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.


2020 Winners:

Congratulations to LivingWaters and ImpactToolbox (I-Toolbox), winners of the 2020 John Edwardson, ’72, Social New Venture Challenge. LivingWaters has developed a low-cost, easily deployable rainwater collection system to provide clean water to the world’s displaced populations. ImpactToolbox (I-Toolbox) is a digital incubation platform that provides social entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa with the opportunity to transform their ideas into viable social ventures. Both teams took home first place and $40,000 in venture funding at the online SNVC finals hosted on June 2, 2020.

This past year, the SNVC celebrated 10 years of social impact, having helped jump-start more than 100 startups that have gone on to raise more than $35 million.

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