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Social Impact Award – a Program for Students in Social Entrepreneurship

Young, energetic people can become drivers of positive change, when given the opportunity to fully unleash their potential. They can contribute to solving salient social issues and build their own future. Social Impact Award, a program for students in social entrepreneurship,  invites young people to take an active role as citizens and respond to societal challenges in an entrepreneurial way.

Social Impact Award,  or simply, SIA was developed by the University of Vienna in 2009 for those students, who were interested in starting their own ventures but at the same time, bring positive changes for the society; in other words, the program aimed at increasing interest of young people toward social entrepreneurship.  The scale of the program has been growing ever since and in 2017, the geography of SIA is already covering 20 countries.  With joint forces of Europe Foundation and Impact Hub Tbilisi and in partnership with the Bank of Georgia, the program is also being implemented first time in Georgia. 

On February 9, 2017, Social Impact Award Georgia was officially launched at Impact Hub Tbilisi. The Program implementers and partners talked in detail about the planned activities;  Georgian social entrepreneurs also had an opportunity to share their experience with the attendees of the event.

SIA enables young people to gain knowledge in entrepreneurship and also, to participate in a competition to reveal the best social enterprise ideas.  Series of workshops on the issues like – social entrepreneurship, idea generation, business modeling and business planning are offered free of charge to anyone, willing to attend, however, prior registration is required. Those, students who wish to participate in the competition, should submit project proposals (either individually or in teams) electronically. Submitted proposals will be reviewed by an independent jury and based on their assessments, only eight teams/individuals will be selected for further incubation – a two-month intensive work with the mentors, for preparing of a refined business plan. By the end of the Program, three winning projects will be selected:  two – on the basis of the jury assessment and one – through online voting.  All three winners will be awarded  EUR 2000 by Bank of Georgia and will have an opportunity to attend SIA Europe summit in Belgrade (Serbia), a meetup and networking event for all winner teams from SIA implementing countries. On top of that, Europe Foundation will give an opportunity to receive a grant support of GEL 20,000 to one of the winning teams, in case they decide to team up with a civil society organization of their choice and establish a social enterprise together.

The program is being implemented through the support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.

For more information about the program, please visit SIA Georgia website.

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