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Rebecca van Bergen Awarded the Prestigious Elevate Prize

The Elevate Prize, powered by MIT Solve, is making good famous and Rebecca van Bergen, Nest’s founder, is getting a close-up and shining a light on the work of our organization. Founded by philanthropist Joseph Deitch, The Prize empowers mission-driven leaders, innovators, and activists to solve some of the world’s most critical challenges with funding and other practical supports.

Late last year, Rebecca van Bergen was announced as a winner of the 2021 Elevate Prize, which is awarded to 10 social entrepreneurs to amplify the social impacts of their organizations. Selected from a pool of more than 1,200 applicants, award winners collectively receive $5 million in funding and services to support their solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

As one of the winners, Nest, on behalf of Rebecca, will receive grant funding, leadership development services, access to expert networks, and other support to advance our mission to empower artisan homeworkers and makers while sparking a chain reaction of good.

“To be selected as a winner of the 2021 Elevate Prize and recognized as a global leader for Nest’s role in bringing attention to the home-based artisan sector, and the challenges and opportunities it embodies, is incredibly humbling,” said Rebecca van Bergen. “It is an invaluable vote of confidence in the work we are doing and the meaningful impact it has had and will continue to have in communities around the world.”

Winners of the Elevate Prize, which is in its second year, were selected by a panel of renowned judges from multiple industries, including Diane von Furstenberg, fashion designer and philanthropist; Stephanie Mehta, Editor-in-Chief of Fast Company; Maria Elena Salinas, journalist and CBS News contributor; and Natalie Tran, Executive Director of the Creative Artists Agency Foundation.

“We’re thrilled to highlight such a radically diverse group of winners this year, all working on a wide-range of important issues around the world,” said Carolina García Jayaram, CEO of The Elevate Prize Foundation in a press release. “We look forward to helping grow their audience and impact, ultimately making philanthropy and social change more accessible to all.”

To be considered for the Elevate Prize, nominees must be local, regional, or global changemakers with a demonstrated history of catalyzing social and/or environmental impact through their work. They must also have a compelling vision for the future and what’s possible if awarded funding and other service supports through the Prize. By leveraging a growing network of celebrity and industry ambassadors, like Trevor Noah, the Elevate Prize is able to “make good famous” and ignite a powerful movement around recipients.

The 2021 award class includes individuals working on health equity, criminal justice reform, homelessness among LGBTQ+ youth, and more.

“I continue to be blown away by the innovative approaches my peers are taking to tackle the most persistent social challenges,” said Rebecca. “To say they are bold, brave, and inspiring is an understatement… I looked forward to learning and working with them through this award, and know that on the other side we will all be positioned for even greater success.”

To learn more about the Elevate Prize visit