The Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) is the largest student-run business plan contest in the world, which provides mentoring, exposure and prizes for social ventures from around the world. GSVC started off at the Haas School of Business at Berkeley, and since then, Columbia Business School, Yale School of Management, London Business School and the Indian School of Business have joined as partner schools.
This year’s Asia round for the GSVC will be held at the Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad, with the deadline for submission of plans being Nov 15, 2007. The Asia round finals will be held at the ISB this between the 8th and 10th of March 2008, and the global finals will be held at Berkeley on the 18th and 19th of April. So, if you’re sitting on a business idea, model, concept or even an existing business which has a double or triple bottomline, and would like exposure and perhaps even seed/growth capital, head over to the ISB’s GSVC Asia Round website, where you can find all the instructions necessary for submission of business plans and participation, including vital information and FAQ’s for entrants.
I served as a judge for the 2007 finals, so i can give prospective participants some idea on what to expect. First of all, don’t be flaky and keep in mind that there is no business that can meet a second or third bottom line without meeting the financial bottom line. The judges at the Asia Round tend to be very hard nosed and you can therefore expect the same questions that you’d expect if you were to pitch the plan to a venture capitalist. The higher the social impact without sacrificing your commercial viability, the higher your chances of getting through to the finals. Last year’s top prize at the Asia finals went to a bio-technology company from China that had patented a technology to drastically improve crop productivity while the second place went to a Thai team that had developed a new dental technology (the Thai team went to place second at the global finals). One team was also chosen on the basis of their Social Return on Investment (SROI) Analysis.
I know there are several IEB readers out there who are budding entrepreneurs while being socially conscious, so here’s your opportunity to make a difference, and potentially get your business up and running. Questions, if any, should directed to the organizers. Needless to say, if you know of someone who might be interested, feel free to forward the information.