This year’s programme marked 13 years of collaboration between FT and IFC on global awards initiatives that highlight ground-breaking, commercially viable solutions to today’s development challenges.

For 2018, the crucial role of the private sector in global efforts to address climate change and achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was again a key focus, with special attention given to products and services that harness disruptive technologies and business solutions to increase impact and efficiency. A total of 189 entries were received from 278 organisations involving projects in more than 126 countries.

The awards were presented at a special dinner in London attended by around 200 senior decision-makers in business, finance and development. The event followed a half-day Transformational Business Conference organised by the Financial Times and IFC.

Kenya-based SunCulture received the award for Excellence in Transformational Business for its Rainmaker irrigation pump.

Tessa Tennant, Co-Founder of the Carbon Disclosure Project, the Climate Finance Accelerator and, received the programme’s first Lifetime Achievement Award.

The winners and highly commended are:

Achievement in Transformational Infrastructure
Winner: CleanMax Rooftop Solar for Tata Group, India

Special Commendee: Fluence Energy Storage Programme, US

Achievement in Transformational Infrastructure: Green Buildings
Winner: Capital House EcoHome Phuc Loi Project, Vietnam

Achievement in Transformational Finance
Winner: OASIS Loss Modelling Framework, UK

Special Commendee: Alipay Financial Access Platform, China

Achievement in Sustainable Development, with a focus on Food, Water and Land
Winner: SunCulture RainMaker Irrigation System, Kenya

Special Commendee: eWATERpay IoT Pre-Payment Meters, UK

Achievement in Sustainable Development, with a focus on Health, Wellness and Disease Prevention
Winner: Logistimo eVin Vaccine Supply Chain Management, India

Special Commendee: Telenor Health Tonic Ecosystem, Bangladesh

Achievement in Sustainable Development, with a focus on Education, Knowledge and Skills
Winner: Andela Talent Ecosystem, US

Special Commendees: Beyond Water Entrepreneurship Capacity Building Programme, UK; UX Biscate Skills Marketplace, Mozambique

Overall Award: Excellence in Disruptive Technologies

Winner: Lifetrack Medical Imaging Platform, Philippines

Overall Award: Excellence in Climate Solutions

Winner: Nissan Energy Electric Vehicle Power Solutions, France

Overall Award: Excellence in Transformational Business

Winner: SunCulture RainMaker Irrigation System, Kenya

Lifetime Achievement Award

Winner: Tessa Tennant

“The short-lists were very strong this year, which only highlights how exciting and transformational the winning initiatives are. The judges were particularly impressed with the role disruptive technology played across all categories and the large number of entries that tackled crucial issues around water and irrigation,” said Robert Armstrong, Chief Editorial Writer of the Financial Times and co-chair of the awards judging panel.

"The finalists and winners demonstrate that the private sector has the innovative ideas we need to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals. We see this every day as IFC works to support the private sector in emerging economies and the world’s most challenging markets. The top entries this year offered effective solutions to acute development challenges, in particular around climate change, access to energy and water,” said Karin Finkelston, IFC’s Vice President of Partnerships, Communication and Outreach and co-chair of the Awards judging panel.

The awards judging panel consisted of:

Robert Armstrong, Chief Editorial Writer, Financial Times (co-chair)

Karin Finkelston, Vice President, Partnerships, Communications and Outreach, IFC (co-chair)

Samir Abhyankar, Partner, TPG Growth

Kalipso Chalkidou, Director of Global Health Policy and Senior Fellow, Centre for Global Development

Helen Clarkson, CEO, The Climate Group

Aly-Khan Jamal, Partner, Dalberg Group

Chris Locke, Founder, Caribou Digital

Kanini Mutooni, Director for Investment, East Africa Trade and Investment Hub

PwC was technical advisor for the programme.

For more details on the FT/IFC Transformational Business Conference and Awards, please visit, where you will also find photographs and video of both events.

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For further information, please contact:

Oliver Stannard, FT:

Nadezda Nikiforova, IFC:

About the Financial Times:

The Financial Times is one of the world’s leading business news organisations, recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. In 2016, the FT passed a significant milestone in its digital transformation as digital and services revenue overtook print revenues for the first time. The FT has a combined paid print and digital circulation of more than 910,000 and makes 60% of revenues from its journalism.

About IFC:
IFC — a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group — is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In FY17, we delivered a record $19.3 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit