Overview

“To me, social entrepreneurship is a continuous improvement process that starts with thinking differently.   I am a big fan of the NH Social Venture Innovation Challenge because it effectively encourages young entrepreneurs to be more opportunistic and expansive in thinking about the potential impacts of their enterprises.  Regardless of whether or not the participants win the competition, all benefit from the encouragement to think bigger and more optimistically.  This process is positive and hopeful and can only catalyze more and better social enterprises.”

- Gary Hirshberg, President and Founder, Stonyfield Farm and 2015 SVIC Keynote Speaker


The Social Venture Innovation Challenge invites individuals and teams from across the state of New Hampshire (as well as all UNH alumni) to identify pressing social and/or environmental issues at the state, national or global level, and then find an innovative business-oriented approach to solving them.

The competition will feature two tracks:

1. Student Track
Open to current full-time or part-time matriculated students (undergraduate or graduate level) in New Hampshire universities or colleges.

2. Community Track 
Open to any current or aspiring social entrepreneur, activist, community member, or businessperson who is a resident in the state of New Hampshire, and any UNH alumni (regardless of location.)

The Social Venture Innovation Challenge is designed to be an “innovation accelerator” and to encourage participants to develop original, innovative proposals (versus detailed business plans) in the form of a three-minute video and two-page paper. Remember -- It's an IDEA competition! 

Proposals may either describe the development of a new enterprise OR a new entrepreneurial initiative for an established social venture. See Entry Guidelines and Format section for more details.

The Challenge has two rounds, a Preliminary Round which is judged online, and a Final Round which is judged in person. During the Final Found, the finalists compete at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, New Hampshire for cash prizes to help them launch their innovative idea. See Important Dates for more details.

Winners of the Social Venture Innovation Challenge are eligible for an exciting set of prizes!