Award Application


The ReSource Award acknowledges social entrepreneurial initiatives aimed at prototyping or scaling up new approaches for resolving existing social and/or ecological issues related to sustainable water management practices. Examples include access to, use and supply of water, sanitation and hygiene in low, lower-middle and upper–middle-income countries as classified by the World Bank.

The prize combines financial and non-financial contributions (coaching/expert advice). Half of the total contribution equivalent to USD 150 000 will be allocated to three finalists (USD 20 000 + coaching each) from whom the winner will be selected. The award winning organization will be supported (USD 75 000 + coaching) during the following three years in further developing, prototyping or scaling up its social entrepreneurial initiative.


Step I: Short Proposal

Participants are requested to answer the online questionnaire on their social entrepreneurial initiative by 30 April 2016, 24.00 CET. All short proposals received by this due date will be assessed in May 2016 by a team of water and business experts based on previously defined criteria (see below).

Only forms completed in English will be accepted. Applicants who are not in a position to submit their application form electronically, should contact the Secretary of ReSource Award.

Step II: Full Proposal

By end of May 2016, the authors of the best-ranked short proposals will be invited to submit a comprehensive version (full proposal) of their social entrepreneurial initiative online. These full proposals will be reviewed and assessed based on an extended catalogue of predefined criteria. Oral interviews with the applicants on 4 and 5 August 2016 will conclude the first round of the assessment.

The four to eight best-ranked full proposals will be evaluated by an international and independent jury that will select three finalists by the end of September 2016.

Step III: Finalists

Three finalists will receive financial support (USD 20 000 each) in addition to six months of tailored coaching from experts (amounting to USD 5 000) to help them refine their proposals (October 2016 – March 2017). One representative per finalist will be invited at the end of this period to travel to Zurich, Switzerland, to present their social entrepreneurial initiative to the international jury that will select the winner of the ReSource Award.

The decisions of the jury are final. Any recourse to legal action is hereby explicitly excluded. We will not enter into any correspondence. Swiss law shall apply.

Step IV: Winner

In addition to the USD 20 000 received while a finalist, the winner will be further supported financially (to a total value of USD 75 000, over three years) and non-financially from April 2017 to April 2020 to implement or scale up the winning social entrepreneurial initiative. In all, the winner is supported financially with USD 95 000 and non-financially with specific coaching for up to 3.5 years.

Please Note

If a social entrepreneurial initiative obtains alternative funding or investment while in the assessment process, the representative of the submitting party must inform the ReSource Award team immediately. Such disclosure is for transparency purposes only and will not disqualify or otherwise affect the party's competition entry.

All ideas submitted remain the property of the finalists and the winner.

The three finalists including the winner will be monitored by the Swiss Re Foundation and must report any (non-) achievement of milestones they agreed to meet during the period in which they receive the Foundation's support.

ReSource Award criteria

The short and full proposals submitted will be assessed with regard to the following areas:

  • Social and ecological challenge: The proposal demonstrates a profound and authentic understanding of the social and ecological problem to be addressed.
  • Impact: The expected social, ecological and economic impact is clearly defined and in line with the scope of the ReSource Award.
  • Approach: The proposal outlines a compelling social entrepreneurial approach to address the defined challenge. The defined goal and expected impact can realistically be achieved with the approach presented.
  • Financials: There is a financially viable business plan in place based on clear and logical assumptions.
  • Competencies: A qualified team with appropriate skills and track record is in place.
  • Risk management: All relevant risk drivers and related prevention and risk mitigation measures are defined.

Dates and deadlines

30 April 2016 Application deadline for short proposal
1 June 2016 Invitation to submit full proposal
30 June 2016 Application deadline for full proposal
4 & 5 August 2016 Oral interviews
3 October 2016 Announcement of the three finalists for the ReSource Award 2017
October 2016 to March 2017 Financial and non-financial support to three finalists
March 2017 Announcement of the ReSource Award winner for 2017
April 2017 to April 2020 Support to 2017 winner