Small Business Monthly » Business Event

Act Global, Think Social

Global Social Venture Conference rewards entrepreneurs for social impact.

by

comment

The average business plan looks at projected earnings and ways to optimize revenue. But a stellar business plan might also consider social or ecological impacts. Such was the impetus for Haas School of Business' Global Social Venture Conference, an annual event that hinges on a global business plan competition. Now in its twelfth year, the conference allows sixteen teams to compete for a top prize of $25,000, awarded for creativity, viability, and maximized social dimensions. The guidelines give contestants a lot of latitude — past submissions focused on water treatment, medicine, and international aid — though the judging process is meticulous. This year, sixty teams went through the initial screening process by submitting a five-page executive summary; twenty-five were invited to proceed with a full business plan, and twenty-three wound up participating in the semifinals. Of those, eleven will compete for the $25,000 grand prize, and five will jockey for a second-place prize of $5,000, based on the rigor of their social impact. All that work pays dividends whether you win or lose, said conference spokesperson Jill Erbland. "At a minimum, if you submit an executive summary, you're being judged by professionals who can give valuable feedback," she explained. "Sometimes a judge might see something of interest and contact the submitter separately. Sometimes someone from the audience might even be interested." The 2010 conference takes place Thursday and Friday, April 22-23 at David Brower Center (2150 Allston Way, Berkeley). It includes breakfast, a keynote lunch, and breakout sessions, and caps off with an awards dinner at the Hotel Shattuck Plaza (2085 Allston Way, Berkeley) $40-$150. GSVC.org

Add a comment

Anonymous and pseudonymous comments will be removed.