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Supporting innovative ideas

We’re supporting new ideas that can help us address some of sustainability’s most difficult problems.

In 2010, we started the Creating Shared Value (CSV) Prize to bring the innovations of social entrepreneurs to life. Rewarding brilliant business ideas, the prize expands their impact by scaling them up or replicating them.

Through a longstanding partnership with Ashoka, we launched a range of initiatives designed to identify the social entrepreneurs of the future.

Our open innovation platform [email protected]é also solves problems by combining the creative ingenuity of external innovators with the scale and expertise of Nestlé. Find out more about [email protected]é.


The Nestlé CSV Prize

The Nestlé Creating Shared Value (CSV) Prize, launched in 2010, aims at rewarding and supporting innovative solutions to address global challenges and connecting the most promising innovations with Nestlé for the benefit of the prize winners, Nestlé, and the broader society.

The next Nestlé (CSV) Prize, in partnership with Ashoka, aims to identify system-changing projects that will support Nestlé's visions that none of our packaging, including plastics, ends up in landfill or as litter.

Entitled 'How do we create a waste-free future?', we are looking for high-quality initiatives that address challenges such as:

  • What alternative pragmatic, simple materials and safe ways to protect food & beverage can be offered?
  • How can production models and delivery systems be redesigned to eliminate waste?
  • What can food & beverage packaging become after consumption to be a resource for new usage?
  • What ground-up solutions are there to tackle packaging waste in communities?
  • How can consumers, suppliers, and producers be incentivized to adopt a circularity mindset?

The winner(s) will be entitled to a cash prize up to CHF 250 000. They will benefit from Ashoka's on-line resources, workshops to explore potential collaboration with Nestlé, as well as a mentoring program. Through this financial investment and technical resources, the best initiatives will be able to amplify their impact, scale up and/or replicate their solutions around the globe.

The application process is closed and we received many outstanding applications. A group of reviewers from Nestlé S.A. and Ashoka is reviewing the eligible applications. The best 50 entries will be announced at the end of January 2021.

You can get more information on the Prize and access the applications via Nestlé CSV Prize 2020 website.


Previous winners and runners-up

Our joint winners of the 2018 CSV Prize

In 2018, we awarded two entrepreneurs as joint winners of the prize for their outstanding businesses: Mumm from Egypt and Fishers and Changemakers from the Philippines.

Mumm is an online platform that offers healthy homemade food for delivery, while giving the talented home cooks who make it the chance to earn money. In two years, the Cairo-based company created more than 110 jobs and delivered over 45 000 meals.

Fishers and Changemakers works with fishermen in the Philippines who are committed to sustainable fishing, buying their catch at market prices, and packaging and marketing it effectively.

Each winner received CHF 150 000 (USD 151 000) for their projects.

2016 winner: Agro-Hub, Cameroon

Helping cassava farmers gain access to markets

Agro-Hub is an agricultural production and marketing agency in south-west Cameroon, working to connect smallholder farmers with sustainable markets.

It has built a small integrated factory to transform cassava, a staple crop in Cameroon, into starch and garri, a type of tapioca, and sell these value-added goods to consumers through its own fresh food store (Agro-Mart). So far, the agency has helped more than 700 farmers increase productivity and income as they build long-term sustainable relationships with buyers.

Agro-Hub received a prize of CHF 300 000, which it intends to use for upgrading its cassava processing facilities. This increase in production capacity will allow it to support more farmers, and contribute to improved food security and living conditions.

“At the beginning, the production processes were carried out manually, but the Nestlé CSV Prize will help us in establishing a modern, integrated starch and garri factory. With this factory, we will be able to reduce the production process to one day or a few hours, potentially increasing our production to 10 tons of starch per week.”

Atem Ernest Lefu, Co-Founder and CEO, Agro-Hub


Watch a short video about Agro-Hub’s work


In pictures

Flickr photo gallery

2016 runner-up: Natural Extracts Industries (NEI), Tanzania

Pioneering the sustainable extraction of vanilla

Natural Extracts Industries, a social enterprise from Tanzania, was selected as the 2016 CSV Prize runner-up for pioneering the sustainable production of natural flavour extracts from vanilla, cacao and orange.

Working with farmers and co-operatives, NEI helps build local capacity through sustainable agricultural practices such as agroforestry, intercropping, drip irrigation and composting. It has also developed manufacturing operations that add value to the products supplied by smallholder farmers.

NEI has invested the CHF 200 000 prize money to expand its network of smallholder farmers and maintain the subsidy scheme it introduced to reduce barriers to entry.

“Our business model is predicated on creating value for business and community alike. On the business front, we offer customers a natural product that follows the global clean-label trend. And for the community, the incremental income received by farmers enables women and youths to succeed without having to migrate to urban centres, where they may not even find employment. The Nestlé CSV Prize will bring us additional financial strength and credibility.”

Juan Guardado, Co-Founder, Natural Extracts Industries


Watch a short video about NEI’s work


In pictures

Flickr photo gallery

2014 winner: Honey Care Africa, South Sudan

A sweeter South Sudan

Honey Care Africa, a fair trade honey company, provides opportunities for thousands of rural smallholder farmers to generate additional income by helping them become beekeepers. It aims to create a commercial, efficient value chain for honey by training smallholder producers, organising them in networks (SWARM Clusters) and guaranteeing a market for their honey at fair prices, including a ‘base of the pyramid’ mass market for single servings of honey.


In pictures

2014 winner South Sudan

Find out more: Honey Care Africa website

2014 runner-up: MSABI, Tanzania

True Life Water Point

MSABI is a not-for-profit organisation that runs rural water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programmes in Tanzania. These include water points, sanitation, participatory education, and ceramic water filters, which are tailored to meet the specific needs of local communities.


In pictures

2014 runner-up Tanzania

Find out more: MSABI website

2014 runner-up: Sanergy, Kenya

Sustainable sanitation in Africa’s informal settlements

Sanergy is a social enterprise that manufactures and franchises small-scale high-quality sanitation facilities to local micro-entrepreneurs, collects and removes human waste from the community and converts it into high-value by-products such as fertilizer and energy.


In pictures

2014 runner-up Kenya

Find out more: Sanergy website

2012 winner: Fundación Paraguaya, Paraguay

Self-sufficient agricultural school model

Fundación Paraguaya sets up agricultural schools in poor rural areas of Paraguay, enabling students to develop the entrepreneurial and practical skills they need to lift themselves out of poverty. The non-profit organisation works with each school to identify suitable micro-businesses to set up (milk and egg production, organic gardening, beekeeping) and provides students with hands-on training. The money raised covers the schools’ operating costs without the need for government funding. The Nestlé CSV Prize helped fund a new school in San Pedro, the fourth to be set up by Fundación Paraguaya.

In pictures

2012 winner Paraguay

Find out more: Fundación Paraguaya website

2012 runner-up: arcenciel, Lebanon

Boosting sustainable agriculture

arcenciel is a Lebanese not-for-profit organisation running programmes related to agriculture, employment, environment, health, rehabilitation, social and youth. Wataneh, the Lebanese sustainable agriculture network, was launched in 2009 to improve the sustainability and the competitiveness of Lebanese agriculture throughout the value chain. Initially, farmers are helped to improve their yields and the variety of crops produced, and to reduce the use of chemicals while increasing the use of environmentally friendly techniques and improving their income.

Find out more: arcenciel website

2012 runner-up: Excellent Development, UK

Building sand dams

Excellent Development, a UK-based not-for-profit organisation, works with local partners in Kenya to support rural communities in drylands to build sand dams, which provide clean water for life and the opportunity to grow more food to eat and sell. The organisation works with local communities, organised in self-help groups, to identify sections of local rivers where sand dams can be built. The community invests at least 30% of the resources needed to complete a concrete sand dam.

Find out more: Excellent Development website

2010 winner: iDE Cambodia

Supporting smallholder farmers

iDE Cambodia was awarded the inaugural Nestlé CSV Prize in May 2010 for its Farm Business Advisors (FBA) programme, which aims to increase agricultural productivity and income for Cambodian smallholder farmers. Its network of independent small rural entrepreneurs (Farm Business Advisors) advises small-scale farmers to help them boost productivity and provides them with high-quality seeds, fertilizer, plastic fencing and irrigation equipment. More than 100 FBAs now work with 15 000 farmers. During Nestlé’s involvement (2011–2012), annual FBA sales to farmers doubled, attracting further investment from other development partners.

