Eligibility Guidelines

GSVC awards prizes to early-stage social venture teams that show the highest, most integrated financial and social returns – businesses that demonstrate 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.
  • Submitted ventures should be scalable long term. This criterion will mean different things for each business. 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.
  • Your entry 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.
  • 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, 2016.
  • Submitted ventures may not be a wholly owned subsidiary of an existing entity (of either a for-profit or nonprofit entity).
  • 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, 2016.
  • Lifetime revenue should not exceed $500,000 as of December 31, 2016.
  • GSVC has the right to investigate funding and qualifications of ventures to assure that they are truly early stage.
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;
    *Recent students must meet the following criteria:
    • Recent Bachelor’s degree holders must have completed their degree with four (4) years of the application deadline (December 31, 2016).
    • Recent Master’s or Doctoral level degree holders must have completed their degree within two (2) years of the application deadline (December 31, 2016).
  • 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.
Other Qualifications
  • A team cannot enter the competition more than twice.
  • Teams that have competed at the Global Finals may not enter more than once; Regional Partners may put additional limits on the number of times that a team may compete at the regional level.
  • All submissions and presentations for the Global Finals round must be in English. Questions from the judges during the Global Finals may be translated from English to the team’s native language, but should be answered in English.