Jacquelien Bunt is deputy head of the Charities Department at the Dutch Postcode Lottery and is the new chair of the pre-jury of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge. We talked to her about her background and her role in selecting the top 25 of the best ideas from over 845 submissions from all around the world.

Can you briefly introduce yourself?
“My background is in industrial engineering and management. After my studies, I started working as a product manager at a disruptive phone company, where I set up all kinds of new services and was always looking for new opportunities and pitching my ideas to management. You can think of it as an entrepreneurial position within an organisation. This company brought me to Asia in 2002.

I lived in Asia for eight years, working for an investor in mobile telecom start-ups in China, and a mobile content provider in Kuala Lumpur, where I was responsible for the expansion of its services to seven more countries – amongst other things.

After years of working in the commercial sector, I wanted to make a bigger social impact and I worked on the launch of a coffee start-up in Hanoi to give young people with a distance to the labour market a better future. I know from my own experience how beautiful and at the same time challenging it can be to let an idea come to life and make an impact.”

Can you tell us about your role as chair of the pre-jury?
“It is my first time serving on the pre-jury of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge. It is great to be on the other side of the table this time. I can fully relate to the people who have submitted their ideas.

As chair of the pre-jury, I channel the knowledge of all the pre-jury members and I ensure that the diversity of ideas, sectors and regions is well represented in our selection. I also look at whether a promising business plan in combating climate change can be easily communicated. The proposal must be caught in one phrase, such as: ‘plant trees in arid soil to revitalize ecosystems’ or ‘create packaging materials from mushrooms to reduce petroleum use’.”

What do you think about the role of entrepreneurship in solving climate change?
“Doing good is increasingly reflected in business models. I find the advent of entrepreneurship in solving world problems only logical. The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge shows that you can earn money with a company that contributes to the climate. It is not only about finding a gap in the market or having the most revolutionary idea, it’s about feasibility and scalability. A low-tech application can make just as big a difference. If you can perform it well, you can make a huge impact. Great examples are EarthEnable and Land Life Company, both former winners of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge.”

What was the pre-jury looking for?
“There were 845 entries in this year’s edition, across the full spectrum of categories, so we had to be very strict in our selection of how the proposed solutions help to solve the climate issue. We looked, amongst other things, at the combination of entrepreneurship, innovation and, of course, sustainability. Do we understand how it can solve a problem and how the start-up will make money with it? Besides these criteria, the pre-jury also rated factors such as communication potential, courageousness and creativity.

As pre-jury we made this selection of 25 really strong business plans. And now, I’m very curious to see which of them can convince the jury and win this year’s Postcode Lottery Green Challenge!”

 


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