Global Social Venture Competition – Southeast Asia Round

Monument of Pridi Phanomyong at Thammasat Univ...
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Every year Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand hosts the Global Social Venture Competition for the Southeast Asian region (GSVC-SEA).  This business plan competition is focused on promoting new social ventures and social entrepreneurs by providing a forum for these venures to get exposure and funding.

The Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) was launched in 1999 by the Hass School of Business of the University of California at Berkeley, USA. It was the oldest and largest competition of its kind, to promote entrepreneurial start-up companies which offer measurable social or environmental benefits in addition to profits. These social impacts can be in the areas of health, education, environment, etc. By 2010, GSVC has grown to include over 500 teams worldwide, partnering with many of the world’s top business schools, including the Columbia Business School, the London Business School, and the Indian School of Business.

To enter the GSVC-SEA competition, a team which includes just one graduate business student or a person who graduated from within 2 years from any school submits a five-page executive summary of a proposed venture, which is scalable and offers quantifiable social and/or environmental benefits incorporated into


its mission and practices. Executive summaries must be submitted before 11 pm (Bangkok time), 15 January 2011 to qualify. Please see more detailed rules, regulations and past winners on the website

After the submission process, all entries will undergo the first judging round. Groups of professionals, academics and students gather in Bangkok to review and debate in small groups about the various social ventures submitting. Finally, 12 teams are selected to be the regional finalists who will then come to present their business plans in a two day event in Bangkok, Thailand in March 2011. Each team will be allowed 15 minutes to pitch their plan. Following their presentation, a panel of judges will engage the team in a series of questions regarding the technical, business and social impact aspects of their proposed venture. The top two winners of the business plan competition will be sent to the Global Social Venture Competiton Global Round (GSVC Global) to compete at the University of California, Berkely, USA. In addition, the social venture with the best social impact assessment will be showcased in the Global round.

Here’s a former GSVC-SEA winner who spoke at the 2010 GSVC-SEA Symposium: Lex Reyes talks about RuralLight at GSVC 2010 from Marielle Nadal on Vimeo.

iCare Club 2010, Creative Social Business Contest

There will be nine teams of university students presenting their ideas on three different topics. This event gives teams 15 minutes to present their ideas and judges will ask questions for 10 minutes. The event is run in Thai language and is geared towards the Thai context in terms of it’s problems, participants, judges and audience.

iCare Club
Location: Hotel S31
Time: 8:00-17:00
Partner: change fusion, Ashoka, Magnolia, TCDC, BE magazine, I care

Critism of Ideas for Thailand

This article linked in the Malaysian Insider from the Bangkok Post critizes the intentions of the Ideas for Thailand campaign by the current government. The project started as a way to give Thai citizens a way to share their ideas to make Thailand a better place to live.

Over 3,000 ideas were accepted and then screened to 50 ideas. These 50 ideas will then present their ideas at Siam Discovery Center Floor 1 on September 23, 2010. The judges will choose the 20 short-listed ideas that will be broadcasted on NBT channel. The final 5 ideas will receive 100,000 in start up money as a reward for their idea.

While given a channel for Thai citizens to propose ideas that can help Thailand is great, the question is: “Will these ideas actually be implemented?” Ideas are nothing more than ideas if no action is taken. The next step would be to see if the government will support the development of implementation plans or support the people who proposed these ideas further in developing their projects.

5 Qualities of Social Enterpreneurs

Social entrepreneurs all around the world are working to provide opportunities and hope for marginalized and disadvantaged peoples. They address such issues to reporting of human rights violations to helping underprivileged children learn how to read. Whether they work in a local context or an international scale, social entrepreneurs are committed to reshaping society with their innovative solutions. These solution-minded and practical thinkers are not afraid to tackle some of the world’s toughest problems because they strive for the betterment of society.

Social Entrepreneurs are:

  • Ambitious: One can’t take on the world’s social problems without a bit of ambition. No matter what organization or cause they champion, social entrepreneurs have to possess the drive to tackle these issues. Social entrepreneurs act as leads in nonprofits organizations, social purpose ventures such as for-profit community development banks and hybrid organizations that are a mixture of nonprofit and for-profit organizations.
  • Mission driven: In a society that is largely driven by money and power, social entrepreneurs value social betterment over personal wealth betterment. While wealth creation may be a side product, it is not an end in itself or the primary purpose. Generating social value and social change is the real objective.
  • Strategic: Social entrepreneurs capitalize on opportunities that others miss. They problem solve to develop solutions to social issues and invent new approaches create social value. Business-like thinking and determination is what keeps social entrepreneurs focused on the prize – their social vision.
  • Resourceful: Working to solve social problems often requires more than a little resourcefulness. Social entrepreneurs have to deal with issues of limited capital and manpower since they operate within a social context. In order to get the things done, social entrepreneurs must be able to gather and mobilize human, financial and political resources.
  • Results oriented: In the end, social entrepreneurs are driven to bring quantifiable results and progress towards their social vision. When their ideas and solutions become reality and positive social change results, a social entrepreneur becomes truly successful and more driven to continue on their path to help the disadvantaged.