The Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition (GSEC) organized by the University of Washington is a leading-edge international social venture plan competition, where interdisciplinary student teams from around the world propose creative, commercially viable businesses aimed at reducing poverty in the developing world.
GSEC provides cross-cultural, transformational practical learning experiences for student participants to hone their business skills, expand their networks, and access new resources.  Through exposure to iconic global companies, a vibrant international development sector, leading research institutions, GSEC Week provides exclusive opportunities for semi-finalist teams to benefit from invaluable resources and expertise in the Seattle region.
Monetary prizes will be awarded to 2012 GSEC Week teams that develop innovative business models with the best integration of financial and social returns on investment targeting poverty reduction in developing economies.  See below.
Evaluation Criteria
GSEC business plans are evaluated on three criteria:

  • effect on the quality of life and poverty alleviation in one or more developing economies
  • financial sustainability;
  • feasibility of implementation.

Eligibility – Overview

  • GSEC seeks the most innovative, student-generated social business plans that aim to alleviate a problem(s) of poverty in developing economies.*
  • GSEC is open to currently enrolled students, in any discipline and level of study, at any academic institution of higher education worldwide.
  • Multi-disciplinary teams are strongly encouraged and teams may be comprised of students from difference academic institutions.
  • GSEC business plans may focus on any subject area
  • Plans must clearly demonstrate the Social Return on Investment (SROI) and provide a social impact assessment.
  • All applicants must review the detailed GSEC Rules & Eligibility and the Submission Requirements prior to applying.
  • Eligible countries are low income, lower middle income, or upper middle income economies, based on the country classification by the World Bank Country Lending Groups
  • Teams that win monetary prizes, including NCIIA awards, are required to submit a report 6 and 12 months after GSEC 2011. Report template will be provided to teams.
  • All Prize winning teams attend the 2/18 GSEC breakfast
  • Grand, ICT, and global health prizes are mutually exclusive. Refer to GSEC Rules for specifics

Procedure and Deadline for Application

  • Review the GSEC Rules & Eligibility and the Submission Requirements prior to applying
  • Apply online by November 09, 2011 (8 am Pacific Standard Time). Applications are available starting July 25, 2011

Application Review and Team Selection
GSEC applications go through two rounds of reviews between November-December 2011 to determine the semi-finalist GSEC teams.  Semi-finalist teams are selected and paired with mentors in mid-December.  All Semi-finalist teams travel to Seattle for GSEC Week, February 27 – March 2, 2012, at the University of Washington (UW).
GSEC prizes are awarded to the most innovative business plans that meet the GSEC judging criteria and demonstrate the best integration of financial and social returns on investment.  Review the GSEC Rules & Eligibility for details and eligibility.
GSEC 2012 Prizes to be announced in summer 2011. For reference, monetary prizes for 2011 included:

  • $12,500 – Grand Prize
  • $10,000 – Information Communication & Technology (ICT) prize, sponsored by Microsoft
  • $10,000 – Global Health prize, sponsored by the UW Department of Global Health
  • $1,000 – Seattle Rotary prize, sponsored by Seattle Rotary. Review the attached letter and submit requirements by Feb 03, 2011 to be eligible.
  • NCIIA Invention to Venture workshop scholarships (only US teams are eligible)

For more information, and to register your team for the competition, visit their website by clicking here.