StreetVet and Homely Home win Purina BetterwithPets Prize 2020
Purina and Ashoka have announced the 2020 winners of the BetterwithPets Prize, in a virtual forum streamed live on YouTube. The prize stimulates and supports innovations that harness the pet-human bond to tackle societal issues, and is organised in collaboration with Ashoka, a pioneer in the field of social entrepreneurship.
The BetterwithPets Prize offers two categories and a total prize fund of 120,000 CHF, rewarding entrepreneurs who have put forward either a piloted innovation or an idea-stage innovation.
The winner of the piloted category, StreetVet Accredited Hostel Scheme, based in the United Kingdom, will receive 50,000 CHF, and the runner up, Gamelles Pleines (France), will receive 20,000 CHF. The highly-commended finalists, Courthouse Dogs Research (Spain), Evi’dence (France), and Reading Dogs (United Arab Emirates) receiving 10,000 CHF each.
The winner of the idea-stage category, Homely Home, will receive 10,000 CHF, alongside the highly-commended finalists SoliVet (France), who will receive 6,000 CHF and Pet Me (Saudi Arabia), who will receive 2,000 CHF.
In addition, Purina and Ashoka employees also had the opportunity to vote for their favourite idea-stage innovation and selected Pet Me, who will receive an additional prize of CHF 2,000.
The Prize drew more than 150 applications from 23 countries across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, before eight finalists were selected - five piloted innovations and three idea-stage innovations – for the BetterwithPets Live ceremony, hosted online on 3 June.
Each of the eight finalist innovators pitched their solution virtually and engaged in a Q&A with the expert jury: Kerstin Schmeiduch; Dr. Michelle Lem; Professor Dr. Marie-Jose Enders-Slegers; Professor Daniel Mills, and Professor Jeff French. An audience of Purina and Ashoka employees, vets, academics, NGOs, and media, followed the event where prizes were awarded by Bernard Meunier, CEO, Nestlé Purina PetCare EMENA.
Bernard Meunier, CEO of Nestlé Purina PetCare EMENA said: “Especially in complex times like these, the need for social innovation and creative solutions that address society’s problems should be celebrated. We are excited to support these social entrepreneurs as they grow their impact and we congratulate StreetVet, Homely Home and all the commended initiatives on their inspiring pitches. The creativity and ingenuity of each of the social entrepreneurs demonstrate the mutual power of the pet-human bond and the importance of working towards a future where solutions outrun problems.”
Piloted Innovation Category: Winner
StreetVet Accredited Hostel Scheme has been named the winner of the piloted innovations category and has been awarded CHF 50,000 to support and accelerate their innovative initiative. StreetVet focuses on providing free, accessible veterinary care to pets whose owners are experiencing homelessness on the streets or in hostels and has unveiled a creative new way in which we can harness the positive and impactful power of the pet-human bond within society.
“Everything about StreetVet for me has been a crazy journey, from an idea – just sticking a backpack on and going out, to this being what I do now every day,” said Jade Statt, co-founder of StreetVet. “It comes down to our volunteers, who are amazing, and the strength of the human-animal bond, because that’s why we’re all doing it. The best part of this process and StreetVet has been about the people we have met along the way, be it owners with their dogs, or people who have wanted to make a difference.”
Piloted Innovation Category: Runner Up
Gamelles Pleines has been named the runner up of the piloted innovations category and has been awarded CHF 20,000 to scale the impact of their initiative. Gamelles Pleines works across France to help homeless pet owners to feed, care & keep their pets while harnessing the benefits of pet ownership for a successful social reintegration
“It’s more than winning a prize, it’s about sharing an idea and a project. For me, the most important issue was to make visible the invisible, so people can see homeless people and their pets differently,” said Yohann Severe, founder of Gamelles Pleines. “I feel very happy because this objective is fulfilled because both Gamelles Pleines and StreetVet, are acting for the same cause in two different countries. It’s a big win for the homeless people.”
Idea-Stage Innovation Category: Winner
Homely Home is the winner of the idea-stage category for young changemakers between 18 and 25 years old and has been awarded 10,000 CHF to develop their vision into a piloted project.
Homely Home is based in Russia and reimagines rehabilitation programs for people and pets that create meaningful, lifelong bonds and increased wellbeing.
"The prize money would help us create the first ever Homely Home and set an example of how rehabilitation can be improved with animals,” said Maxim Alexandrov, founder of Homely Home. “We can promote the big idea of homes that focus on both the socialization of animals and the absolute healing power that the pet-human bond can have on people struggling with depression, domestic violence, homelessness. All of these social problems could be addressed with a local Homely Home.”
Purina BetterwithPets Prize
The BetterwithPets Prize is the only initiative that focusses on nurturing innovations designed to harness the mutual positive power of the pet-human bond.
Both the prize winners and finalists will be eligible to access additional programmes designed to support further development of their ventures. Select piloted innovators will also be invited to participate in Purina and Ashoka’s Scaling Social Impact Programme, while select idea-stage young changemakers will be eligible for a mentoring programme.