The Social Enterprise Cup is an opportunity for budding entrepreneurs driven to innovate for their communities. The competition is a practical learning experience for students to improve their business skills, expand their networks, and get the chance to win funding for their ideas. The winning teams will be those that develop innovative business models with the best integration of financial and social benefits for communities around the world.


Participants will compete for at least CAN $10,000 in prize money and will present their business ideas to leading academics and professionals in the field.


The competition is open to teams worldwide. To register, teams must have at least one member who is a university student. To be considered for the competition, teams need to create an innovative business plan that seeks to alleviate one or many social problems in communities around the world.

  • Students from all universities around the world are encouraged to apply.
  • Both undergraduate and graduate students are allowed to apply.
  • Multi-disciplinary teams are allowed and encouraged.
  • Teams must consist of at least one student member.

SEC business plans may focus on any subject area and must clearly demonstrate the Social Return on Investment (SROI) and provide a social impact assessment. SEC business plans are evaluated on three criteria:

  1. effect on the quality of life and poverty alleviation;
  2. financial sustainability;
  3. feasibility of implementation.


  • Teams that accept the invitation to compete in the SEC will commit to participate in required SEC activities and will be asked to verify student status.
  • All semi-finalist team members must attend all required events, per the SEC schedule and noncompliant team members risk disqualification.
  • Multidisciplinary teams highly encouraged.
  • Teams may have non-student team members.
  • All teams are responsible for the arrangements and expenses of travel and accommodations to participate in the SEC.
  • The maximum number of team members allowed to participate in SEC is four. SEC teams typically consist of 2-4 students; an individual is eligible to compete as a “team”.
  • There is no limit of number of applications per country or academic institution. However, in addition to the three SEC judging criteria, SEC applications are evaluated in terms of geographic and business sector diversity.
  • Teams may participate in other competitions. Teams or team members may reapply to SEC each year provided the business plan submitted is different.
  • Both French and English applications are welcome.

How to Apply

  • Complete an online application
  • Provide an executive summary of your team’s business plan
  • All applications will be reviewed on a first come-first serve basis.

Deadline: September 16, 2011


  • All teams will receive a review of their initial application within two weeks of submission
  • Accepted business proposals will be notified within two weeks of submission and will be asked to deposit a fee to attend the conference.
  • Teams accepted will be paired with an academic mentor to guide them through the business plan development process.
  • On September 23rd, selected teams will be asked to submit a formal business plan for review by the judges.


Applications are processed on a first come-first serve basis. There are a fixed number of spaces for the competition, so your team is more likely to be guaranteed a spot if you apply sooner.

For more information about the contest, visit their website by clicking here.

To submit your application online, click here.

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