Social Business Plan Competition Now Open

Social Business Plan Competition Now Open


Since its inception in 1999, the Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) has awarded over half a million dollars to promising social enterprises and introduced early-stage entrepreneurs to the venture capital community, creating a new generation of sustainable social ventures.

Creating real world impact

The GSVC is the world’s preeminent social business plan competition providing aspiring entrepreneurs with mentoring, exposure, and prize money to transform their business ideas into positive real-world impact. Its mission is to catalyze new sustainable ventures that address significant social issues, build awareness of the social entrepreneurship field and educate future leaders.

Founded by MBA students at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, the GSVC has evolved into a global network supported by an international community of volunteer judges, mentors and student organsers and a partnership of premier business schools in the US, Europe, Asia, and Africa.

About the competition

This year entrant teams from around the world will compete for $50 000 in prizes while gaining valuable professional feedback on their businesses. The competition occurs over three rounds: an Executive Summary round, Regional Finals, and the Global Finals which take place at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.

During each round of the competition, social entrepreneurs present the social, financial, and environmental values of their business, gaining valuable feedback from and exposure to some of the greatest minds in social innovation.

The Southern Africa Executive Summary Round

The Southern Africa Executive Summary Round is run through the UCT Graduate School of Business as the outreach partner for the London Business School.


To qualify for the competition, a proposed venture must:

  • Plan to be financially sustainable or profitable. Whether it’s a commercial business or a tax-exempt organisation, it must be self-sufficient on its earned revenue and be less than three years old.
  • Be scalable. This criterion will be unique for each business plan. Scalability will take into account the potential for growth of the business (and how well both the financial and social goals can be scaled).
  • Be social. Have a quantifiable social and/or environmental bottom line incorporated into its mission and practices.
  • Each entrant team must include at least one current or recently graduated student (within two years from graduation) from any post-graduate higher education programme in any are of study in the in the Southern Africa region.

Executive Round Instructions

The following documents should be submitted by no later than the 16th November 2012 to or by registering on the website through this link.

1. Executive Summary (up to three pages)

  • In PDF format
  • Not to exceed three pages (typed and double-spaced, 12 point font, and 1-inch margins on all sides) of text, charts, and diagrams
  • Executive Summary PDFs should be titled using the following convention: TeamName_GSVCExecSum_ExecSummary.pdf

2. Team Resume Booklet

  • In PDF format
  • Each individual’s resume should not exceed one page in length
  • Resume booklet PDFs should be titled using the following convention: TeamName_GSVCExecSum_ResumeBooklet.pdf

For examples of the Executive Summary please follow this link.

Shortlisted teams will be notified by the 23 November 2012 and invited to pitch their business plans before a panel of social entrepreneurship academics, SME specialists, venture capital firms, foundations and angel investors.

Through this process, a final list of five to ten teams will be both submitted to compete for a position in the Regional Finals atLondonBusinessSchoolin March 2013 as well as be offered free business plan support and mentorship through the process.

Learn more about the competition, official rules, judging criteria, submission process and more at You can also follow GSVC on twitter (@gsvc), or join its group on Facebook. If you have questions, please refer to the FAQs page or contact

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