John Edwardson, '72, Social New Venture Challenge (SNVC)

John Edwardson, '72, Social New Venture Challenge (SNVC)


The John Edwardson, ’72, Social New Venture Challenge (SNVC) is run by the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation at Chicago Booth in partnership with the Polsky Center. It is the cornerstone of the Rustandy Center’s Edwardson Social Entrepreneurship Program at the University of Chicago, which has helped businesses and nonprofits like solar-powered light company LuminAID, African tractor-leasing company Hello Tractor, and online voter guide BallotReady.

SNVC teams can be for-profit or nonprofit organizations, but must present a business model with a social mission at the core as well as a plausible plan for financial sustainability—either through earned income, philanthropy, government aid, or some combination thereof.

The final SNVC application deadline is January 27, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. CT (no exceptions). The early application is now closed. Learn more and apply here. >>

2021 Winner

Congratulations to SAEF Legal Aid (Support, Advocacy, Education for Families), winner of the 2021 John Edwardson, ’72, Social New Venture Challenge. SAEF Legal Aid is a justice-tech nonprofit building tools and services to help low-income parents and families access free and affordable legal solutions. The team took home first place and $75,000 in venture funding at the 2021 virtual SNVC finals.

Since 2011, the SNVC has helped jump-start more than 100 startups that have gone on to raise more than $38 million.

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