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Finalists face off with global social venture plans


BERKELEY – Ten social venture finalists from around the world will compete for $45,000 in prizes and funds for business plans ranging from health and renewable energy to specialty childcare for families with disabled children at the eighth annual Global Social Venture Competition hosted by the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business on Friday, April 13.

The competition will culminate in a one-day symposium on Saturday, April 14, at UC Berkeley’s Clark Kerr campus. Panel discussions will focus on measuring impact, social venture financing, developing regions, and social entrepreneurship as a competitive strategy - and how to get started.

The competition, started by UC Berkeley MBA students in 1999, has expanded this year, with Yale School of Management and Indian School of Business joining the Haas School, Columbia Business School and London Business School as partners. The University of Geneva and a consortium of business schools in Korea called Social Venture Competition Korea have joined as affiliates.

A record 157 teams from 80 universities in 20 countries entered this year’s competition.

The 10 finalists were chosen in March at regional finals at each of the five partner schools. The finalists come from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business; Stanford Graduate School of Business; London Business School; University of Geneva; Columbia Business School; Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario, Canada; Emory University in Atlanta, Ga.; Harvard Business School; Babson College in Babson Park, Mass.; Beijing International of Peking University; and Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand.

The finalists will present their plans before a panel of judges on Friday, April 14, from 8:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. in the Lipman Room of Barrows Hall at UC Berkeley. Their presentations are open to the public.

Omidyar Network gave a $300,000 gift this year to support the competition over the next three years. Other sponsors include Hewlett-Packard Company, Morrison & Foerster LLP, Opus Prize Foundation, Gray Matters Capital, and New Resource Bank.

The Saturday symposium will explore the challenges and opportunities that are unique to new ventures that have a built-in social or environmental mission, and the team winning the prize for best social impact assessment will present their plan.

The symposium keynote speaker will be Majora Carter, executive director and founder of Sustainable South Bronx. Panelists from Acumen Fund, Benetech, Draper Richards Foundation, Give Something Back, Origo, Skoll Foundation, Technoserve, and Whole Foods will lead the discussions.

For more information on the symposium or to register, go to:

More details about the competition are online at: A campus map is online at:


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