Global Social Venture Competition (for social entrepreneurs)

November 26, 2008

Global Social Venture Competition

Call for Entrants: 2009 Competition. Executive Summaries are due January 21, 2009.

The Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) is seeking promising social entrepreneurs to enter our 2009 Competition. If you are an entrepreneur (or budding entrepreneur!) with a financially sustainable venture that addresses a social or environmental problem, we encourage you to apply. Winning plans in the past have ranged from global health to microfinance, from cleantech to education, from fair trade to community development, from business concepts to operating companies, and have included for-profit and non-profit models.

Submission Process for 2009 Competition

Executive Summaries are due January 21, 2009 for all regions except for Asia.

The application will be available in early December 2008.

  • Regional Semi-Finals              February/March 2009
  • Final Business Plans Due         April 7, 2009
  • Global Finals at UC Berkeley    April 23-24, 2009
  • GSVC Symposium on Social Entrepreneurship, San Francisco, CA, April 25, 2009


Submission Process for Asia Regional Rounds:

Executive Summary Deadline (optional): November 30, 2008
Full Business Plan Submission Deadline: January 21, 2009

Executive Summary Deadline: January 9, 2009

Plans will be judged according to the feasibility of the business concept, as well as feasibility and scope of the venture’s stated social and/or environmental purpose. For more information, please see Judging CriteriaTake a look at our Business Plan Suggested Format.  To enter, submit electronically the executive summary and the Summary Page. The Executive Summary must not exceed 5 pages and each individual’s resume should not exceed 2 pages in the Team Resume Booklet.

Note: Each entrant team must include a graduate business student from ANY business school in the world or an individual who has graduated from a graduate business program within the past two years (from the date that the plan is first submitted). The graduate business student must be actively involved in the venture (ie, actively participating in development of the business plan and presentation or actively working on the business). Read full rules.

The Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) is the largest and oldest student-led business plan competition providing mentorship, exposure, and financial awards to emerging social ventures from around the world. The GSVC’s mission is to catalyze the creation of social ventures, educate future leaders, and build awareness around social enterprise. The competition supports the creation of real businesses that bring about positive social change in a sustainable manner.

The GSVC is organized by the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley in partnership with Columbia Business School, London Business School, Indian School of Business, and Yale School of Management. The competition is also supported by several outreach partners, including the University of Geneva (Switzerland), ESSEC Business School (France), Thammasat University (Thailand), and a consortium of business schools in Korea. Every year, teams compete for more than $45,000 in cash and travel prizes, while gaining valuable professional feedback on their ventures.

Since its inception in 1999, the GSVC has awarded more than $300,000 to emerging social ventures and has introduced early-stage social entrepreneurs to the investment community. Nearly 25% of past GSVC entrants are now operating companies.


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