The British Council has named the ten finalists for its third International Design Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
This year finalists from Estonia and Venezuela have been listed for the first time ever, alongside candidates from Argentina, China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Poland, Slovenia and Thailand.
Contenders taking part in this year’s scheme will be judged on ‘significant achievements’ they have made to raise the status of design in their countries, according to British Council head of design Emily Campbell.
‘Finalists tend to be multifarious, with a tendency to do everything. Crossing from graphics to product design, for instance, tends to be common in countries where design is still developing because it has not yet reached a stage where there is a demand for that level of specialism,’ says Campbell.
Among the contenders for the prize of monetary support to realise a design vision in their native country are Sigal Cohen from Venezuela, whose film and animation company Oruga Films won two bronze medals at the 2006 BDA World Gold Awards. Argentina-based Manuel Rapoport and his consultancy Designo, which has been working with local communities through design, while commercialising his own products, has also been chosen as a finalist.
Finalists will take part in a two-week programme, with visits to The Lighthouse in Glasgow and London during 100% Design and the London Design Festival.
The judging panel consists of Campbell, executive director of The Lighthouse Nick Barley, independent design entrepreneur Thorsten van Elten, head of sales at 100% Design Alice Brown, and last year’s winner IDEY Brazilian designer Paula Dib.
The winner will be announced on 21 September.