Updated: Sep 3
The End Poverty Innovation Challenge (EPIC) is seeking university and community college social entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into a reality.
The Social Ventures Foundation is focused on a “bottom up” strategy that “creates markets at the bottom of the pyramid by promoting social ventures which create jobs and equity for the poor by delivering sustainable social impact solutions to meet the needs of the poor at a price the poor can afford.” The Foundation believes that a combination of increased wages and equity are important to raise living standards and to help move people out of poverty.
Social ventures that are submitted for EPIC 2020 need to be both environmentally and financially sustainable. Additionally, they must also have a plan to share equity with the poor whose work will make these ventures possible. Given that “the success of the franchisee is the success of the franchiser,” each social venture will need to provide substantive training and ongoing support to their workers. Although they often have little education, they have the entrepreneurial passion and desire for success. The Foundation seeks to encourage social ventures that will provide jobs for the underserved in poor communities, including young mothers and under-educated young adults.
Where Do I Begin?
Not sure where to start in developing your social venture business plan? We are holding Social Venture Labs every Friday at 11 am EST starting September 18th to December 4th. Students will get the chance to workshop their ideas with social entrepreneurs from all over the globe and will hear past EPIC winner's success stories.
The lab will be hosted by our Executive Director, Marc Blumenthal, and will feature guest speakers from around the world in the poverty reduction industry. Students applying to EPIC will get a chance to present their social venture ideas for feedback. Registration can be found on our here.
We welcome universities to host an EPIC lab. Hosting a lab means that your university will get to speak about their social entrepreneurship program and will nominate two EPIC teams from their school to present. To inquire about hosting a lab, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who can apply to EPIC?
The Social Ventures Foundation is calling all community college, university, or recently graduated students (within the last 2-3 years) with a passion for social entrepreneurship and social impact to compete in the End Poverty Innovation Challenge. There is no minimum or maximum limits for the number of team members and each member of your group may come from different disciplines, schools, or even countries. An accepted submission can be a social venture in its idea stage, research and development stage, prototype stage, or scaling stage. More information on submission criteria can be found here.
How to Register
EPIC is free to enter. Entries are due by October 30th. The preliminary judging results will be announced on November 20th for the top 25 teams. After a closed live round of presentations, the top ten teams will be announced on December 4th and will compete on December 11th at 2pm EST via Zoom in a live competition. Registration requires short answers as well as a 3 minute (maximum) video uploaded via YouTube. Registration forms can be found on our website here.