On 7 December 2006, President Clinton visited the Postcode Lottery World Meeting at the Royal Palace Soestdijk in The Netherlands. He spoke about the importance of supporting entrepreneurs in the field of sustainable innovation in the battle against climate change. And the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge seed was planted in the heads of the people of the Dutch Postcode Lottery.

That's when we decided to organise an annual competition for people with CO2 reducing ideas who find it hard to find the means and trust to bring these ideas further. At the Postcode Lottery we aim for a fairer and greener world in all that we do. It made perfect sense for us to start this competition that fosters and encourages entrepreneurs in the field of sustainable innovation.

On 28 and 29 September 2007, the first ever Postcode Lottery Green Challenge was held.

Sir Richard Branson has been involved in the competition since the beginning. After serving on the jury in 2007, he returned in 2013 as chair of the jury.

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"I encourage everybody around the world with a great green idea to enter this prestigious contest. One smart, creative idea can make a huge difference."

The Dutch Postcode Lottery was founded in 1989 to support charitable causes. Today, 2.9 million people in the Netherlands play every year, vying for hundreds of thousands of prizes each month. As they play, they’re supporting charity and good causes: half the price of each ticket is distributed among 103 charitable organisations. Since the Postcode Lottery's founding, it has donated more than €5.4 billion to organisations working on behalf of humanity and the natural environment.

The numerous bodies receiving support annually include UNICEF, WWF, Amnesty International, Natuurmonumenten and Doctors Without Borders. Since 2005, the format of the Postcode Lottery has also been operating in the United Kingdom and Sweden, and since 2016 in Germany, where the People’s Postcode Lottery, Svenska PostkodLotteriet and the Deutsche Postcode Lotterie respectively raise funds for good causes. In The Netherlands, the Dutch Postcode Lottery works with the BankGiro Loterij and VriendenLoterij under the Goede Doelen Loterijen umbrella. Novamedia/Postcode Loterijen is the third largest private charitable donor in the world.


"The fundamental problem is an entrepreneurial, disorganised, undercapitalised opportunity competing against a highly organised, overcapitalised, old-energy economy that still has many, many people in its grip."

The DOEN Foundation (Stichting DOEN) monitors the finalists after the competition is over. The prize money isn’t transferred in full immediately. In collaboration with the respective companies, the foundation will decide when payments need to be made. Throughout the year, they’ll check in on progress made and offer their expertise and connections when needed. The added value is also visible through their network. They actively connect the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge participants to partners, allowing them to develop their business faster.

With the contribution of the Dutch Postcode Lottery, the DOEN Foundation launched at the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge 2016 the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge Fund. The former prize winners have good benefit with the prize money of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge, but it often occurs that new funding is necessary to obtain further growth. Former finalists who have sufficient potency are eligible for further investment to enable further development. In addition to financial support, the DOEN Foundation also provides substantive added value by connecting the right parties in its network and therefore assisting these companies further.

The DOEN Foundation was established in 1991 by the Dutch Postcode Lottery. The foundation was given the following assignment: to pursue the same objectives as the lottery (people and nature) and to complement the lottery’s work. The DOEN Foundation receives an annual contribution of the Dutch Postcode Lottery for supporting green, social and creative pioneers.


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