Have an idea about how to address one of society’s most pressing social or environmental challenges? Sign up now to share a sustainable, business-oriented solution in the Social Venture Innovation Challenge at the University of New Hampshire. There are two tracks — one for community members (any New Hampshire resident) and another for students in any college or university in the state. The deadline to file an intent to compete is Thursday, Oct. 30.
The challenge is designed to be an “innovation accelerator” and to encourage participants to develop original, innovative proposals (not detailed business plans) in the form of a three-minute video and a two-page paper. Proposals may describe the development of a new enterprise or a new entrepreneurial initiative for an established social business.
The Social Venture Innovation Challenge is organized and hosted at UNH by the Peter T. Paul College of Business & Economics, the Carsey School of Public Policy, the Sustainability Institute, NH EPSCoR, and Net Impact UNH.
Cash prizes for the community track are made possible in part by the N.H. Charitable Foundation and are intended to provide investment to a social venture to help fund its establishment and/or growth. First prize, $10,000; second, $5,000; third, $2,500. Cash prizes for the student track are provided by Timberland: first prize, $5,000; second, $3,000; third, $1,500.
A social venture presents an innovative solution to a defined problem, such as poverty and climate change, facing the state of New Hampshire, region, nation, or world. It should aim to be market-based and aspire to be as fully financially self-sustaining as possible through earned revenues and profits, decreasing the reliance on grants or donations. A social venture should harness the best of market-based approaches, but have a primarily social rather than financial objective.
Entries can be for a new (pre-launch stage) initiative, an existing social venture in the formative stages of development (i.e. less than one year old), or a major new social entrepreneurial initiative for an established venture.
Participation in the community track is open to any New Hampshire resident. Submissions can be by individuals or teams. Participation in the student track is open to current full-time or part-time matriculated students (high school, undergraduate or graduate level) and 2014 graduates of a New Hampshire-based university, college or high school. Submissions by individuals or teams are encouraged, including those from campus student organizations, clubs, class projects or class sections.
Want to learn more? Find all the details on the challenge webpage.