Purina BetterwithPets Prize: Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question? We have an answer. Be sure to review the Purina BetterwithPets Prize Frequently Asked Questions to understand the information and details you need to enter your innovation.
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1. What is the Purina BetterwithPets Prize? 

The Prize looks to support and accelerate the most innovative initiatives that work on harnessing the mutual positive power of the pet-human bond in our communities.  

First launched in 2017 by Purina in collaboration with Ashoka, a pioneer in the field of social entrepreneurship, the Prize now enters its second edition searching for social innovators and young changemakers across the EMENA region. 

The Prize is awarded by Nestlé Purina PetCare EMENA and is open to social and commercial enterprises, non-profit entities, organisations and young changemakers.  


2. What is new about this Purina BetterwithPets Prize edition (2020)? 

There are a few exciting changes in this year’s Prize to be aware of: 

New to this edition are the application streams: piloted/implemented innovations and idea-stage innovations, and the expanded scope, the competition is now open across more countries in Europe, Middle East and North Africa.

The idea-stage innovations’ stream is open to young innovators from 18 to 25 years old. 

Purina will grant the Prize winner(s) an investment of up to CHF 100,000 for the piloted/implemented innovations and up to CHF 20,000 for the idea-stage innovations. The awarding session will take place at the Purina BetterwithPets Prize Forum 2020 (Paris, 3 and 4 June) where the finalists from both streams will pitch their projects in front of invited expert guests and the Prize Jury. 

The Prize Jury may decide to award the Prize to more than one winner for each stream, but a maximum of three (3) for piloted/implemented innovations and two (2) for idea-stage innovations. The value of the award for each winner would then depend on its various merits and needs and defined at the sole discretion of the Prize Jury, but will provide a minimum of CHF 10,000 per Winner. The total value for all winners will not exceed CHF 120,000.  


3. Why is Purina launching this? 

We believe that when people and pets bond, life becomes richer, for pets, the people who love them and the communities in which they live. The Prize is a search for the most innovative solutions working in the area of the pet-human bond. We want to raise awareness of these projects, celebrate them and help to accelerate their development and impact. We also see the opportunity to address some of the challenges that projects working in the area of the pet-human bond face through greater collaboration with social entrepreneurs and innovators.


4. Who is Ashoka? 

Ashoka is a pioneer in the field of social entrepreneurship and the world’s leading network of systems-changing social entrepreneurs. Ashoka builds and cultivates a community of change leaders who see that the world now requires everyone to be a changemaker. Together, we collaborate to transform institutions and cultures worldwide so they support changemaking for the good of all. Ashoka uses the platform ‘Changemakers’ to allow social entrepreneurs to showcase their initiatives. Find out more about Changemakers here: https://www.changemakers.com/about 


5. Who is a social entrepreneur? 

Social entrepreneurs are individuals with innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social, cultural, and environmental challenges. They are ambitious and persistent—tackling major issues and offering new ideas for systems-level change. 

Social entrepreneurs take the problems they see in the word—the injustice, inequalities or challenges in society—and build solutions with the potential to transform the world.  

While one typically thinks of a social enterprise as a for-profit organisation, some social enterprises run on a not-for-profit or hybrid model. Therefore, a social enterprise is an organisation that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in human and environmental well-being. 


6. Who is a young changemaker? 

A young changemaker is someone who has found their power to create change for the good of all, and who are engaging their peers and the entire society in realizing a world where everyone is a changemaker. 

As a part of the Prize, we’re looking for young changemakers: 

  • Between the ages of 18-25 with an innovation that leverages the power of the pet-human bond. 

  • Working with a team of one of more people. 

  • Committed to implementing their idea or developing further their project and creating impact. 


7. What type of solutions does the Prize look for?  

In its second edition, the Prize is searching for innovations in two streams: 

  • Piloted/implemented innovations: Social and commercial enterprises and non-profit entities and organisations who seek to harness the positive power of the pet–human bond through existing and implemented projects. 

  • Idea-stage innovations: Ideas from young changemaker(s) from 18 years to 25 years old who have a well-thought through idea and/or have conducted research in order to create a project or venture which looks to harness the mutual positive power of the pet-human bond.   

Innovations in both streams can address a range of topics that raise awareness of the powerful role that the pet-human bond can play, both at the individual and community level, in preventing or tackling pressing social problems. Fields of achievement of the innovation include, but are not limited to:  

  • Leveraging the pet-human bond to help develop key emotional and behavioural competences in children and adults (such as empathy, compassion, emotional intelligence and collaboration) as well as enabling both people and pets to learn from each other and cultivate emotional self-care to overcome societal issues such as violence, abuse, or abandonment.   

