Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) - Live Competition Awards

Deadline: February 15, 2025


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  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Costa Rica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • El Salvador
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Korea, South
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • Nepal
  • Netherlands
  • Pakistan
  • Panama
  • Philippines
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Russia
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • Zambia


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.


Qualifying competitions take place throughout the calendar year with the Global Finals held in June 2025.


GSEA is proud to invest in student entrepreneurs in 50+ unique countries. Successful competitors will have the opportunity to connect with peers from around the world at the Global Finals held in a new location each year.

Where it starts

Showcase your tenacious spirit by competing in your local or national country competition. Connect with your local entrepreneurial ecosystem and, if you’re selected as your regional representative, expand that opportunity to connect with peers from across the globe.

Step 1 - Are you a student entrepreneur?

You must be an undergraduate or graduate college/university student with a company operating for at least 6 months with at least US$500 in generated revenue or US$1,000 in investment.

Whether an undergraduate and post graduate, if you are still enrolled at the point of applying and meet all other requirements, you are eligible to apply to the competition.

Step 2 - Apply to compete in a local competition

Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) chapters will host live competitions at the local and regional levels to identify the top student competitors in their locations.

If you are selected to compete, you will be invited to present at your local competition, hosted by the EO chapter nearest to you.

Step 3 - Win a local competition and advance to regionals

Following success at your local competition, you will progress on to the regional event where you will compete against other winners from surrounding countries.

Step 4 - Advance to the GSEA Global Finals with the world’s best student entrepreneurs

Compete against the best student entrepreneurs around the world and connect with a life-changing group of peers.

Opportunity is About


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate

Who is eligible for GSEA?

  1. 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.
  2. You must be the owner, founder or controlling shareholder of your student business. Each company can be represented by only one owner/co-founder - studentpreneur.
  3. Your student business must have been in operation for at least six consecutive months prior to the application.
  4. Your business must have generated US $500 or received US $1000 in investments at the time of application.
  5. You should not have been one of the final round competitors from any previous year’s GSEA Global Finals Competition.
  6. 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 one academic year off before beginning their postgraduate education.


Deadline: February 15, 2025

Cost/funding for participants

What prizes are available?

Prizes are generally a combination of cash and business services and will vary by location.

At the Global Finals, students compete for a total prize package of US$50,000in cash and first place receives US$25,000. All travel and lodging expenses are also paid. Second place will receive US$10,000and 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?

  • Feedback and mentorship from successful entrepreneurs.
  • Refined storytelling. Going head to head with other business owners and answering tough questions about your business from our judges helps you mprove your pitch skills as a student entrepreneur and enhances your ability to communicate the value proposition of your business.
  • Expanded networks. You will meet other student entrepreneurs from around the world, as well as Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) members and our honored guests.
  • Media Exposure. You will receive local and national media attention for yourself and your business.
  • Prizes.The total value of all prizes, gifts and services for all student competitors at the GSEA Global Finals is nearly half a million dollars.

What is the judging criteria?

The criteria for our student entrepreneur competition is split into two parts and focuses primarily on your journey as an entrepreneur.

Part 1: Evaluation of the Student Entrepreneur

  1. The student entrepreneur demonstrates the tenacious spirit needed to succeed as an entrepreneur. They have encountered challenges, overcome them, and learned from their mistakes.
  2. The student entrepreneur is effectively integrating the two roles of life – as a student AND a business owner.
  3. The student demonstrates a desire to build a better tomorrow. They aim to improve a process or solve a problem with motivations not solely based on driving profits.
  4. EO Core Value #1 – Trust and Respect – The student has demonstrated an appropriate degree of trust and respect in his/her interactions with the judges. They are true to self, demonstrating vulnerability and openness, and are trustworthy.
  5. EO Core Value #2 – Thirst for Learning – The student is seeking out expert advice and wisdom, and proactively growing his/her own knowledge. They are naturally curious.
  6. EO Core Value #3 – Think Big, Be Bold – The student is taking smart risks and evolving to meet changing circumstances. They aim to make positive change.
  7. EO Core Value #4 – Together We Grow – The student is open-minded, adds value to the entrepreneurial community and is committed to helping others grow. They value diversity and inclusivity in life and business.

Part 2: Evaluate the Student Business

  1. Has the student demonstrated a knowledge of strong business fundamentals? Have they provided information relating to the growth, revenue and profit of the business?
  2. Has the student effectively communicated the business and its vision?
  3. Does the student business show strong potential for future growth?
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