GSVC awards prizes to the business plans that show the highest, most integrated financial and social returns – businesses that demonstrate blended value.
Ensure your venture is eligible
- Submitted ventures should plan to be financially sustainable or profitable; whether it is a commercial business or a tax-exempt organization, your venture must have plans to be self-sufficient on earned revenue.
- Submitted ventures must be scalable long term. This criterion will mean different things for each business plan. 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.
- Submmitted ventures cannot have been in operation for more than 3 years (with the start of the venture marked by first income or first patent, whichever occurred earlier) as of April, 2014.
- Submitted ventures may not be a wholly owned subsidiary of an existing entity (of either a for-profit or non-profit entity)
Ensure your team is eligible
- Your team must include a graduate student (current or within two years of graduation as of December 31, 2013) from any masters-level or post-graduate higher education program in any area of study in the world; the student must be actively involved in the venture (i.e., actively participating in development of the business plan or actively working on the business).
- Your team should include a statement in the business plan describing the graduate student's level of involvement.
- The graduate student or recent graduate must be one of the plan's presenters (and must be available to answer judges' questions regarding the business) in the final round of the competition.
- Teams are strongly encouraged to include seasoned entrepreneurs and professionals with relevant skills and experience.
- A business plan cannot enter the competition in more than two consecutive years (but you can enter 2 years in a row).
- A team cannot enter the competition more than twice.
- All plans in the final round must be written in English.
- Your business plan 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
- Your plan must include a statement on what your team would do with the prize money.