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Global Social Venture Competition 2019

Global Social Venture Competition 2019: Empowering Next Generation of Social Entrepreneurs

The Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) empowers the next generation of social entrepreneurs by providing them with mentoring, exposure, and prize money to transform their ideas into fundable, scalable ventures that address the world’s most pressing challenges. Teams from across the globe learn how to design scalable models using the “Lean Startup” methodology, a process that emphasizes stakeholder discovery, business innovation, and social impact assessment.

Through their global network of 14 partner schools and competitions, the GSVC gives teams the connections, support, and exposure needed to advance their social ventures.

Founded by MBA students at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business in 1999, the GSVC has evolved into a global network of premier universities and programs in the United States, 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. Since its inception, the GSVC has received more than 6,500 entries from more than 60 countries. GSVC has helped launch successful social ventures such as Revolution Foods, d.light, Husk Power, Ethos Water, Sanergy, and World of Good.

Early-stage social ventures from across the globe with at least one undergraduate or graduate student or recent alum are invited to apply to the GSVC each December.

The Competition culminates each April at the Global Finals event where the top teams from each region compete for $80,000 in prize money.

Last year the Global Finals winner, the first prize was given to FabricAID, a startup from Lebanon.

Eligibility Criteria:

The Global Social Venture Competition seeks to support the most promising early-stage for-profit or nonprofit solutions that address the world’s most pressing social challenges using technology. All ventures must have a technology component to their venture, whether a product, hardware, software, web platform, mobile app, wireless, etc. Solutions should utilize “technology for good” in some form, whether the entire venture is focused on a technology-based solution or if the venture has some degree of a technology component built into the solution. Successful ventures show the highest, most integrated financial and social and/or environmental returns, demonstrating “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.
  • – Ventures should include a technology component, whether a technology-based solution or a technology component is utilized to address the solution.
  • – 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, 2018.
  • – 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, 2018.


Eligibility Requirements for Teams

  • – 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;
  • – The student or recent student must be actively involved in the venture (i.e., a founder or co-founder, actively participating in the 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.


More details are available here.


  • – FIRST PLACE AWARD: $40,000
  • – SECOND PLACE AWARD: $25,000
  • – THIRD PLACE AWARD: $10,000
  • – QUICK PITCH AWARD: $1,000



The competition occurs over three rounds. During each round of the competition, entrant teams present the social, financial, and environmental values of their business, gaining valuable feedback from and exposure to some of the greatest minds in social innovation.

Teams are encouraged to refer to the Social Impact Guidelines and Resources pages for additional information and support.

Please note that deadlines and deliverables may vary by region. Please contact the GSVC partner for your region if you have any questions or require further details.

  • Round One Requirements: Application Deadline, December 3, 2018
  • Regional Round Requirements: February/March 2019
  • Global Finals Requirements: April 3-5, 2019

More info on deadlines are available here.

For more information about the competition visit the website.

Apply here.


Application Process