The National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) and SEVEN invite writers to submit essays exploring first person experiences with small enterprise development solutions to poverty in the developing world. Former and present Peace Corps volunteers are strongly encouraged to apply. Essays should highlight personal grassroots efforts and successes that can serve as models for creating prosperity around the world. We welcome and encourage papers that approach this topic through the lens of diverse cultural, religious, philosophical, technical, and academic traditions, as our goal is to assemble a collection of essays that is definitive both in breadth and depth.
Solutions to poverty require innovative technology and communications, greater attention to women, increased job generation and the promotion of sustainable grassroots efforts. We invite authors to share their first person accounts of enterprise solutions to poverty and the topics above.
The essays can address this question through the lens of any cultural, religious, philosophical, and academic tradition. The question may be considered from personal, social, economic, political, or religious points of view.
SEVEN and NPCA will award a grand prize of $5,000 to one essay. The best piece will be featured in WorldView magazine and the winning author(s) will be introduced at the September 24, 2011 “Conversations: The Future of the Peace Corps Global Leaders” panel. The author(s) will also receive a ticket tothe “Promise of the Peace Corps” Gala in Washington, DC and will be publicly acknowledged in the program. The essay will be given top publicity on the National Peace Corps Association website and in NPCA and SEVEN Fund e-communications.
Marking Criteria
Submissions will be evaluated by a panel of judges, in relation to the following criteria:

  • an engaging hook or premise;
  • a clearly defined agenda or thesis;
  • emotional appeal;
  • compelling data;
  • well-crafted arguments;
  • robust discussion; and
  • a powerful close.

Submitted essays should be 750-1200 words and will be accepted from April 15 – July 31, 2011. (This word limit does not include the 100 words allowed for the Abstract, any sources, or footnotes.)
Models for the essays sought in this competition may be found in the recently published collection, In the River They Swim: Essays from Around the World on Enterprise Solutions to Poverty (Templeton Press, May 2009,
The essay contest is open to everyone. They welcome authors from all fields, disciplines, and professions. They encourage contributions from nations and peoples around the world.
Your essay must be submitted electronically in an MS Word or PDF format only via email with subject header “SEVEN Fund Essay Contest submission”. All information requested, including contact information, abstract, and essay should be included in a single document.
The email address for submission is: [email protected]
Every essay must, in addition to the actual essay, add a 100 word abstract at the beginning of the document that includes:

  • Contact information: your full name and mailing address, a contact telephone number, and your email;
  • A brief, one-paragraph biography of each author, including your Peace Corps country and years of service (if applicable)

Note: Submission of an essay is considered consent to be published, if selected.
Please note:
Each author may submit only one essay. Multiple entries are not allowed.
You may decide to submit an essay together with another author, but the prize money is per essay, not per author. Prize money will be disbursed equally among multiple authors.
Only applications submitted via email will be accepted. If you encounter problems, please contact NPCA.
Important Dates
Program Announcement: April 15, 2011
Deadline for Submissions: July 31, 2011
Selection of Finalists: September 2011
Announcement of the prize-winner will be made at the “Conversations: The Future of the Peace Corps Global Leaders” panel on September 24, 2011.
Please send any additional questions to [email protected].
To read more about the contest click here.