The Rolex Awards for Enterprise were created to foster a spirit of enterprise and advance human knowledge and well-being. They support pioneering work in five areas:
- science and health
- applied technology
- exploration and discovery
- the environment
- cultural heritage
Winners are innovators who typically work outside the mainstream and often have limited access to traditional funding. Rather than reward past achievements, the Rolex Awards provide financial assistance and recognition to individuals embarking on new ventures or carrying out ongoing projects.
Laureates each receive 100,000 Swiss francs, and Young Laureates 50,000 Swiss francs each. All winners are given a Rolex chronometer and benefit from an international publicity campaign. The grants must be used to complete projects.