Uniting entrepreneurs to transform the ocean economy

The ocean
Angela Palmer
by Angela Palmer
21 October 2022
The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship in South Africa partners with businesses across the country to help build an economy that enables thriving people and a healthy planet for all.

One of the centre’s new initiatives is the Ocean Innovation Challenge, born from a joint mission with the UNDP Accelerator Labs, to build a sustainable ocean economy committed to protecting the ocean and investing in its future health. The challenge is looking for bold ideas with practical solutions. 

Home to hundreds of thousands of species of marine life the ocean is one of the most important parts of our planet’s eco-system - it’s what makes life on Earth suitable for humans, supplying much of the food we eat, the oxygen we breathe, and even regulating the weather. A healthy ocean is vital to the well-being of the earth and all the species that inhabit it.  Unfortunately, the ocean’s health is in a dire state, and the Branson Centre’s Ocean Innovation Challenge, in partnership with the UNDP Accelerator Labs, is on a mission to transform ocean health for future generations.  The challenge is calling on businesses and individuals from every background to share their innovative solutions, with a goal to join forces and reshape the ocean economy. Whether it be a group of people at an established company, a savvy entrepreneur, or someone just getting started, The Ocean Innovation Challenge is on the hunt for the most creative ideas that have the potential to save the ocean.  The challenge is looking for solutions that meet five key objectives: 

  • Address global challenges 

  • Protect ocean biodiversity and ecosystems 

  • Use ocean resources sustainably 

  • Are inclusive and improves the lives of all 

  • Create jobs and boosts economies 

In 2015, the United Nations General Assembly mapped out 17 objectives as part of The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),as a “shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future.”Goal 14, Life Below Water, aims to tackle a variety of environmental challenges in the sea, including marine pollution, ocean acidification, declining marine ecosystems, overfishing, and violations of sea law.  

With the 2030 deadline for the SDGs rapidly approaching, it is critical that the world comes together to achieveGoal 14. The ocean requires vast solutions, and no one person or business can turn the ocean’s health around alone.  

To learn more or to join the challenge, register today by heading to www.bransoncentre.co.za/ocean-innovation-challenge.