Projects from Chile, India, and Mongolia shortlisted as final three in BBC World Challenge Competition

Date: 17.11.2011     Last updated: 19.03.2014 at 09.30
Category: BBC World News
Recylca, an e-waste recycling initiative from Chile; NGO Hand in Hand, a biogas energy project from India; and Mongolia’s Snow Leopard Enterprises have all been named as the top three finalists in the 2011 World Challenge, an annual competition run by BBC World News and Newsweek in association with Shell.

The competition highlights and rewards small enterprising and innovative businesses around the world. Zeinab Badawi will announce the winner at the awards ceremony later this month which will be broadcast on BBC World News on 3 December 2011.

More than 70, 000 votes were received this year, which saw the three finalists shortlisted from 12 projects from around the world. The winning project will receive a US$20,000 grant from Shell, while the two runners up will each receive US$10,000 to help develop their initiatives. Launched in 2005, the annual competition aims to identify and reward people and businesses bringing economic, social and environmental benefits to local communities through innovation and enterprise at a grassroots level. Since its inception, World Challenge has awarded financial grants to 18 projects across the globe.

The three finalists are:

Chile: Tech Crunch

Recycla is the first and only electronic waste recycling social enterprise in Latin America. The company aims to tackle the problem of the eight million mobile phones and one million computers that are discarded in Chile annually. They are dismantled and separated into recyclable materials and toxic waste that can be disposed of safely.

Fernando Nilo, Recycla says: “Participating in World Challenge has meant sharing the dream of Recycla Chile with a large audience, inviting them to dream of building a world in harmony with the environment, social justice, and greater entrepreneurship.”

India: Trash to Gas

NGO Hand in Hand set up a project with local people to collect food waste from households, hotels and restaurants, which is turned into biogas and used to generate electricity via a 10kW power station. The project now consumes about a ton of food waste every day - waste that would once have found its way into landfill.

V. Parisutham, Hand In Hand says: “We believe that being a World Challenge finalist will give due importance to proper management of solid waste and waste to energy initiatives and make the decision makers of our country take note.”

Mongolia: Changing Spots

Mongolia's Snow Leopard Enterprises is an income-generation project that helps people living in poverty increase their standard of living, and at the same time protect their local ecosystems. They provide women across Central Asia with the training and equipment necessary to produce hand-made felt and other wool products, which are sold internationally through the Snow Leopard Trust and other venues. This provides the herding communities with an alternative income and helps prevent the poaching of endangered snow leopards.

Brad Rutherford from the Snow Leopard Trust says: “Snow leopards and our partner communities in Mongolia have truly benefitted from our participation in World Challenge. It has brought the story of how helping families can also help snow leopards to a much larger audience and, as a result of this additional support, more communities can participate and more snow leopards are protected.”

More information on the competition and the projects can be found online at Fans can give comment and find exclusive content on the Facebook page via and the You Tube channel and/or follow the latest competition news on Twitter via @WorldChallenge.

The World Challenge Award Ceremony will air on BBC World News on Saturday 3 December at 02:30, 08:30 and Sunday 4 December at 14:30, 22:30 (all times GMT).