Ashoka/HSBC Green Skills Innovation Challenge 2021 for Social Entrepreneurs (Total prize fund of $230,000)

Deadline: June 4, 2021

Applications are open for the Ashoka/HSBC Green Skills Innovation Challenge 2021. 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. 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 up to $20,000 of grant funding from a total prize fund of $230,000.


There will be two award categories:

  • Most Innovative solutions:
    • Awarded to solutions with proven models who have 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.
  • 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 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).
  • They are open to entries from the following markets: Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Luxemburg, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, UK (including Channel Islands), Uruguay, USA, Vietnam.

Additional terms:

  • 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


The deadline for application is June 4 at midnight UK time. Late applications will not be considered.

Click here to apply

For more information, visit Green Skills Innovation Challenge.