free access to start-up trainings, resources, events and business opportunities. 

Media contact 

Susanna Pak 

Senior Strategic Communications Officer 

International Trade Centre 

E: pak [at] 

T: +41 22 730 0651