Social Entrepreneurship at the GSVC Competition

Posted on June 5, 2017

The Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) is a yearly competition set out to empower the next generation of social entrepreneurs by providing them with mentoring, exposure, and over $80,000 in prizes to transform their ideas into ventures that address the world’s most pressing challenges.

Teams from across the globe learn how to design scalable models through a process that emphasizes stakeholder discovery, business innovation, and social impact assessment.

For the 2017 edition 6 teams in Lebanon were chosen from the few dozen applicants to present their projects to a jury including members from Berytech, USJ and MakeSense.

Only two projects were chosen to join 100 other candidates in the regional competition in France. The top finalists would ultimately head out to UC Berkeley-Haas to present their projects during the first annual Future of Social Ventures Conference on April 6-7, 2017.

Antoine Skayem founder of RIEGO, a startup with a smart irrigation and Nicolas Farah, founder of Limm, a project with a smart recycling solution were the two Lebanese finalists who joined the regionals in Paris along with other projects from France, Europe and French-speaking Africa who have submitted their innovative projects with a single motivation: the desire to change the world!

The competition requires that the project has a social or environmental impact and responds to a social, societal or environmental need, that it has a potential for economic viability, long-term growth while being replicable.

Both Lebanese teams were in the top 10 ideas that have attracted the attention of our jury. For Nicolas Farah, it was great learning experience: “‘The GSVC competition was a good opportunity to meet teams from different countries and to see how they function as social entrepreneurs. We were well prepared for the competition’s requirements; we had our business model defined and a good projection for the cash flow. Our disadvantage was that we hadn’t tested our application yet. The input shared by the other teams and the judges was highly constructive.”