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The Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) is the premier global competition for students who own and operate a business while attending college or university. 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. Founded in 1998 by Saint Louis University, GSEA is now an Entrepreneurs’ Organization program.
EO GSEA supports student entrepreneurs who require much needed mentorship, recognition and connections to take their businesses to the next level of success.
VISION: Empowering student entrepreneurs to become the world’s most influential change makers.
MISSION: 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.
Qualifying competitions are held in cities and countries worldwide, with the 2019 Global Finals competition being held in Macau, China.
Qualifying competitions take place throughout the calendar year with the Global Finals held in April 2019.
Part 1:Evaluate the Entrepreneur
- Does the student demonstrate the tenacious spirit needed to succeed as an entrepreneur? Has he/she encountered challenges, overcome them, and learned from mistakes?
- Is the student effectively integrating the two roles of life – as a student AND a business owner?
- EO Core Value #1 – Boldly Go – Is the student taking smart risks and evolving to meet changing circumstances?
- EO Core Value #2 – Thirst for Learning – Is the student seeking out expert advice and wisdom, and proactively growing their own knowledge? Are they naturally curious?
- EO Core Value #3 – Make a Mark – Is the student innovating, planning for the future and distinguishing him/herself from the field? Is he/she taking a long view rather than just quick wins?
- EO Core Value #4 – Trust and Respect – Has the student demonstrated an appropriate degree of trust and respect in his/her interactions with the judges? Is he/she showing their true self, demonstrating vulnerability and openness? Would you find him/her trustworthy?
- EO Core Value #5 – Cool – Does the student have a unique personal identity that he/she brings to the business? Is the business in alignment with his/her identity and values? Do they come across as confident and genuine?
Part 2:Evaluate the Business
- Has the student demonstrated a knowledge of strong business fundamentals and shown that they are in practice in the business? Has he/she provided information relating to the growth, revenue and profit of the business?
- Has the student effectively communicated the business and its vision?
- Does the business show strong potential for future growth?
Please reach out to the GSEA team at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Opportunity is About:
Candidates should be from:
Description of Ideal Candidate:
If you do not see your country listed as an option, please feel free to still apply and select “Other” as your competition selection. As competition locations are confirmed regularly, we will connect you with a competition should one become available in your city/country.
- 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.
Deadline: As soon as possible
Cost/funding for participants:
- Prizes are generally a combination of cash and business services and will vary by location.
- At the Global Finals, students compete for a prize package of US$25,000 in cash and a total value of over $40,000, which includes a travel/lodging expense paid trip to compete in the Global Finals. 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.
How do the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards help student business owners?
- 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.
- Did we mention PRIZES? EO GSEA participants compete for a global prize package worth US$25,000 in cash. All EO GSEA finalists receive a paid trip (airfare and lodging) to compete in the EO GSEA Global Finals, donated business services, access to the EO community and mentorship. The total value of all prizes, gifts and services for all student competitors at the EO GSEA Global Finals is nearly half a million dollars.