Building materials giant CEMEX held the awards for the tenth time this year and the competition attracted 1,678 projects from 61 countries in the categories of Transforming Communities, Social Entrepreneurs, Communitarian Entrepreneurship, and Collaborative Action.
CEMEX says the awards are a reflectioin of its commitment to building a better future by encouraging and promoting high-impact sustainable development proposals and projects through innovation and social entrepreneurship.
In this year's Transforming Communities category, there was an international winner and a Mexican winner, both of whom will receive seed capital for US$25,000 each to continue their work. The international winning project was Nadily Nega from Panama. This cultural centre seeks to create an equipped infrastructure for textile and artisanal products from the Guna and Emberá ethnic groups. In Mexico, the winning project was Rescate de Variedades Nativas de Café, a Tec de Monterrey student project that aims to promote organic farming practices in Chiapas and preserve biodiversity of Mexico.
In the Social Entrepreneurs category, there were 15 winning projects, two of them from Mexico, that received training, and the first three places will receive US$10,000 each as seed capital. The winners were Daniel Gutiérrez, from the project Save the Amazon in Colombia; Eimy Barahona, from the TeleSan Mosquitia project, in Honduras, and Eddy Alvarado from Agro360 in the Dominican Republic.
In the Communitarian Entrepreneurship category, the ten best projects were recognised, including three from Mexico, of which three will also receive seed capital of US$10,000. The winners were Esteban Van Dam from the Energía Eólica de Cholila project in Argentina, Luz Díaz from the project Implementation of a Comprehensive Composting System in Colombia, and Marlon Webb from Bosques para Nacer Agua from Costa Rica.
In the Collaborative Action category, three Mexican and three international initiatives were selected to receive the awards' training and recognition.
For the past ten years, CEMEX and the CEMEX-Tecnologico de Monterrey Center for Sustainable Development have presented this award to support high-impact projects that promote economic growth and social commitment, with an emphasis on the preservation of natural resources around the world.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the call for the awards remained open from February 13 to June 30. Students and professionals participated, of which 51% are female, and 49% are male, from 61 countries, where Mexico, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Argentina, Spain, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, and France stand out as the countries with the largest number of proposals.
This year the Experience Week and the awards were held digitally from September 21 to October 2 in alliance with Ashoka, Unreasonable México, MakeSense, Impact HUB, Disruptivo TV, and yCo.
"I am proud of the trajectory and growth that the CEMEX-Tec Award has had," said Martha Herrera, CEMEX's global director of social impact and director of the CEMEX-Tec Monterrey Center for the Development of Sustainable Communities. "We already have a decade where we have grown hand in hand with the winners and our allies. It inspires me to continue growing hand in hand with more than 8,600 entrepreneurs from 90 countries, and let's continue building communities.