In pictures

2010 winner Cambodia

Find out more: iDE Cambodia website

The Social Investment Accelerator in Africa

In 2018, we partnered with Ashoka and the Swiss Development Cooperate to create the Social Investment Accelerator, an initiative designed to tackle poverty throughout Africa through innovative ideas.

From over 100 applicants, 12 social entrepreneurs in Africa were chosen to receive mentoring from business experts, including 20 Nestlé Africa senior executives, to develop their business plans and investment proposals. The ideas were then pitched to 40 investors. They included:

  • Exportunity: Founded by Vital Sounouvouv, Exportunity helps countries in Central and West Africa to increase e-commerce distribution capabilities through supply chain optimization and real-time data monitoring. The result is increased intra-Africa trade and more employment opportunities.
  • Mumm: Addressing the issue of malnutrition in Egypt, Waleed Abd El Rahman designed mumm. The online platform and delivery service connects home-chefs with customers in need of affordable, nutritious meals, replacing a reliance on fast food.
  • ShopIt: Dedicated to breaking the poverty cycle in South Africa, Arnuad Blancher developed an app known as ShopIt. The app allows informal grocery shop owners in townships and rural areas to compare prices for bulk stock from wholesalers. This way they can get the best price, which in turn means they can offer goods to customers at a lower price.

Social entrepreneurs from all across Africa are developing groundbreaking ideas to tackle social problems, but without capital to help them grow, they won’t achieve the scale they need to make a difference. We are seeking to match them with a new class of investors who want to invest for social impact as well as financial return.

Mark Chen Social Finance Director, Ashoka

Joining forces for the Comprometidos Challenge

In a bid to engage more young people in the creation and development of projects that positively impact society and the environment, Nestlé has extended its support of the Comprometidos Challenge. The challenge, the result of a collaboration between Ashoka, Socialab and UNESCO, invites young people in South America to present innovative initiatives that solve the challenges that they see in their communities and which contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Ten senior Nestlé executives provide mentorship to 10 young entrepreneurs, helping them to develop the skills needed to advance their ideas. In 2019, over 700 proposals were submitted.

Recognizing the transformative power of the pet-human bond

Although a new and growing field of research, we are learning more every day about the power of the pet-human bond and the impact it has on the health and well-being of society.

Leading the way, Nestlé Purina has partnered with Ashoka to identify innovative ways to improve the lives of pets and the people who love them across the Europe, Middle East and North Africa (EMENA) region. The Purina BetterwithPets Prize, launched in 2017, rewards inspiring social innovations that reimagine the role of pets in society.

The first Purina BetterwithPets Prize was awarded in 2018 to the OOPOEH Foundation in the Netherlands. Their winning idea helps to reduce loneliness and increase physical activity for the elderly by matching them as a dog sitter with a family in their neighborhood. The challenge is run every two years, with the 2019 winner to be announced in 2020. 

Vittel stands up for nature with the Act for Biodiversity Challenge

For nearly 30 years, Vittel has been committed to preserving local biodiversity in the heart of the Vosges region of France in an effort to safeguard water sources. The company has engaged local stakeholders such as farmers, scientists and local organizations through a collaborative program known as ‘Agrivair’.

Today, in the face of a growing global ecological crisis, Vittel has scaled up its commitment to nature with an ambition to generate positive impact worldwide. To do so, Vittel partnered with Ashoka to launch the Act for Biodiversity challenge in December 2019. The competition invites people from around the world to submit projects designed to preserve biodiversity in agricultural settings, urban environments and forests. Vittel will provide winners with financial support, communication visibility and personalized mentoring from a community of biodiversity experts and Nestlé’s top leaders.

Our open innvoation platform

Our open innovation platform [email protected]é also solves problems by combining the creative ingenuity of external innovators with the scale and expertise of Nestlé. Find out more about [email protected]é.

Download our Creating Shared Value Progress Report

See performance and reporting
Creating Shared Value Progress Report