How this student entrepreneur award programme is empowering ‘Studentpreneurs’
The spirit of entrepreneurship is getting younger by the day. While becoming an entrepreneur has traditionally been viewed as a risky endeavour, countless success stories and the many opportunities available today has helped youngsters push the envelope.
It was billionaire business magnate and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, who, in an interview a few years ago, said, “Starting young is good. You can either learn through failing, like I did, or you can learn by being successful.”
Students stand at the front of this line – their minds teeming with brilliant ideas, business models, solutions and innovations. Giving enterprising students a much-needed push is The Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) – the premier global competition for students who own and operate a business while attending college or university. Built on a mission to inspire students to start and grow entrepreneurial ventures, GSEA brings global visibility to pioneering student business owners.
What is GSEA and why does it matter?
Founded in 1998 by Saint Louis University, GSEA is now an Entrepreneurs’ Organization program. It supports student entrepreneurs who require much-needed mentorship, recognition and connections to take their businesses to the next level of success. The Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) is a Global business network of 14,000+ leading entrepreneurs in 195 chapters and 61 countries. Founded in 1987 by a group of young entrepreneurs, EO enables business owners to learn from each other, leading to greater business success and an enriched personal life. At its core, EO is a collection of like-minded entrepreneurs focused on business growth, personal development and community engagement. In addition to our mission, vision and core values, our global makeup is comprised of nearly 14,000+ individual member stories.
GSEA aims to empower student entrepreneurs to become the world’s most influential changemakers and to give student entrepreneurs the opportunity to accelerate their success, challenge the status quo, connect to an instrumental peer group and make the greatest impact possible in their community.
One of the biggest constraints for student entrepreneurs is often the lack of access to successful entrepreneurs, constructive feedback and the right mentorship. The GSEA helps resolve all these constraints, thanks to its expanded network. Going head to head with other business owners and answering tough questions about their business to the judges helps competitors improve their pitch skills and enhance their ability to communicate the value proposition of their business. Competitors will also get the opportunity to meet other student entrepreneurs from around the world, as well as Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) members and guests to widen their horizon, gain insights and forge the right connections.
“The GSEA has enabled the student community to think about entrepreneurship early and make them prepared for the future” says Piyush Bhandari, Member of Entrepreneur Organisation and the current chair for GSEA, South Asia.
In 2017, Daniel Raj David, a student of IIT-Madras, emerged as the winner from India, receiving a cash prize of Rs 50,000 and place to compete in the global finals in Frankfurt, Germany. From businesses in sign language interpretation, energy solutions, printing innovation to healthcare, The GSEA global finals 2019 saw studentpreneurs from 51 different countries compete for the top spot. The seven finalists’ businesses included innovative solutions in AI for agriculture, integrating raw materials into economic market, new technology for Nylon production, connected urban farming, affordable food farming, sustainable education and tea production.
Participate in GSEA 2020
Are you an undergraduate or newly-graduated college/university student who owns and has been operating a business for at least six months? Then GSEA 2020 is looking for you. GSEA represents more than 1,700 of the prominent student entrepreneurs from more than 55 countries. Nominees compete against their peers from around the world in a series of local and/or national competitions in hopes to qualify for GSEA Finals. The selected finalists, all of whom compete locally and regionally, qualify for this unique opportunity! Their stories, businesses and experiences might be different, but entrepreneurship is their passion. These studentpreneurs will experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to connect with a globally diverse network of peers.
Qualifying competitions are held in cities and countries worldwide, with the Global Finals competition being held in Cape Town, South Africa in April 2020. At the Global Finals, students compete for a prize package of $25,000 in cash and a total value of over $40,000.
Go ahead and apply today! Qualifying competitions will be held across these cities in India:
- EO Indore – 18th Dec, 2019
- EO Jaipur – 21st Dec, 2019
- EO Raipur – 8th Jan, 2020
- EO Bhopal – 10th Jan, 2020
- EO Pune – 11th Jan, 2020
- EO UP – 11th Jan, 2020
- EO Gurgaon – 24th Jan, 2020
- EO Chennai – 1st Feb, 2020