Up until today, Guido Braam has been the Executive director of The Circle Economy. Ever since he was a teenager, has been planning to change the world. As a social entrepreneur, change maker & executive director for The Circle Economy, he’s certainly been on the right track.

Someone wiser than I once said that 'knowledge is power' – and so in the 21st century we have no excuse to sit back and let our planet and its people continue to suffer. It would be easy to be overwhelmed by the scale of these global issues, but I am an optimist at heart and I believe in the power of entrepreneurship and innovation. I'm delighted to see that the Postcode Lottery is challenging entrepreneurs to come up with solutions for a better world in 2015 too.

So you’ve got a great idea, start dreaming about it, and finally start making it reality. You’re now self-employed, keeping your head above water and enjoying the freedom. But at some point you are going to need some serious funds, and it’s time to start knocking on the doors of angel investors and venture capitalists. When you’ve landed a meeting, the next thing you need is a killer pitch. You only have one chance of a first impression, and time is money so the meeting won’t last long.

The preliminary jury process is the most important phase after the entry period has been closed. This is when first impressions and shortlists are made. So, who are the experts in the preliminary jury that will be judging all 271 entries this year? Here is a short overview.

Everyone who submitted their plan on time should have received a confirmation email by now. All submitted entries are now in the hands of our preliminary jury who will be studying each entry carefully.

On July 15th they will announce who the Top 25 nominees are. And on August 17th, the 5 finalists will be announced. They are the ones who will be competing againast each other in Amsterdam op September 10th.

Business today is filled with examples of case studies and best practices, which are designed to draw lessons from success stories and help others apply those lessons into their own work. But what about the lessons we can learn from people’s mistakes?

The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge has grown into the biggest annual international competition for sustainable entrepreneurs. Over the years, we have been encouraging past winners and their innovative business ideas to change the world for the better. They have taken great strides forward since competing in the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge. For example Daan Weddepohl, founder of sharing app Peerby. In 2012, Daan was awarded with the runner-up prize in the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge. Take a look at this clip and find out how he is doing!

What do we expect of entrepreneurs taking part in the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge? We are often asked questions about our entry form: What kind of questions do you ask? How many questions are there? Do I have to complete them all? Why do you want to see an elevator pitch? Do you have a Word-document with all the questions?

Igor Kluin was the first winner of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge in 2007. He invented the energy monitor and router Qbox and founded the company Qurrent. After seven successful years with Qurrent, Igor is currently busy with his next start-up adventure, Monyq, an app aiming to upturn the traditional banking world.