Category B:
Innovation for

Before submitting an application, please ensure that it matches our award criteria.

In Category B – Innovation for Development – the German Entrepreneurship Award for Development recognises innovative products or services that promote local sustainable economic activity and improve people’s lives over the long term. The main focus is on approaches tailored specifically for the poorer segments of society in developing countries and emerging economies. In 2021, companies are invited to apply for the award in category B, in particular, but not exclusively, if their project in a developing or emerging country helps to mitigate the consequences of the global corona virus crisis.

There are no restrictions in terms of particular sectors of the economy, but the solutions should be market-ready and if possible satisfy at least some of the following criteria:

  • The technology or innovation solves a development-policy problem, for instance in one of the following fields: nutrition, health, water supply, energy supply, adaptation to climate change or education.
  • The innovation makes manufacture of a product so cost-effective that it can be produced locally and/or acquired at an affordable price. As a result, more people have the opportunity to use the product.
  • The innovation enables a product to be offered via local sales channels and where appropriate to be operated and maintained locally.

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Companies applying in this category should have a presence on the market for at least a year. They must commit to proving as part of an economic assessment that the idea can be implemented and is financially viable.

It is permissible to submit an application for the award with an idea for which a company has already received funding (for example from research or start-up grants or innovation promotion). In this case the company should be able to demonstrate a prototype or pilot that is already in use.


For information on the application criteria, the application documents and the selection process, please see here.