DBS & NUS host Social Venture Challenge Asia - $55k Prize money up for grabs


NUS Enterprise, an University-level cluster established by National University of Singapore (NUS) to provide an enterprise dimension to NUS teaching and research, along with the Development Bank of Singapore (DBS) are hosting the DBS-NUS Social Venture Challenge Asia – a pan Asia competition for social enterprises. The competition aims to identify and support new social ventures that have the potential to generate scalable and sustainable social impact. It is an 8-month programme that aims to raise awareness and build a culture of social entrepreneurship in Asia. The Challenge also provides multi-dimensional support for budding social entrepreneurs and builds capacity through public education in social entrepreneurship.Through this challenge DBS and NUS aim to build a robust community of social entrepreneurs and capacity builders across Asia. And with such a network, the increased awareness and support for budding social entrepreneurs will accelerate the impact of these ventures to solve today’s most pressing social problems.

Competition Roadmap

Who can participate?

  1. There is no limit on age, nationality or number of members in a team.
  2. Ventures that have received outside investment from venture capitalists, private investors, governmental or industry sources at the point of registration are eligible to compete, provided that the total funding (including paid-up capital, grants, loans and other forms of funding) does not exceed S$100,000.
  3. Submissions should be the original work of the team- teams are expected to demonstrate the originality of their ideas whenever possible, or evidence of innovation.
  4. Proposed ventures must have a scalable social impact in Asia.
  5. Teams that qualify as semi-finalists/finalists are required to send at least one core member to attend the boot camp and finals in Singapore. Financial assistance will be provided for teams residing outside of Singapore.
  6. The organisers of the Challenge reserve to right to disqualify any teams that are found to have violated the spirit of the competition guidelines.

Evaluation Process

  1. Compelling Value Proposition (20%)
  • Clearly-defined, technically feasible solution for an identified need/social problem
  • Innovation in product, service, or business model
  • Clear market position and differentiation from competitors
  • Empirical evidence of validation from community of the identified need/social problem
  1. Social Impact (20%)
  • High-impact social value proposition
  • Actively engages and works with community to solve the social problem
  • Feasible plan to clearly measure and evaluate social impact
  • Social value proposition is aligned with the business model; impact scales as business scales
  1. Market potential (20%)
  • Viable addressable market size
  • Clarity of target customers & intended beneficiaries and how to reach them
  • Scalable in terms of geography and solution, or across industries
  1. Economic & Financial Model (20%)
  • Feasible and realistic revenue model and funding plan
  • Realistic financial projections for venture’s operations
  • Realistic route map to financial sustainability
  1. Team strength (20%)
  • Members demonstrate entrepreneurial ability to adapt
  • Demonstration of knowledge and understanding of target community
  • Future plans to fill gaps in talent and experience

For Prizes, FAQs and more details about the competition, please visit the SVCA website here – http://socialventurechallenge.asia/


As community partners – Ennovent and Samhita are conducting a workshop on ‘A Purpose Driven Approach to Designing a Business Model’ which is open to all applicants in Bengaluru, Chennai, Cochin, Delhi and Mumbai. Please register here to participate in the SVCA Workshop in your city


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