The day before the Finale of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge 2014, we asked the five finalists a few questions…

The day before the Finale of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge 2014, we asked the five finalists a few questions…

How did you know about the Green Challenge?
Winner Arthur Kay was told to enter the competition by a friend of a friend of a friend. He and his team entered their business plan to the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge in 2013, but didn’t make it to the top five then. So there you go: it pays to try again. Runner-up Trang has always been a big fan of Sir Richard Branson and knew she wanted to enter the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge when she found out he’s connected to it. Diego attended the finale of the Green Challenge in 2011, being invited by a friend who had tickets. He was hugely inspired and wanted to enter the competition from then on. Pierre-Yves and Devin found the Green Challenge looking for seed money to get their sustainable businesses started.

Where were you and what were you doing when you learned you were in the finale?
Devin was at the music festival Lowlands beta testing his business, being extremely busy and “very surprised to be considered”. Trang was busy too talking to customers all day: it took some time before she saw there were a few missed calls from the Netherlands. Pierre-Yves just got back from a trip and couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw the email with the invitation. Arthur was on holiday on a boat sailing near the Isles of Scilly when he saw the email. Diego was in a meeting with his team when he got a call and stepped out of the meeting to take it. When he told the team the good news, they all went into action mode.

What has been the most impressive so far?
Trang was most impressed with the intense training, support and great organisation: “I really love everybody!” Pierre-Yves, Diego and Arthur were in awe with the venue: the big hall De Gashouder. Devin was most impressed with the excellent organisation and high quality training.

What did you not expect at all, what has been the most surprising?
Pierre-Yves did not expect this high a quality of organisation: “It’s a whole new scale.” Diego was most surprised by the variety of nominations; he didn’t expect their business cases to be all so very different. The huge stage and the many guests surprised Trang the most. Arthur couldn’t really think of something and Devin shared his surprise over the wonderful rooms at the Lloyd Hotel: “We poked our heads in each others rooms and they were all different!”

What was the most fun?
Diego answers: “I just like meeting good people and here you have a nice concentration of them.” Pierre-Yves finds the hotel great fun to live in, but the most fun for him will be delivering the pitch they have prepared during the Finale. Devin enjoyed refining his pitch the most, Trang interacting with other finalists and pointed out that it is a competition, but not competitive at all.

What tips do you have for other social entrepreneurs?
Arthur: “There are no stupid ideas.”
Trang: “Find a problem and fix it.”
Diego: “Follow your passion.”
Pierre-Yves: “Don’t listen to people who have the word ‘impossible’ in their vocabulary.”
Devin: “Don’t let anybody tell you that it can’t be done.”

We will be following these five wonderful people on their journey to further success!