Social Impact Award: Georgia hosts contest for young innovators

The Tbilisi edition of Social Impact Award was announced earlier this month. Photo: Social Impact Award., 22 Feb 2017 - 18:05, Tbilisi,Georgia

Two Georgian cities will host the country’s first edition of the Social Impact Award: an international contest for student projects aimed at benefiting society through entrepreneurial endeavours.

Launching this Friday, the contest will be held in the capital of Tbilisi as well as the eastern city of Telavi and aim to help young innovators transform their ideas from the stage of infancy to fully-fledged projects that will bring solutions to social issues.

The event will be the first Georgian edition of the Social Impact Award, which is organised in 20 European countries.

See a preview video for the Georgian edition of Social Impact Award below:

Student teams will present their projects and be evaluated by professionals in social enterprise. The young participants will also learn how to set up business plans and carry their ideas through to successful implementation.

The contest will begin with 12 workshops in Tbilisi and Telavi, focusing on teaching social entrepreneurship, the generation of ideas, the establishment of business models and business planning.

Based on presented ideas, an independent jury will select eight successful teams for a subsequent incubation process, while the shortlisted teams will also receive financial and professional support.

The same jury will ultimately reveal three winning teams, to be granted prize money and an opportunity to travel to the Social Impact Award European Summit in Belgrade, Serbia, which will take place between November 1-3.

The three groups will also be granted a chance to receive funding of 20,000 GEL (about $7,500/7,200€*) for implementing their respective projects.

The Social Impact Award workshops in Tbilisi will be held at the Fabrika venue. Photo: Impact Hub Tbilisi.

Workshops will run in Tbilisi from February 24-26 and Telavi from March 10-12, while the remaining phases of the competition will be held throughout the rest of the year.

Organisers Impact Hub Tbilisi and Europe Foundation said they hoped to encompass "all big cities” in Georgia for the 2018 edition.

Impact Hub is an international initiative that unites over 15,000 members at 86 locations across the world in a community which "inspires, connects and enables people across the world to sustainably impact society".

Tbilisi joined the network in October 2016 with a public discussion held at Fabrika, titled Building Ecosystems for Sustainable Social Change.

Founded in 2008, Europe Foundation is a Georgia-based organisation that aims to "increase citizen action in monitoring” governmental and business activities "to effect positive changes”.* Currencies are equivalent with today's National Bank of Georgia exchange rate.