Application Deadline: December 5, 2016
The Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) empowers the next generation of social entrepreneurs by providing them with mentoring, exposure, and over $80,000 in prizes to transform their ideas into ventures that address the world’s most pressing challenges. Teams from across the globe learn how to design scalable models through a process that emphasizes stakeholder discovery, business innovation, and social impact assessment.
Founded by MBA students at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business in 1999, the GSVC has evolved into a global network of premier business schools, universities, and programs in the US, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Each partner school and program is supported by a network that includes other universities and organizations, judges, mentors, and investors focused on social impact, innovation, and entrepreneurship. In 2016, GSVC received nearly 500 entries from 50 countries. GSVC has helped launch successful social ventures such as Revolution Foods, d.light, Husk Power, Ethos Water, Sanergy, and World of Good.
GSVC awards prizes to early-stage social venture teams that show the highest, most integrated financial and social returns – businesses that demonstrate blended value.
Eligibility Requirements for Ventures
- Submitted ventures should aim to be: financially sustainable or profitable; whether it is a for-profit, non-profit, or hybrid business model, your venture must aim to be self-sufficient on earned revenue.
- Submitted ventures should be scalable long term. This criterion will mean different things for each business. Scalability will take into account the potential for growth of the business, both financially and in its social impact.
- Submitted ventures must have a quantifiable social and/or environmental bottom line incorporated into their mission and practices.
- Your entry must include a financial analysis as well as a Social Impact Assessment (SIA), including the Social Value Proposition and Social Indicators. Learn more on the SIA page of the website.
- Submitted ventures must be less than 2 years old (with the start of the venture marked by incorporation or first income, whichever occurred first) as of December 31, 2016.
- Submitted ventures may not be a wholly owned subsidiary of an existing entity (of either a for-profit or nonprofit entity).
- Submitted ventures must not have received more than $250,000 in funding from venture capital, private investors, grants (government or foundation), loans, or other funding sources (excluding in-kind) as of December 31, 2016.
- Lifetime revenue should not exceed $500,000 as of December 31, 2016.
- GSVC has the right to investigate funding and qualifications of ventures to assure that they are truly early stage.
Eligibility Requirements for Teams
- Recent Bachelor’s degree holders must have completed their degree with four (4) years of the application deadline (December 31, 2016).
- Recent Master’s or Doctoral level degree holders must have completed their degree within two (2) years of the application deadline (December 31, 2016).Your team must include a student, current or recent graduate*, from any level of higher education (undergraduate, masters level/graduate, or doctoral) in any area of study in the world;
*Recent students must meet the following criteria:
- The student or recent student must be actively involved in the venture (i.e., a founder or co-founder, actively participating in development of the business or actively working on the business).
- Your team should include a statement describing the student’s level of involvement.
- The student or recent student must be one of the team’s presenters and must be available to answer judges’ questions regarding the business in the final two rounds of the competition.
- At the GSVC Global Finals, teams from around the world compete in front of panels of leading experts in the fields of social entrepreneurship, innovation, and impact investing for a series of prizes totaling $80,000.
The multi-day event is held in alternating years at UC Berkeley and an international GSVC partner.
Competing teams and attendees explore how social enterprises can drive transformational change, and examine the opportunities and challenges facing social entrepreneurs as they scale from local to global impact.
Keynote speakers provide insight into topics that have included strategies for financing social ventures, global trends in social entrepreneurship, reverse innovation, intrapreneurship, and applying technological innovations to solve the world’s most pressing social problems.
- Round One Application Deadline – December 5, 2016
- Regional Semifinals – February/March 2017
- Global Finals – April 5-7, 2017
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