If you are in the early stages of developing a social / green venture, one funding avenue is a business plan competition. A number of these competitions are held annually at business schools and some focus exclusively on business plans from social entrepreneurs. These business plan competitions can provide cash awards, mentoring, and other business development benefits.
The Social Venture Business Plan Competitions section of Green VC contains a listing of these competitions. This post focuses on the Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC), which is the oldest and largest student-led competition of its kind and has awarded more than $300,000 to early stage social ventures since it was launched at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley in 1999.
The GSVC is organized by the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley in partnership with Columbia Business School, London Business School, the Indian School of Business and the Yale School of Management. The competition is also supported by outreach partners including the University of Geneva (Switzerland), Thammasat University (Thailand), ESSEC Business School (France), and a consortium of business schools in Korea (Social Venture Competition Korea).
For the 2007-2008 GSVC, executive summaries are due on January 16, 2008 for the Columbia Business School, Haas School of Business, London Business School and Yale School of Management. Full business plans are due for the Indian School of Business on January 5, 2008 (please visit the ISB GSVC website for additional details). Among the prizes that will be awarded in the 2007-2008 GSVC is a $25,000 grand prize to the business plan that achieves the best blended value (high economic and social returns).
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