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What is meant by ‘Sustainable Entrepreneurship’?

This is THE business model of the future. It is all about using sustainability (the entrepreneurial contribution to sustainable action) in a targeted way in business, and anchoring the concept deeply within the structure of companies. It is about picking up on the social problems of our time and linking them with innovative business models, so that added value is created for both society AND business at once – that’s the basic principle behind it. Sustainable Entrepreneurship is about usefully linking entrepreneurial success with sustainable action, and understanding sustainability as an engine for innovation, economic growth and profit by doing so. The concept provides a huge opportunity for all entrepreneurs – and small and medium-sized enterprises in particular – to pull away from the competition in future, generate clear competitive advantage in the market, strengthen economic success and reinvigorate their power of innovation. It is a modern attitude to life a lifestyle revolution.

Just who are ‘Sustainable Entrepreneurs’?

A Sustainable Entrepreneur is an entrepreneur who has recognised a social problem and linked its solution with an innovative, profitable business idea, and by doing so shaped the world of today and tomorrow. The SEA is oriented towards companies and persons around the world who live and understand ‘Sustainable Entrepreneurship’ in its best sense. Irrespective of the size of the company, the industry or country involved, anybody is welcome to submit their ideas, projects and business models in the sense of Sustainable Entrepreneurship.
To find an overview of all the winners for the SEA 2015, click here.

What is the ‘Sustainable Entrepreneurship Award’?

The SEA – Sustainable Entrepreneurship Award is a European initiative, looking for businesses/projects/ideas, who have recognized a social problem and linked its solution with an innovative, profitable business idea.
Independent from size, industry or country everybody is invited to submit his idea, project or business model linked to sustainable entrepreneurship.

We are deliberately not looking for any kind of Non-Profit-Organizations!

In the last years, approximately 1.800 entrepreneurs from 85 countries around the world have submitted their innovative projects.
Once a year, the most exciting of these global ideas are honoured in 8 different categories and awarded special prizes (the ‘SEA Best Idea’ and ‘SEA Best Project’) at a glittering Gala held in Vienna. The initiative provides new inspiration on an international stage, and has already found high-level supporters and ambassadors around the world.

Who presents and organises the SEA?

In the meantime we have been able to grow a broad initiative of funding and advancement possibilities around the SEA to enhance sustainable Entrepreneurship. The new responsible organization, future4you GmbH, combines all these actions and measurements.

Who can take part in the SEA?

All companies – irrespective of the size of the company, the industry it is in or the country involved, can submit their Sustainable Entrepreneurship ideas, projects and business models for the SEA.

What does participating in the SEA achieve for the enterprise?

The Best Project is awarded the jury prize of EUR 10,000. The best submissions in each category, as well as the Best Idea, are presented once a year as part of the grand SEA Gala, publicised using our media, and integrated into our ongoing press work. With your consent, we will also support suitable projects in searching for investors.

In addition to our own „sustainability funds",with a volume of 30 – 50 million euro, floated with a selected financial partner, we offer a high ranked interface to projects and investors as well as themed events around "sustainable entrepreneurship", we can provide specific consulting to help you with issues and questions from funding, marketing/distribution, communication and many other subjects.

There is no guarantee to get Funding and Investment through your submission. Through your submission you will enter our database, which is our base to link you with potential investors, or to help you find suitable funding and consulting.

What can you submit?

Best Project: For the Best Project category, you can submit measures and business ideas which are already being implemented or already have been implemented. The expert jury votes for the best project as part of a two-stage process, and that

Best Idea: measures and business ideas which are still at the planning stage can be submitted for the Best Idea. Please send documents providing information about the idea according to the formal criteria.

How exactly is prize money reinvested?

The prize money is either invested in the current project, or in a follow-up project.

Which categories are presented at the SEA?

The SEA has a total of eight separate categories:

  • Integration & Social Issues
  • Climate, the Environment & Energy
  • Knowledge & Education
  • Mobility & Technological Innovations
  • Development & Services
  • Lifestyle & Culture
  • Urban & Regional Development
  • Health & Medicine

How we choose awardees?

Within our submission-form all important information to your business/project/idea are gathered. Your data will be transferred to our database and function as basis for evaluation from our top-class jury, or your search for investors.

Where can I find information about the participants and nominees of the SEA?

At the first stage, it is not possible to find out which companies are taking part, or have been nominated, for reasons of data protection.  After the prize has been awarded, the selected submissions are documented and presented.
Here you find all  informations about our past winners

When and where is the SEA presented?

The SEA will be presented as part of a Gala in Vienna, which will be held in November 2016.

Has the SEA already been presented in past years?

The SEA has already been presented twice before – on 19 April 2012, on 10 April 2013 and on 7 October 2014 – and has become the leading international sustainability prize within those three years.

Is the SEA only presented in Austria?

The SEA is an european award, and projects from around the world are submitted. In the last years, approximately 1.800 entrepreneurs from 85 different countries have taken part and 43 awards have been awarded.

When are the winners announced?

The winners 2016 were announced as part of the SEA Gala in November in Vienna.

Is it also possible to attend the SEA Gala as a guest?

Nominees, nominated companies and invited guests from politics, economy and media are attending the gala, in November.
It is also possible to purchase tickets or a branded gala table (seating for 10 people). If you would be interested in finding out more, please send a brief e-mail to with the words “Re: Tickets/table sponsorship SEA 2015” in the message line.

How do I apply for the SEA?

You can submit your project or your idea at

Can projects be submitted by mail too?

No, only projects which have been submitted using the prescribed registration and submission function on the SEA website are evaluated.

What documents do I need to submit a project?

The submission form, and (if they exist) project documents going into greater detail, such as photos, PDF documents, etc.

Does the SEA charge a fee for registering or participating?

No, it’s free to participate in the SEA.

I’ve already won a (sustainability) award with my project. Can I still submit it for the SEA?

Yes, you can still submit your project for the SEA in this case.

Can a company submit two or more projects?

There is no restriction, if you wish to you can submit two or more projects.

Are the project submitted publicised in the media?

The best submissions in the 8 categories and the Best Idea are publicised and integrated into the press work of the SEA.

To access our press portal with all media reports involving the SEA, click here.

Do I have to meet the costs of travelling to the Gala, and accommodation while there?

The organisers are not responsible for meeting the costs of travel and accommodation of nominees.

Can’t find an answer to your question?

If so, please mail your questions about the SEA to: