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Purina BetterwithPets Prize returns offering social innovators who harness the power of the pet-human bond the chance to win over £90,000

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  • The prize celebrates the positive effect that animals have on human behaviour
  • New to this year’s competition are two categories, piloted/implemented innovations and idea-stage innovations

Purina PetCare in collaboration with Ashoka, a pioneer in the field of social entrepreneurship, announces the Purina BetterwithPets Prize is back for a second year.

The Purina BetterwithPets Prize identifies enterprises and individuals across the globe that harness the positive power of the pet-human bond through innovative solutions to issues such as emotional disconnection and trauma, social isolation and marginalization and health problems. The initiative aims to raise awareness on the powerful role that the pet-human bond can play both for individuals and communities.

This year, there are two new application categories; the piloted/implemented stage and idea-stage. Both are focused on harnessing the mutual positive power of the pet-human bond with the idea-stage innovations specifically aimed at young innovators aged 18 to 25. Applicants will get the chance to win awards totalling more than £90,000 to support the development of their projects. Finalists from the piloted/implemented innovations stream will be eligible to participate in an accelerator programme as well as being in with the chance of winning up to £78,000. Whereas finalists from idea-stage innovations will have the opportunity to participate in a co-creation lab and the chance of winning £15,0002.

Applications for the Purina BetterwithPets Prize are open from 25th November 2019 to 28th January 2020 and open to social and commercial enterprises, non-profit entities, organisations and young innovators. All applicants will receive detailed feedback on their initiative from experts in their field, as well as informed peers. Ten finalists will be invited to attend the Purina BetterwithPets Forum in France between the 3rd and 4th June 2020, where the winners will be announced.

Calum Macrae, Regional Director of Purina UK&I said: “This year, we’re aiming to reach social entrepreneurs and young creators who are innovating to harness the power of the pet-human bond for the well-being of pets, the people who love them and society as a whole. Through the Purina BetterwithPets Prize we celebrate this unique bond and look for new ways of enhancing pet welfare, furthering key human soft skills, supporting therapies that improve health and emotional wellbeing as well as promoting community inclusivity”.

Purina BetterwithPets Prize 2018 gathered more than 100 applications from social entrepreneurs and innovators. UK finalist Medical Detection Dogs were highly commended last year and awarded £11,751.

For further details on the application process, eligibility criteria as well as the terms and conditions, please visit the website here or email Purina’s team at [email protected].



For further information, please contact:
[email protected] (on behalf of Nestlé Purina Petcare UK & Ireland)

Notes to Editors:



In this second edition, the Purina BetterwithPets Prize is looking for piloted/implemented innovations and idea-stage innovations that target diverse communities and age groups, and provide innovative and system-changing solutions to issues such as emotional disconnection and trauma, social isolation and marginalization, and health problems caused by a sedentary life, by raising awareness on the powerful role that the pet-human bond can play, both at the individual and at the community level, in preventing or tackling such problems. For idea-stage innovations, Purina is looking for creative young changemakers from 18 to 25 years old. These young innovators are some of the first to unleash dynamic, new, creative solutions to foster positive impacts for individuals and communities.

Purina is inspired by innovators and social entrepreneurs who are benefiting both pets and humans by:

  • Leveraging the pet-human bond to help develop further key emotional and behavioural competences in children and adults (such as empathy, compassion, emotional intelligence and collaboration) as well as enabling both people and pets to learn from each other and cultivate emotional self-care to overcome societal issues such as violence, abuse, or abandonment. For example, the 2018 BetterwithPets Finalist Canine Hope, runs a programme dedicated to working with survivors of rape and sexual violence, with rehomed dogs as canine co-tutors.
  • Bringing the power of the pet-human bond to the community level to promote inclusivity by connecting and convening people and pets, helping them overcome disconnection and isolation. For example, pet-human community initiatives that help people with disabilities or the elderly overcome physical limitations, as demonstrated by 2018 BetterwithPets Prize winner the OOPOEH Foundation which hopes to reduce loneliness and increase physical activity for the elderly by matching them as a dog sitter to a family in their neighbourhood.
  • Enhancing physical health and wellness through pet therapies, or by enabling people and pets to live a healthier life. An example is Community Veterinary Outreach (CVO) by Ashoka Fellow Michelle Lem, that aims to improve the health of homeless individuals and their pets through a “one health” model of care. By offering human health services and health education alongside preventative veterinary care, CVO seeks to improve access to veterinary and human health resources for an at-risk population and leverage the human-animal bond to increase human health resource uptake.
  • Re-imagining the role of pets in society. Projects that aim at researching and/or working on how pets can help improve public health system. For example, the 2018 BetterwithPets Finalist Medical Detection Dogs, a charity harnessing the powerful scenting ability of dogs to help detect the early stages of Parkinson’s disease in patients.
  • Revolutionizing veterinary care for pets the way Ashoka Fellow Nalinika Obeyesekere established Pet Vet Clinic in Sri Lanka to raise the standard of animal health care, by combining a unique multi-doctor model that allows clients to benefit from the varied expertise and interests of a diverse veterinary team and promoting responsible pet ownership and encourage the standards of animal welfare.


  1. Piloted/implemented innovations:
    The BetterwithPets Prize is looking for social and commercial enterprises, non-profit entities and organisations who seek to harness the mutual positive power of the pet–human bond through existing projects.
  2. Idea-stage innovations:
    The BetterwithPets Prize is looking for young changemaker(s) from 18 years to 25 years old who have a well-thought through idea and/or have conducted research in order to create a project or venture which looks to harness the mutual positive power of the pet-human bond.


Winning applications will show strength in the following areas:

  • Innovation - The Piloted/Implemented Innovation and Idea-Stage Innovation Entries must represent an innovative approach to the problem it seeks to address. Innovation may result from the use of new methods, new models, new technologies, or application of old methods, models or technologies in a new, innovative way. We are particularly interested in Piloted/Implemented Innovation that use creative and fresh approaches to unlock systemic change or to spark mindset shifts that lead to widespread change, and idea-stage innovations that inspire, empower and multiply changemakers in the world.
  • ImpactThe Piloted/Implemented Innovation entries must demonstrate a social impact that mutually benefits pets and humans. Piloted/Implemented Innovation entries must have proven their worth at least on a pilot or small-scale basis. The social impact of Piloted/Implemented Innovation must be measurable, quantifiable, or otherwise demonstrated. Idea-Stage Innovation entries must demonstrate what impact they are planning to achieve and how they will measure it.
  • Growth & leadership potential - The Piloted/Implemented Innovation and Idea-Stage Innovation entries should be feasible on a broad-scale basis and/or replicable to other social, cultural or geographical settings. The Applicants will also be judged on their ability to incorporate and leverage a grant by Purina to assist in the development of the initiative and its promotion to assist in its adoption by other communities and its continued growth and viability. They must show leadership and team-player skills to influence the field in which they work, and at the same time, empower citizens as changemakers and involve stakeholders as key actors who can contribute to achieving their initiative and positive change.
  • Viability - The Piloted/Implemented Innovation and Idea-Stage Innovation entries must be built on a viable business model, and/or show realistic and long-term plans for financial viability and must have the potential to continue beyond the Purina BetterwithPets Prize benefits. The entry should also have a realistic time frame for implementation and highlight the expertise and commitment of the organization’s leadership team.
  • Potential to Create Shared Value - The Piloted/Implemented Innovation and Idea-Stage Innovation entries should create value for all stakeholders, thereby exemplifying the concept of Creating Shared Value: it is our fundamental belief that our business will be successful in the long term by creating value for society at large, for pets and people in the community where we live, work and play.



If your answer is ‘yes’ to each of these questions below and you agree with the Official Rules, you can apply. Please visit to sign-up and learn more about the Prize entry process. Alternatively contact us at [email protected] for further information.

For all Innovation Streams:

  • Do you reside in a country mentioned in 2.2 above?
  • Do you have an idea or existing project that addresses a problem you care about? In order to solve this problem, do you harness the power of the pet-human in your idea or implemented project?
  • Are you able to submit your application in English, as well as discuss and present your idea in English at different stages of the process?
  • Does your innovation have a plan for long term impact?
  • Do you self-identify as a person who gives themselves permission to lead and act for positive change (“Changemaker”)?
  • Are you looking for an opportunity to engage with other Changemakers in the field (and beyond), and with other relevant actors championing the mutual positive power of the pet-human bond?

Additional for Piloted/Implemented Innovation:

  • Are you 18 years or older?
  • In case the legal age in the country you are residing, is more than 18 years: Do you have permission of your legal guardian?
  • Are you the founder, co-founder, or hold an equivalent leadership position within the initiative your application represents?

Additional for Idea-Stage Innovation:

  • Are you between 18 years and 25 years?
  • In case the legal age in the country you are residing, is more than 18 years: Do you have permission of your legal guardian?
  • Are you the initiator of the idea or project that your application represents?
  • Have you found at least one other person to join your team?


  • Only one Entry per innovation will be accepted.
  • If selected for the interviews phase, the Applicant, Applicant’s founder, co-founder, CEO or an equivalent management member must be available during March 16-20, 2020 for the interview.
  • If selected for the final phase, the Applicant, Applicant’s founder, co-founder, CEO or an equivalent management member must be present in person for the final live pitch presentation on 3-4 of June 2020 in France.
  • Applicants that are financed or supported by Nestlé S.A., its affiliates, subsidiaries or joint ventures during the calendar years 2019 and 2020 are not eligible.
  • Winner and finalists from the BetterwithPets Prize 2018 are not eligible to apply for this edition.

About Nestlé Purina PetCare

  • Purina PetCare EMENA (Europe, Middle East, North Africa) believes that pets and people are better together and is committed to helping pets live longer, happier and healthier lives through proper nutrition and care. For over 120 years, Purina has been one of the pioneers in providing nutritious and palatable products made to the highest standards of quality and safety. The Purina portfolio includes many of the best-known and best-loved pet foods including Felix, Purina ONE, Gourmet and Purina PRO PLAN. Purina’s passion for pets goes beyond the advancement of pet nutrition and in 2016 Purina PetCare Europe launched the 10 Purina in Society commitments to have a positive impact on pets and society, including promoting pet adoption, pets in the workplace and helping to reduce the risk of pet obesity.
  • A premiere global manufacturer of pet products, Purina PetCare is part of Swiss-based Nestlé S.A., a global leader in nutrition, health and wellness.

For more information, visit the Purina website:

About Ashoka

ASHOKA is the largest global network of leading social entrepreneurs—individuals with new ideas to systemically address the world’s biggest challenges and the entrepreneurial skill to transform those ideas into national, regional and global social impact. Over 35 years, we have supported more than 3,300 social entrepreneurs in 90 countries with solutions addressing society’s most pressing issues. Ashoka’s vision is a world in which Everyone is a Changemaker—a society that responds quickly and effectively to challenges, and where each individual has the freedom, confidence and societal support to address any social problem.


1CHF 120,000 – valued at £93,885 based on exchange rate on 12/11/19
2£78,238 for piloted/implemented innovations and £15,648 for idea stage innovations- based on exchange rate on 12/11/19