What is an SVC?

The Resolution Social Venture Challenge (SVC) is a competition for Resolution Fellowships. The SVC is designed to identify and support teams of young people from around the world who offer strong solutions to pressing social issues. It rewards outstanding innovation, initiative, and enterprise among participating venturers.

Specifically, the SVC presents students with three challenges: 1) to identify a problem, large or small; 2) to conceive of a solution; and 3) to implement that solution. Students are asked to produce a detailed proposal in stages, describing the problem they will address and how their social enterprise will address it.

What is a Resolution Fellowship and what would I get if I was awarded one?

Resolution Fellowships recognize young leaders for their initiative and innovation in addressing social challenges through social entrepreneurship and for their dedication to a lifetime of social responsibility. Resolution provides Fellows with access to a full ecosystem for a new social entrepreneur and a pathway to creating positive impact today. This includes seed funding of up to $5,000 to launch the venture proposed for the SVC, along with ongoing mentorship, pro bono services, robust support and access to the Resolution network.  All decisions regarding the Fellowship will be made by The Resolution Project in its sole discretion. The level of support and/or funding will be dependent on The Resolution Project’s resources and abilities, and shall be provided on a discretionary basis. Please note, each team receives a grant (not each Fellow).

Is my idea a social venture?

In order to be a social venture, an idea needs to be both innovative and have social impact – it must address a real social problem in a unique way. Your social venture can be structured as a for-profit or not-for-profit organization, so long as it has a measurable, positive social impact. Resolution does not consider as eligible purely for-profit businesses that donate a portion of their proceeds to other charities.  Businesses may be eligible if they have social impacts on underserved populations or major social challenges, and businesses may be eligible if they perform philanthropic work as part of their model (e.g., those that have an associated foundation that the leadership directly works on and is substantively involved in leading or implementing).

A key characteristic of a social venture is that it is sustainable, so identifying a revenue stream is very important to ensuring that the project can have a lasting effect. You can see how Resolution assesses social ventures under our Eligibility Rules and Judging Guidelines.

Who can enter?

To be eligible to receive a Resolution Fellowship:

  • You must be a current undergraduate student in college or university. (To be eligible for a Resolution Fellowship, you need to be enrolled as an undergraduate student and not yet have received an undergraduate degree. Integrated joint degree programs with a bachelors degree are permissible if you receive the joint degree at the same time as your bachelors degree (and that cannot have happened already). Students working toward an associates degree or who are working towards their first bachelors degree after their associates degree are eligible. Students who are working toward another non-bachelors degree that will be their first college or university-granted degree are also eligible.)
  • You must be a Founder of the social venture you are proposing.  The social venture must be created and led by the Founder(s).
  • You must present and represent the Venture in-person at the conference at both the Social Venture Forum and, if you move forward, the Finals.
  • You must not be a staff member or volunteer of the host conference for the Social Venture Challenge in which you are competing.
  • You must have at least one teammate working on your social venture. 
  • You and your team must be trustworthy and committed to ethical standards.

For more detailed requirements, please see our Eligibility Rules and Judging Guidelines.

Can I submit materials or present my venture in a language other than English?

The official language of Resolution’s Social Venture Challenge is English, so we require that your materials and your presentation be in English. Resolution’s conference partners are English-language conferences, and as a program within those conferences, we carry out our competition in English to make it accessible to all attendees of the conference. This choice of language impacts everything from making it possible for the audience to understand the presentations, to selecting judges who can assess all teams equally.

How can I get started?

In order to participate in an SVC, you must register with one of our partner conferences. The conference organizers will be in touch with all participants with instructions on getting started.  Check out our upcoming SVCs.

Can I participate in the SVC without a team?

Yes, you are eligible to take part in an SVC as an individual. If you plan to participate as an individual, we require that you have at least one team member back home supporting your venture. Our experience is that a social entrepreneur is more likely to succeed when there is at least another person helping out. We ask individuals participating in the SVC to provide a short letter from a team member at home outlining his/her involvement in and support of the venture, should it go forward. In this case, only the individual actually attending the SVC is eligible to receive a Resolution Fellowship.

Who can be on my team?

Teams are limited to three Founders per Venture unless the team can show extenuating circumstances and obtains permission from The Resolution Project to participate with more than three Founders. Founders are self-identified in the application process. High school and graduate students may participate as Venture Team members, but are not eligible to receive Resolution Fellowships.

What is an Ally and why do I need one?

An Ally is an advisor with experience in the area you’re looking to address. Often they are academic advisors, mentors, or family friends in an appropriate industry who can share helpful insights on the project or who give very sound advice.

Allies are important because every strong entrepreneur and leader needs great mentors and advisors. Their specific knowledge, their experience, their access and support will be helpful to the project. They also show Resolution that you have been able to convince more senior individuals of the merits of your project—something you will have to do often as you build your social venture.

Am I still eligible if I’ve already raised money for my Venture?

To be eligible for a Resolution Fellowship, the Venture you are presenting cannot have already received funding from another institution or organization. Small-scale crowdfunding and small-scale fundraising from Founders, family, and friends are acceptable.

Are there any restrictions on the use of grant money?

Yes, as with most grants, use of funds is limited to an approved budget proposed to Resolution by the team of fellows. One additional restriction is that of the entire grant amount, only 10% of the grant money can be used towards travel and travel-related expenses. For example, if you received a $1,500 grant, $150 could be used for travel and travel-related expenses.

What should be included in the budget?

The budget should be a comprehensive budget for the Venture, not just the allocations of the funds associated with the Resolution grant. All past, present, and known-future fundraising efforts should be included in the budget.

If I don’t win, will I get feedback?

Yes, every Venture Team that participates in-person in an SVC will receive constructive feedback.

Who judges this?

Judging will be done by qualified individuals selected by Resolution’s Board of Directors. If any judge has a prior relationship with an applicant, the judge will recuse him/herself from judging that applicant’s venture.

How does the judging work?

For the details of our judging process, please visit our Eligibility Rules and Judging Guidelines.