September 23, 2003
Social Venture Competition Expands Globally with New London Partnership
One of America's fastest-growing business plan competitions and most innovative business school partnerships in pursuit of social value is expanding its international reach. The renamed Global Social Venture Competition, a partnership between University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business, Columbia Business School, and The Goldman Sachs Foundation, is being joined by the London Business School.
Previously known as the National Social Venture Competition, the partnership aims to create a new generation of future business leaders that values both the profit and social potential of business. The partnership achieves this by catalyzing and promoting the creation of social ventures - for-profit and not-for-profit - that measure both social and financial returns.
Winning ventures have included nonprofit charter schools, alternative energy companies, microfinance enterprises in the developing world, and community employment enterprises in rural and low-income urban areas. All competing ventures have involved MBA students in creating financial and social return on investment plans.
"We are delighted to partner with the Haas School of Business, Columbia Business School, and now London Business School in supporting the international expansion of the Global Social Venture Competition," says Stephanie Bell-Rose, President of The Goldman Sachs Foundation. "The development of the next generation of leaders, both in the US and abroad, is a key part of the mission of The Goldman Sachs Foundation. Investing in business plan competitions that foster social entrepreneurship serves as a useful mechanism to educate future leaders while promoting the notion that 'doing well and doing good' can be synonymous."
The competition was founded as a student-led initiative at the Haas School of Business in 1999. In 2001, the competition expanded its national scope and reach by partnering with Columbia Business School and The Goldman Sachs Foundation, which gave a $1.5 million gift to support the effort, augmented with contributions of human capital in the form of judges and mentors.
Since its inception, the partnership has
- educated students, faculty, and practitioners about social venturing through its annual symposia and cutting-edge work in Social Return on Investment assessment,
- motivated over a thousand experienced entrepreneurs and students from leading graduate business schools, primarily in the US, to work together as competition entrants,
- provided advice to emerging social entrepreneurs through its bi-coastal mentoring programs in New York and the San Francisco Bay Area,
- awarded more than a quarter of a million dollars to emerging social ventures through its flagship event, a business plan competition for early-stage social venture entrepreneurs.
An important educational goal of the partnership is to encourage leadership by MBA students in the area of social venturing. At the partner schools, MBAs serve as volunteer organizers for all partnership activities, and students from over 40 other MBA programs have served as team members of the competition's entrant ventures. The increasing interest in matching business goals with social good is reflected in the involvement of other top-ranked business schools such as Harvard Business School, Kellogg (Northwestern), Sloan (MIT), Stanford GSB, and Wharton (U. Penn.), as well as IESE (Spain), and INSEAD (France).
London Business School brings two years of experience in running a European competition to an expanded global partnership. The new site will allow the partnership to expand its mentoring program, to hold a regional competition in Europe to identify teams who proceed to the final global awards, and to strengthen ties with business programs and social venture entrepreneurship in Europe and around the world. In addition, faculty members from the three partner schools are cooperating to enhance the schools' social entrepreneurship curricula.
The Global Social Venture Competition's Annual Symposium, "Challenges and Opportunities for Social Ventures," will take place on October 10th at Columbia Business School in New York. The 2003/04 competition finals will be hosted by London Business School on April 1-2, 2004 in London.
"We are excited by the opportunity to share knowledge and networks offered by this partnership," said Laura D'Andrea Tyson, Dean of the London School of Business. "It builds on our international connections and contributes to a competition that supports and promotes social venturing across the globe. I encourage all who are interested to come and join us at London Business School on April 2, 2004, when the winners will be announced."
For more information, visit the GSVC web site at www.socialvc.net or contact the following media relations officers:
Haas School of Business
University of California, Berkeley
Columbia Business School
London Business School
Tel: +44 (0)20 7706 6922
Fax: +44 (0)20 7724 8433
Out of hours: +44 (0)7785 816 379
The Goldman Sachs Foundation
The Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Haas School of Business
The Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, is one of the leading producers of new ideas and knowledge in all areas of business and is also influenced by its proximity to Silicon Valley. In 1970 Haas became one of the first business schools to teach entrepreneurship. In 1991 it established The Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation to foster academic programs, community outreach and campus wide collaboration in new venture creation, entrepreneurship and venture capital. This emphasis on entrepreneurship, coupled with the Haas School's commitment to the social and environmental ramifications of business, which date back to its founding in 1898, creates a unique learning environment that gave birth to the National Social Venture Competition in 1999. The Lester Center has fostered the creation and development of the competition since its inception, and provides on-going support and guidance as part of its core mission to enhance entrepreneurship at the University and in the business community.
The Eugene M. Lang Center for Entrepreneurship at Columbia Business School
The Eugene M. Lang Center at Columbia Business School serves as a living laboratory for student entrepreneurial ventures. The unique approach to entrepreneurship education at Columbia Business School combines a systematic integration of entrepreneurial themes throughout the core curriculum, a strong elective course program, rigorous hands-on lab courses and a commitment to making entrepreneurship a viable career option for students. Mentors, largely successful alumni, provide vigorous, high-level advice and guidance throughout the business development process and the eventual start-up. The Lang Center also supports socially responsible ventures and has created a distinctive model for developing an entrepreneurial network that has been incorporated into the National Social Venture Competition.
The Foundation for Entrepreneurial Management at London Business School
London Business School is one of the world's pre-eminent business schools. Based in the heart of London it nurtures talent and advances knowledge in a multi-national learning environment. The Foundation for Entrepreneurial Management (FEM) aims to make a lasting impact on the development of its partners' competitive advantage through:
- Research and teaching of best practice in entrepreneurial management
- Provision of support and advice for entrepreneurs and their backers
- Carefully targeted direct investment in promising individuals and teams.
The School's commitment to social venturing is long-standing and last year saw Social Venturing offered as an elective for MBA students for the first time. Aiming to give participants an insight into how social value is created, the course looks at the breadth of businesses that can be created that generate both social and economic returns as well as the variety of financial models that can be used to convert a good idea into a realisable opportunity.
The Goldman Sachs Foundation
The Goldman Sachs Foundation is a global philanthropic organization funded by The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. The Foundation's mission is to promote excellence and innovation in education and to improve the academic performance and lifelong productivity of young people worldwide. It achieves this mission through a combination of strategic partnerships, grants, loans, private sector investments, and the deployment of professional talent from Goldman Sachs. Funded in 1999, the Foundation has awarded grants in excess of $43 million since its inception, providing opportunities for young people in more than 20 countries.