The Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) is the premier global competition for students who own and operate a business while attending college or university.
GSEA supports student entrepreneurs who require the much-needed mentorship, recognition and connections to take their businesses to the next level of success.
- You must be enrolled for the current academic year in a university/college as an undergraduate or graduate* student at the time of application. Full-time enrollment is not required; part-time enrollment is acceptable.
- You must be the owner, founder or controlling shareholder of your company and principally responsible for its operation. Each company can be represented by only one owner/co-founder.
- Your business must have been in operation for at least six consecutive months prior to the application.
- Your business must have generated US $500 or received US $1000 in investments at the time of application.
- You should not have been one of the top seven finalists from any previous year’s GSEA Global Finals Competition.
- The age cap for participation is 30 years of age.
*Graduate students are eligible to apply only if they have continually enrolled in a university following their undergraduate degree and not left school to work on their business or to seek other employment. Exceptions can be made for students who have taken up to 12 months’ break before beginning their postgraduate education.
Students are scored by a panel of judges and receive numerous scores on the following criteria:
Prizes are generally a combination of cash and business services and will vary by location.
- Access to successful entrepreneurs. Feedback. Mentorship.
- Refined elevator pitches. Going head to head with other business owners and answering tough questions about their business to our judges helps competitors improve their pitch skills and enhance their ability to communicate the value proposition of their business.
- Expanded networks. Competitors will meet other student entrepreneurs from around the world, as well as Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) members and our honored guests.
- Media Exposure. Competitors will receive local and national media attention for themselves and their business.
- The Global Finals competition awards a total of US$50,000, plus donated business products and services, including Web services, printing, PR, consulting and more!
- At the Global Finals, students compete for a prize package of US$20,000 in cash and a total value of over $40,000, which includes a travel/lodging expense paid trip to compete in GSEA Finals in Toronto, Canada. Second place will receive US$10,000 and third place will receive US$5,000.
- Additional awards are given at the Global Finals for Social Impact, Innovation, and Lessons from the Edge.
Pitch dates for competitions in Africa are listed below:
- Lagos – 8 November 2018
- Kenya – 8 December 2018
- Tanzania – 30 December 2018
- Zambia – 12 January 2019
- South Africa- 17 January 2019
- GSEA finals – 14-17 April 2019
How to Apply:
- Fill out the online application form here.
- If selected to compete, someone from GSEA will contact you to give you further information about the location of the competition and how to prepare.