Business Competitions

Via Net Impact’s List of Student Competitions:

The Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition aims to reward the best business plan aimed at alleviating poverty in developing economies. The semifinalist teams are invited to participate in the GSEC week in Seattle. Open to student teams from anywhere around the world, with prizes of at least $30,000.

The NYU Stern Annual Social Venture Competitionis designed to further the interest of students and alumni of New York University (NYU) in social enterprise. Non-profit businesses are excluded from the competition. All participating teams must fulfill the double bottom line criterion of social impact and financial sustainability. Only teams with a Stern alumni or employee as an active member of the venture are eligible to participate. Active membership is determined by a 15 % stake in the business or other factors as may be decided on by the Berkley Centre. Winners receive the $ 100,000 Satter family prize named after Stewart Satter a stern alumnus and a successful entrepreneur who supports the social entrepreneurship program at NYU.

The Oxford University 21st Century Challenge is a business plan competition open to all participants including individuals, teams, companies, students, scientists and entrepreneurs. If you can convince the jury that your sustainable business is capable of generating financial returns while solving the pressing problems of the 21st century you may get a seed capital of £10,000 or venture funding to the tune of £1.5 million depending on the target sector and the developmental stage of your business.

Participants in the Staples Youth Social Entrepreneurship Competition can be self nominated or can be nominated by someone else impressed by their work. They need to be operating a youth led social venture and must be able to travel to Washington DC to attend the TEDxYSE usually held in November.The SYSE competition is open to youth between the age of 12 – 24 from all over the world. Staples associates determine one grand prize of $5,000 by voting.

The William James Foundation Socially Responsible Business Plan Competition is geared towards finding and awarding the best socially responsible for profit business with clearly defined social and environmental goals. Even if you do not win the competition, the detailed feedback provided by the judges could go a long way in honing your business plan. The seventh annual competition had a dozen winners and $ 100,000 in prizes. There is no age limit or any location restrictions.


The Tufts $100,000 Business Plan Competition is sponsored by the Tufts Entrepreneurial Leadership Program. The competition has two streams – the Classic Competition and the Social Entrepreneurship Competition for budding social entrepreneurs. Participating teams must have a Tuft student or alumnus as a member. The awards total $ 100,000 in cash and in-kind services.

VeriZon is an initiative of IIT Bombay. Anyone can participate in the competition and all participants stand the chance of winning venture funding but the award money can be claimed only by student teams. Businesses with a for-profit model or those with a non-profit model coupled with sustainable revenue generation can participate in this competition. The total prize money at stake is Indian rupees 100,000. Deadline is usually in August.

Wantrapreneur is the intellectual property of Villgro, a leading social enterprise incubator. The Lemelson Foundation also supports Wantrapreneur. Wantrapreneur is a business plan competition that tries to identify ideas capable of propelling meaningful change in the agriculture, energy, dairy and water sectors in Indian rural areas. Any Indian citizen above the age of 18 who has a functioning business in the start up or early growth phase can participate. Only independent businesses, headquartered in India and that have been in operation for at least six months are eligible to apply. Winners can receive up to Indian Rupees 150,000 and an opportunity to pitch your ideas to social investors. Deadline is in November.

Echoing Green’s global Fellowship, which provides more than $2 million in seed support to a diverse group of emerging social entrepreneurs every year. From thousands of applicants, typically fewer than one percent are ultimately selected to receive up to $90,000 over two years to support the launch of their new organizations.




The Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) provides aspiring entrepreneurs with mentoring, exposure, and $50,000 in prizes to transform their ideas into businesses that will have positive real world impact. Founded by MBA students at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, the GSVC has evolved into a global network supported by an international community of volunteer judges, mentors and student organizers and a partnership of premier business schools in the US, Europe, Asia, and Africa.  In 2012, GSVC received over 600 entries from 50 countries.  Previous years’ finalists include Husk Power, Revolution Foods, and d.light design.

Ashoka Changemakers provides the tools and resources to empower everyone to contribute to a better world. Their mission is to grow new ideas through transparency and collaboration, a process of Open Growth. No matter where you are starting, or where you are going, Changemakers makes it easier to share an idea, track progress, communicate with supporters, and invest in global change.

The Dell Social Innovation Challenge identifies and supports promising young social innovators who dedicate themselves to solving the world’s most pressing problems with their transformative ideas. We provide university students with world-class teaching and training, as well as with start-up capital and access to a network of mentors and advisors. challenges have three development phases – inspiration, concepting, and evaluation – are put into motion. Community members can contribute in a variety of different ways, from inspirational observations and photos, sketches of ideas, to business models and snippets of code. Sometimes this can be in the form of a comment; other times, it’s building off a previous person’s work. People participating in OpenIDEO can provide feedback every step of the way. Between each development phase, IDEO helps shape the journey through framing the challenge, prototyping, and encouraging the conversation. At the end, the strongest concepts are chosen.



Powered by Facebook Comments

Comments are closed.