Rolex Announces The Five Laureates Of The 2023 Rolex Awards For Enterprise!

by Sameera Gamage

Rolex Awards for Enterprise has been given to five pioneers whose ambitious projects will help improve lives while protecting the planet for future generations!

The Rolex Awards for Enterprise was first created in 1976 as a way of marking the 50th anniversary of not only Rolex’s but also the world’s first waterproof wristwatch, the Oyster. Through this programme, Rolex supports exceptional individuals who innovate projects to improve our knowledge of the world, protect the environment, help preserve habits, and also improve the well-being of humans.

The Rolex Awards for Enterprise was initially supposed to be a one-off celebration. However, the awards drew so much attention, especially from the international press, that Rolex decided to make it into a biennial programme. The brand states that in the 48 years since its creation, the programme has supported 160 Laureates whose projects have had an immense impact across 65 countries.

“The Rolex Awards for Enterprise are part of Rolex’s Perpetual Planet Initiative and embody the initiative’s intricate values. For nearly a century, Rolex has been an active supporter of pioneering explorers and individuals who have pushed back the boundaries of human endeavour to shed light on the natural world.

The brand reinforced its longstanding commitment to the planet by launching the Rolex Perpetual Planet Initiative in 2019. The initiative supports individuals and organizations that use science and technology to understand the world’s environmental challenges and devise solutions that will restore balance to our ecosystems.”

Rolex Perpetual Planet Initiative

Rolex’s Laureates Award is given to projects focusing on the following categories: environment, science and health, applied technology, cultural heritage and exploration. How the projects are judged is based on their originality, the impact they have on the world, and the candidates’ spirit of enterprise.

Every two years, a total of five Laureates will be chosen, after which they will be given funding to implement their project. The award winners will also become members of the Rolex Laureates network, giving them the chance to collaborate with past winners and like-minded thinkers.

The 2023 Laureates Award winners have been chosen by a panel of ten world-renowned experts and leaders in their chosen fields. The 2023 winners have projects that range from providing clean water in Kenya and protecting mountainous forests in the Andes to creating new conservation reserves to save the last remaining wild camels.


Beth Koigi is a young Kenyan social entrepreneur, will be providing solar-powered generators that harvest water from air to 10 communities that are in need of clean water resources. Up to 3000 people will be helped through this project, which speaks volumes for Beth’s entrepreneurial vision.

She co-founded her startup back in 2017, and since then, her water generators have been producing over 200,000 litres of clean water per month, helping up to 1,900 people. It’s imperative that projects like this are at the forefront of funding, provided they can execute properly. The potential impact of Beth Kiogi’s innovative technology is enormous, as almost half the population in Kenya lacks access to clean water. It’s also predicted by the UN that half the world’s population will be living in areas that will have high water stress by 2030.


Constantino Aucca Chutas is a biologist who, through the Laureates funding, wants to scale up his community-centred forest ecosystem restoration and protection programme in the high Andes. His main company, Asociación Ecosistemas Andinos (ECOAN), which he founded in 2000, and his second co-founded company Accion Andina (2018) has planted a total of 4.5 million trees. The companies have also engaged in more than 60 local communities and have created a total of 16 protected mountains across Peru and other high Andean countries.


The social entrepreneur, Denica Riadini-Flesch will be looking to expand her regenerative farm-to-closet clothing supply chain through the added funding from Laureates. Through her project, she will be strengthening women’s empowerment whilst also preserving local Indonesian cultures. Riadini-Flesch started her career as an economist and then went on to create SukkhaCitta, which works with rural craftswomen in Indonesia so that they can attain business skills, environmental stewardship education and also have a customer base across 32 countries.


Inza Koné is a primatologist, who is working tirelessly to protect a richly biodiverse forest in Côte d’Ivoire. He also actively aids in safeguarding the endangered fauna and also reducing poverty in the area. Through Inza Koné’s hard effort, in 2021, he was able to work alongside the people in the area to create a community-managed natural reserve in the Tanoe-Ehy Forest. Through the funding from Laureates Rolex award, Inza Koné will be able to continue preserving its outstanding biodiversity, supporting community management and encouraging sustainable livelihoods for people in the region.


Liu Shaochuang is on a mission to save the last remaining wild camels. Shaochuang is a remote sensing specialist who will be studying wild camels’ habitat in view of creating two new conservation reserves, to save the last remaining wild herds. Liu Shaochuang has already achieved quite a lot in his career, as he played a vital role in the development of China’s Lunar and Mars rovers!

Liu Shaochuang will satellite track wild camels in the Gobi Desert regions of China and Mongolia to support their future conservation.

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