xs sm md lg

Entrepreneurs for Resilience Award

The Swiss Re Foundation Entrepreneurs for Resilience Award recognises entrepreneurial initiatives that take innovative approaches to building resilient societies and realising the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. While resilience is the core theme of this annual programme, its specific focus changes from year to year.

Our 2019 award will focus on innovative solutions that offer more and better access to healthcare for households in low-income communities. We’re looking for business-minded organisations that leverage technology to successfully tackle the behavioural, knowledge, infrastructure, financial and/or other barriers to such households’ access to healthcare solutions – from prevention to treatment.

Ventures that address one or more of the following areas are welcome to apply: access to information for patients and healthcare professionals, capacity-building of healthcare professionals, distribution and supply chain integrity, upgrading healthcare facilities and access to appropriate medical equipment and access to financing for patients. A more detailed description of the approaches targeted by the award can be found in the appendix "Scope".

The award comprises a financial grant from the Swiss Re Foundation and, depending on the nature, scope and needs of the enterprise, non-financial contributions such as coaching and technical advice from Swiss Re employees and experts.

Three finalists pitch their ventures face-to-face to an independent award jury of senior Swiss Re experts, academic representatives and selected Swiss Re clients. The total prize money of USD 700 000 is divided among the winner (which receives up to USD 350 000) and the two runners-up.

In addition, Swiss Re employees around the world are invited to vote for their favourite of the three finalists. The finalist that garners the most votes receives the "Employee Award" and a special prize. The same enterprise may win both the Employee Award and the Resilience Award in a given year.


We encourage enterprises that fit the above-described scope and meet the following criteria to apply:

  • Level of maturity:
    Are established as formal start-ups, growing and on a clear path to full or partial financial sustainability (eg if only some operations are commercially based) but still dependent on grants (or other support) to improve their business model and/or reach full financial sustainability

  • Innovation and technology focus:
    Leverage technology or an innovation in product or service delivery to deliver value to underserved populations at scale.

  • Mission and purpose:
    Have a strong social purpose while using commercial mechanisms to achieve sustainability and scale.

  • Target group:
    Serve moderately to very poor communities in rural and/or urban areas. Poor and vulnerable populations should be a clear focus and priority and/or represent more than 30% of people served. Candidates should have a deep understanding of their end users' specific circumstances and address barriers to healthcare that they face.

  • Geography:
    Ideally, operate in low-income communities with limited/no access to quality healthcare.


The selection process starts with an online form. As and when candidates “make the cut” at each stage of selection, we’ll ask them to provide more information and address increasingly detailed enquiries about their enterprises. Candidates should have the following team members available to participate at the following stages:

  • the founder(s), for a one- to two-hour interview between mid-December 2018 and end of January 2019 (top 12 candidates)

  • the management, to receive representatives of the Swiss Re Foundation for one to two days of on-site due diligence between mid-February and early April 2019 (top 6 candidates)
  • at least one founder, for coaching sessions between mid-April and mid-May 2019 to prepare a pitch for the face-to-face event and award ceremony (3 finalists)
  • the team, to collaborate with the Swiss Re Foundation on preparing a brief video about the enterprise in the second half of April 2019 (3 finalists); the video must be ready no later than three weeks before the award ceremony

The award ceremony will take place from 15 May to 16 May in Beijing, China. Finalists will be contacted individually to arrange travel and accommodation (the costs of which will be defrayed by the Foundation).


The application process for the Entrepreneurs for Resilience Award 2019 is currently closed.

If you have questions, you’re welcome to contact us at swissrefoundation@swissre.com.

2018 Resilience Award Winner

Winner 2018: Scaling up solar energy

Altech sells solar kits to customers in rural and poor urban areas in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Learn More

2016 Resilience Award Winner

Winner 2016: Virtual physical therapy for the elderly

SimpleTherapy offers video-based, head-to-toe exercise therapy programs that help seniors improve their condition.

Learn More

Site Search