  • Bringing the power of the pet-human bond to the community level to promote inclusivity by connecting and convening people and pets, helping them overcome disconnection and isolation.   

  • Enhancing physical health and wellness through pet therapies, or by enabling people and pets to live a healthier life.   

  • Re-imagining the role of pets in society.   

  • Revolutionizing veterinary care for pets. 


8. Who is eligible to enter? 

Applicants eligible for the Prize are:  

  • Piloted/implemented innovations: social and private enterprises as well as non-governmental organisations (NGOs) 

  • Idea-stage innovations: individual(s) in the age range of 18 years to 25 years.  

Minimum age of Applicant is 18 years. In case the legal age in a given country is more than 18 years, permission of the legal guardian is required. 

For more information, please see the Official Rules


9. What are the Prize terms? 

The terms of the Prize are as follows: 

  • Only one Entry per innovation stream will be accepted.  

  • If selected for the interviews phase, the Applicant, Applicant’s founder, co-founder, CEO or an equivalent management member must be available during March 16-20, 2020  for the interview.  

  • If selected for the final phase, the Applicant, Applicant’s founder, co-founder, CEO or an equivalent management member must be present in person for the final live pitch presentation on 3-4 of June 2020 in France.  

  • Applicants that are financed or supported by Nestlé S.A., its affiliates, subsidiaries or joint ventures during the calendar years 2019 and 2020 are not eligible.  

  • Winner and finalists from the BetterwithPets Prize 2018 are not eligible to apply for this edition. 


10. Who is not eligible to enter? 

Employees of Nestlé S.A. and their parent companies, affiliates and subsidiaries, joint ventures, advertising agencies, promotion agencies and other service providers for the BetterWithPets Prize, their immediate family members (spouse, parent, child, sibling, regardless of where they reside) and those living in the same household are not eligible.  

Entities or organisations which have been founded by the aforementioned employees (and members of their immediate family as defined in the paragraph before) will not be eligible. The same shall apply if such employees hold a major participation or management position in an entity or organisation.  

Partners or initiatives that are already financed or supported by Nestlé S.A., its affiliates, subsidiaries or joint ventures are not eligible.  

Winners and finalists from the Purina BetterwithPets Prize 2018 are not eligible to apply for this edition.   


11. How many prize winners will there be? 

The BetterwithPets Prize Forum Jury may decide to award the Prize to more than one winner for each stream, but a maximum of three (3) for piloted/implemented innovations and two (2) for idea-stage innovations.

The value of each BetterwithPets Prize for each winner would then depend on its various merits and needs and defined at the sole discretion of the BetterwithPets Prize Forum Jury, but will provide a minimum of CHF 10,000 per winner.

The total value for all winners will not exceed CHF 120,000.


12. What are the evaluation criteria? 

Winning applications will show strength in the following areas: 

  • Innovation - The piloted/implemented innovation and idea-stage innovation entries must represent an innovative approach to the problem it seeks to address. Innovation may result from the use of new methods, new models, new technologies, or application of old methods, models or technologies in a new, innovative way. We are particularly interested in piloted/implemented innovations that use creative and fresh approaches to unlock systemic change or to spark mindset shifts that lead to widespread change, and idea-stage innovations that inspire, empower and multiply changemakers in the world.   

  • Impact – The piloted/implemented innovation entries must demonstrate a social impact that mutually benefits pets and humans. Piloted/implemented innovation entries must have proven their worth at least on a pilot or small-scale basis. The social impact of piloted/implemented innovations must be measurable, quantifiable, or otherwise demonstrated. Idea-stage innovation entries must demonstrate what impact they are planning to achieve and how they will measure it.   

  • Growth & leadership potential - The piloted/implemented innovation and idea-stage innovation entries should be feasible on a broad-scale basis and/or replicable to other social, cultural or geographical settings. The Applicants will also be judged on their ability to incorporate and leverage a grant by Purina to assist in the development of the initiative and its promotion to assist in its adoption by other communities and its continued growth and viability. They must show leadership and team-player skills to influence the field in which they work, and at the same time, empower citizens as changemakers and involve stakeholders as key actors who can contribute to achieving their initiative and positive change.  

  • Viability - The piloted/implemented innovation and idea-stage innovation entries must be built on a viable business model, and/or show realistic and long-term plans for financial viability and must have the potential to continue beyond the Purina BetterwithPets Prize benefits. The entry should also have a realistic time frame for implementation and highlight the expertise and commitment of the organisation’s leadership team. 

