Frequently Asked
Questions
What you need to know
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • Why host a global student entrepreneur competition?

    GSEA contributions:

    • We seek student entrepreneurs who think big and act boldly.
    • We give students the tools to challenge the status quo and think differently.
    • We believe in celebrating students who are on a path to contribute and make the world a better place, on any scale. We seek to add value to them so they can add value to others
    • We build a strong alumni community that will engage with future generations by championing students who believe in making a difference.
    • We provide the tools for universities to tell their story of student entrepreneurship through GSEA - how they nurture and support their students choosing this challenging path and their wider community.
  • Live competition policies

    1. Competitors can only watch the other presentations after they themselves have presented.
    2. Only the finalist can take part in the presentation. Other individuals may help with setup; however, these individuals are not permitted to present and are not included in the award package.
    3. If there is an interruption during the presentation period which results in the stoppage of the presentation, the room moderator/timekeeper will allocate additional time to the student presenter as interpreted by the timekeeper for adjustment. The timekeeper has the final decision on the addition of time due to interruption.
    4. Student entrepreneurs must follow the rules and procedures as outlined in the ‘Finalist Guide.’
    5. Competitors can bring sample products. Competitors may share food samples as necessary to demonstrate their product, but may not give complimentary samples outside of their presentation.
    6. Any deliberate action taken by a competitor or their agent to disrupt, damage or impair other competitors before or during the presentations will be cause for disqualification from the competition.
    7. The failure of competitors and their agents to comply within the terms outlined in the ‘Finalist Guide’ and/or the policies of this document may result in the disqualification of the competitor.
  • GSEA Competition disclaimer

    The Global Student Entrepreneur Awards reserves the right to require at any time that any competitor sign an affidavit that they meet each of the eligibility requirements described in the application form at any point and continuously throughout the applicable competition. In addition, any awards are subject to forfeiture and/or repayment if determined that the awardees were not in compliance.

    Review panel will be asked to treat all applications with complete confidentiality. We will also ask a review panel member to remove himself or herself from the evaluation if we believe, in our sole discretion, that he or she has a conflict of interest.

    Entrants should feel free to mark plans as confidential and exclude any information that is considered to be truly proprietary.

    Judges, student mentors, staff, legal counsel and any individual attending any public sessions of the competitions will not be required to agree to or sign non-disclosure, confidentiality or other similar agreements.

    All public sessions of the competition, including the final oral business presentations will be open to the public. Any information or data discussed in the public sessions should be considered information that is likely to enter the public domain. Competitors should not assume any right of confidentiality to any information presented or discussed in public sessions. Please be aware that members of the media, potential competitors and members of the financial community may attend public sessions.

    By participating in the competition, competitors agree that the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards or Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) assumes no liability, and shall have no liability or obligation whatsoever for disclosures of information provided by a competitor as part of a submission or otherwise during the course of the competitions. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in disqualification at any time in the sole discretion of the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards

    The Global Student Entrepreneur Awards holds the final say in all disputes and may at any time require that a finalist or winner of any cash or service award that failed to comply with requirements set forth above throughout the applicable competition forfeit and/or repay any such award. Guidelines and rules for any or all of the competitions are subject to change at any time within the scope of the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards mission.

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