Youth Ecopreneurs Award winners for energy, waste, and water solutions

24 November 2021
ITC News

First edition of ITC Youth Ecopreneur Awards brought forth three winners with innovative solutions for better, greener planet.

On 23 November 2021, the International Trade Centre (ITC) welcomed a global audience, an esteemed jury and nine shortlisted candidates to pitch their green solutions for the chance to win $5000, among other prizes from ITC and partners.

Hajar Yagkoubi, a young climate activist and speaker, moderated the event while Pamela Coke-Hamilton, ITC Executive Director, gave the opening speech. 

“At ITC, we are true believers in the potential of young entrepreneurs to become climate leaders for the green economy of the future. Congratulations to the nine finalists – your approaches to green solutions deserve to be celebrated on a global stage,” said Coke-Hamilton.

The jury, who made the final decision on selecting the winners, was comprised of:

  • Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director, International Trade Centre
  • Richenda Van Leeuwen, Executive Director, Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs
  • Erick Yong, CEO, GreenTec Capital Partners
  • Iain Sandford, co-leader of the firm’s Emerging Enterprises Pro Bono Program and Trade for Development Initiative Sidley Austin, Partner
  • Ankit Agarwal, Founder, Phool 

After each four-minute pitch, the jury members posed questions to the entrepreneurs regarding revenue, technology, or commercializing the solutions in the categories energy, waste management and water efficiency.

The winners of the Youth Ecopreneur Awards 2021 are:

1) Douglas K. Baguma, Innovex, Uganda

In the category: renewable energy and energy efficiency

2) Vedant Gandhi, recycleX, India

In the category: waste management

3) Lidia Diaz, Plant Powered, Dominican Republic

In the category: water efficiency and other


Each winner took home $5,000 to propel their business, a ticket to attend the world’s leading start-up event SLUSH 2022, one-to-one assessments and advice on financial readiness and legal matters by ITC and partners, and speaking slots at international events.

In addition, all finalists will get access to a coaching programme, matchmaking with investors, networking, as well as opportunities to get involved in ITC’s GreenToCompete networks and become part of the Ye! Community.

Thanks go to the following Award partners:

Ambitious Africa, the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs, the Fondazione Italiana Accenture, GreenTec Capital Partners, Sidley Austin LLP, SME Finance Forum, and Sustainable Business Consulting.