The winners of this year's Global Social Venture Competition, a contest run by the Haas School of Business, Columbia Business School, and London Business School, were announced last week. Studying more than 125 entries by MBA students, judges selected the following as social venture plans with promise:
- Schools for Community Empowerment This team of educators has developed a model of urban renewal and empowerment that could revitalize neighborhoods, communities, and cities across the country by linking youth education with community development.
- Eco-Friendly Agricultural Products This team will manufacture organic fertilizer with high water retention properties for local farmers in arid regions, thus improving soil quality.
- Distributed Generation Technologies This team will promote renewable energy production and local energy efficiency through multi-fuel technologies.
- IAM, LLC This team will carry out real estate development and research, dedicated to improving the economic development and environmental quality of underserved urban neighborhoods.
The schools' efforts differ slightly from Fast Company's Social Capitalist Awards: The GSVC considers plans for social ventures -- businesses that have yet to launch -- and decisions are based on the potential for growth, social ROI, and blended value.