The Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) provides aspiring entrepreneurs with mentoring, exposure, and 50,000 USA in prizes to transform their ideas into businesses that are financially sustainable with a strong environmental and social impact. GSVC’s mission is to catalyze new sustainable ventures that address significant social issues, build awareness of the social entrepreneurship field and educate future leaders.
Established by MBA students at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business in 1999, the GSVC has evolved into a global network supported by an international community of volunteer judges, mentors and student organizers and a partnership of top business schools in the US, Europe, Asia, and Africa. ESSEC is the network support for Europe, Africa and the Middle-East. For the first time, Grenoble Ecole de Management is a relay in this competition.
Thanks to a partnership with ESSEC, GSVC was relayed by Grenoble Ecole de Management to all the business schools, universities and incubators in the Rhône-Alpes region - the second-largest metropolitan area in France after Paris, with the sixth-largest economy of any European region. Fifteen potential projects were identified, and Station Energy won the francophone final on the 8th March 2012. Two students from Grenoble Ecole de Management’s Specialised Master in Entrepreneurship, mentored the winning project - Station Energy - from the start of the competition.
Station Energy is a ‘social business’ founded by Alexandre Castel , a 26-year-old entrepreneur. The business develops innovative solutions to gain access to energy in rural regions in developing countries, notably in sub-Saharan Africa, with the aim of improving energy autonomy in isolated sites. In order to raise money for its first project of solar electrification in Morocco, Station Energy launched a fundraising on a crowdfunding platform, in partnership with the Terre et Humanisme Maroc association.
Final in Berkeley…
By winning the francophone final alongside the Faso Prot project, Station Energy has the opportunity of presenting its project in the GSVC world final, organised by the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley on the 19th – 20th April 2012. ESSEC and Grenoble Ecole de Management representatives (from the GEM Entrepreneurship Institute) will travel alongside the finalists.
Winners can take home between 5 and 25000 USD and most importantly a support from experts of social green businesses; and the guarantee of meeting potential investors.