For students

Sustainable Business Ideas Competition

Win £1,000 just for telling us about your climate and sustainability centric startup idea.

Sustainable Business Ideas Competition - banner

We have teamed up with the Edinburgh Earth Initiative to bring you this competition focusing on your solutions to the climate crisis and achieving a just transition.

Do you have an idea for a startup (including a social enterprise, charity or freelancing proposition) that could contribute to solving our greatest sustainability challenges?

Win £1,000 in funding! 

Choose one of four categories for your idea:

  1. Sustainable Land and Seas- We must help to feed the world’s population and ensure clean water and air for all, whilst preserving and restoring diverse and healthy ecosystems. We are looking for any ideas that contribute to creating positive sustainable change for our land and seas.
  2. Future of EnergyWe must transition to an affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy supply for everyone on the planet. We are looking for any ideas that could help solve any of the world’s energy challenges and drive the movement to renewable and sustainable energy.
  3. Health in a Warming World- We must respond to the challenges to our health and wellbeing, which are being exacerbated in the face of unprecedented climate change. We are looking for your ideas that could help address future wellbeing challenges, and/or sustainably solve the health issues of today.
  4. Other Climate/ Sustainable Solutions- Does your idea not fit into other categories, but still provides a platform for combating climate change or making progress to a more sustainable future? We are looking for any business ideas that contribute to taking climate action or seek to address one or more of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.


Each category will have one winner, who will each receive:

  • £1,000 in funding 
  • A transformative coaching relationship
  • Further support to develop your idea 


  • You must be a current student or recent (up to two years) alumni from the University of Edinburgh
  • Winners of previous Business Ideas Competitions cannot apply

Winners will be announced at the winner’s announcement event. All entrants will receive an email following the announcement with feedback and a list of suggested resources to help develop their idea further.

The University of Edinburgh has announced the Edinburgh Earth Initiative as a vision to deliver real change and we believe our students and alumni will be an integral part of these solutions. More on the Edinburgh Earth Initiative

Now closed. Will return in Semester one. 



Winner's Announcement 

Join us to discover the winners of the competition, hear from a student entrepreneur with a fireside chat style event and celebrate! All are welcome. 



Find some inspiration from our student startups:


MiAlgae aim to eliminate reliance on wild caught fish as a source of Omega-3. Algal blooms at sea are well documented evidence of pollution and they look to harness those nutrients by cultivating algae on industrial co-products to produce top quality supplements.

Empowering Local Energy Group

The vision of ELE Group is to create an inclusive world where everyone has access to affordable clean energy, with no communities left behind.

Sasha Network

The Sasha Network have the mission is to close the career aspiration gap for young people across the world. Developing champions through impact community talent.

Danu Robotics

Danu Robotics is a team dedicated scientists and engineers working together to develop advanced and sustainable technical solutions for the benefit of the environment.