  • Potential to Create Shared Value - The piloted/implemented innovation and idea-stage innovation entries should create value for all stakeholders, thereby exemplifying the concept of Creating Shared Value: it is our fundamental belief that our business will be successful in the long term by creating value for society at large, for pets and people in the community where we live, work and play. 


13. The Prize is looking to support social innovation. What does that mean? How can social innovation improve our society?  

We believe that when people and pets bond, life becomes richer, for pets, the people who love them and the communities in which they live. The Prize is a search for the most innovative projects working in the area of the pet-human bond.   

Our Prize is looking for winners that have the best ideas in social innovation from across the EMENA region and are discovered via the Prize challenge. They could be a social entrepreneur who has developed innovative solutions to a particular social problem as well as the potential to change patterns across society. Social innovations are new strategies, concepts, ideas and organisations that meet social needs of all kinds—from working conditions and education to community development and health—that extend and strengthen civil society. Social innovation includes innovative social processes, such as open source methods and techniques and also the development of new ideas which have a social purpose—like microcredit or distance learning. 


14. How and when will the winner(s) be selected? 

We invite submissions from November 25, 2019 to January 28, 2020. 

Entries will then be screened, both by peers and volunteer Purina and Ashoka colleagues. Following a further shortlisting by an Expert Panel, a set of finalists will be invited to pitch their projects at the Purina BetterwithPets Forum in France on 3rd and 4th June 2020 where the winner(s) will be announced after the Prize Jury decides on the most promising initiatives.


15. What will happen next after the selection of the winner(s)? 

Purina will award the Prize winner(s) an investment of up to CHF 100,000 in the piloted/implemented innovations stream, and an investment of up to CHF 20,000 in the idea-stage innovations stream.

The Prize Jury may decide to award the Prize to more than one winner. The value of each BetterwithPets Prize for each winner would then depend on their various merits and needs and will be defined at the sole discretion of the Prize Jury. 

The Prize winner(s) agree(s) upon receipt of the BetterWithPets Prize to use the funds exclusively to support the furtherance of the winning entry and the purpose of the initiative as outlined in the entry only. 

Winner(s) agree to regular and appropriate monitoring and evaluations by Purina, as well as to provide progress reports as may be required by Purina.  

To enable this, all finalists have been briefed during the process of selection and are aware that the winner(s) will enter into a partnership agreement with Purina. 

Once the agreement has been signed, then the winner(s) will receive the funds according to the terms and conditions described in the partnership agreement. 

At the event, the winner(s) will receive a trophy and certificate. All winners will be eligible to access a Co-Creation Lab to go from idea-stage innovation to design and implementation, and/or access an Accelerator Programme for their piloted/implemented initiative that will be offered upon relevance and need. 


16. What is the Accelerator Programme & Co-Creation Lab? 

Purina and Ashoka will offer Prize finalists access to an Accelerator Programme (for finalists in the piloted/implemented innovations stream) and a Co-creation Lab (for finalists in the idea-stage innovations stream).  

The Accelerator Programme will bring together the finalists from the piloted/implemented innovations stream with Purina selected employees for collaboration and problem solving on the specific needs of the winning ventures.  

The Co-creation Lab involves the idea-stage finalists with Purina employees, who will collaborate with them to develop their vision for change and explore how social entrepreneurs and business leaders can create shared value and collaborate for impact. 


17. Who were last year’s BetterwithPets Prize finalists? 

Canine Hope
A programme of Canine Perspective, a social enterprise, which provides and helps to develop emotional self-care and resilience for survivors of sexual violence and rescue dogs. Offering a safe place for survivors to learn with and from dogs. 

Dutch Cell Dogs:  
A foundation providing a resocialisation programme for vulnerable target groups. Supporting prison inmates and shelter dogs, the Dutch Cell Dogs Foundation guides prisoners in training dogs who have been maltreated and therefore likely to have behavioural problems, which can limit their chance of finding their future forever, home.  

Medical Detection Dogs
A charity harnessing the powerful scenting ability of dogs to help detect the early stages of Parkinson’s disease in patients. 

K9 Hundekunde, Happy Kids with Happy School Dogs:
An initiative developing a curriculum for school dog training, focused on animal welfare and effective learning methods for pupils. 
The OOPOEH Foundation: Opa’s en Oma’s Passen Op Een Huisdier:  
A foundation helping to reduce loneliness and increase physical activity for the elderly by matching them as a dog sitter to a family in their own neighbourhood.