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Wether you are an aspiring, emerging or existing social entrepreneur or changemaker, this overview of programmes, awards and competitions is certainly worth a closer look!


1. Climate KIC Accelerator

Climate-KIC Accelerator is Germany’s largest cleantech accelerator for early stage startups. It is focused upon getting startups ready for their first investors and customers and helps them scale their business.

The accelerator program includes. expert coaching, pitch training, workshops, mentoring, networking, matchmaking with partners and investors, co-working space, pitch stages at DemoDay and investor dinner as well as financial support up to 95,000 €

You can apply the following Climate-KIC Accelerator location: Berlin, Frankfurt am Main or Munich.

To get an idea of what startups they support, check out their startup portfolio.


April 3, 2017

Who can apply?

  • Innovators working in a team with breakthrough ideas to counter climate change
  • A startup based around a new technology or service with high potential for both commercial viability and climate impact


  • You must be based in Berlin, Frankfurt or Munich
  • German-speaking

Application deadline: 06.02.2017 I More information and online application here


2. SE 100 Inspiring Social Innovators

Starting from the present year, we look forward to selecting  100 Social Innovations and Social Entrepreneurs around the world every year in order to appreciate the significant effort they put in to create a better world. The SE 100 Innovations and Social Entrepreneurs will be listed in our website and later published as a book.

Selected SE 100 social innovations will benefit from one or more of the following and most importantly will get the exposure they need to help further their projects.

  • Connect with Impact Angel Investors for funding
  • Free pass to First Global Social Innovation summit from social enablers in India
  • Mentorship In-Kind Services

Who can apply?

  • Social enterprises that has completed at least one year of functioning
  • Social enterprises with sustainable development goals


  • Excellent vision and strategic direction.
  •  Clear leadership and management of the organization.
  •  A clear evidenced social, environmental and community impact.
  •  Show sustainability in terms of profit and growth.
  •  Leads an enterprise that is at least one year old.
  •  Innovative: An idea with a novel approach to address a social problem.
  •  Collaborative: A project that engages and enlists others.
  •  Social Impact: A solution with a positive and measurable impact.
  • Must support one of UN SDG  Goals.

Application deadline: 31.01.2017 I More information and online application here

3. Indo-German Startup Bootcamp India 2017

Following the successful first Indo-German Startup Bootcamp conducted in July 2016 in Berlin, Social Impact together with their partners GIZ, Bosch, IIM Calcutta Innovation Park and Intellecap are geared to conduct the second Indo-German Startup Bootcamp which will take place in India. It will bring together entrepreneurs from India and Germany to explore cooperation and grow their social impact.

The bootcamp will run for a period of 10 days between March 20-29, 2017 in Calcutta and Bangalore. The 1.5 week long bootcamp will bring together entrepreneurs from Germany and India, mentors, corporates, technology experts, and other key stakeholders

Who can apply?

  • Social startups from Germany or India in the transport and mobility sector


  • Commitment to making an impact in the transport and mobility sector
  • Innovative & creative product/service ideas and solutions
  • Clear evidence of market demand for the product or service that can be demonstrated by performance data from at least a pilot or proof of concept
  • Business growth model demonstrating potential for delivering scalable social and/ or environmental impact
  • Clearly defined interest in cross-border collaboration and demonstrated potential benefit from and to the Bootcamp

Application deadline: 25.01.2017 I More information here I Apply here

4. Teach First 2017 Innovation Award

The Teach First Innovation Award exists to empower individuals with game-changing ideas that will fulfil our goal of ending educational inequality in the UK.

The Innovation Award will enable up to five social entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into a reality. Each Award Winner will receive 6 months full-time salary and a place in their Innovation Accelerator, an intensive programme of technical training, supportive mentoring and expert advice to help you develop, pilot and scale your idea. In addition, they will receive a year of intensive support to develop their ideas.

Who can apply?

  • Anyone with an idea that could help end educational inequality in the UK.
  • If your idea can sigificantly improve opportunities for young people from low socio-economic backgrounds in England and/or Wales
  • If you are in the early stages of your idea, meaning that you (or any of your team) have not received a full-time salary from the work you are doing to implement your idea
  • If you prepared to work part-time (at least 10 hours per week) starting in April 2017 and then full-time on your idea starting in September 2017


  • The problem
  • Your solution
  • Impact
  • Sustainability
  • Leadership
  • Added value

Application deadline: 08.01.2017 I More information and online application here


5. ASA-Program

The ASA-Program supports young people from Germany in their commitment to make a difference.  Every year, the ASA-Program enables up to 250 young people from Europe to take part in its learning and qualification program dedicated to development education. The application starts every year at 20th of November and ends at 10th of January. Participants can search a project database (German only) and mention their favourite project when applying.

ASA offers different formats, one of them is ASApreneurs, a one-year qualification program that develops leadership competencies for a sustainable international development. The sustainability-projects are offered and proposed by companies and organizations that deal with sustainability on the international level. Overall, the ASA-Program offers five subprograms: ASA-Basis, ASA-SüdNord, ASA-Kommunal, ASApreneurs and GLEN.

Who can apply?

  • Students aged between 21 – 30 years that are currently enrolled at university, or that have graduated (Bachlor) within the last 18 months.

Application deadline: 10.01.2017 I More information here


6. Seif Awards 2017Programmes and competitions for emerging social entrepreneurs and change-makers in 2016! - whatamission.com

The Seif Awards offer innovative social enterprises from all over the world and from all kind of sectors the opportunity to win one of the four CHF 10’000 prize is available and divided among the winner of the following four categories: Integration and Prevention, Entrepreneurial Innovation, Future Trends and Social Entrepreneurship.

Application can be submitted in German and English

Who can appy?

  • Social Enterprises from all over the world and from all kind of sectors
  • Your enterprise creates social impact and is supported by a sustainable business model


    • Professional skills of the project team
    • Innovation of the project
    • Social / ecological impact
    • Quality of the business model and financing
    • Replicability and scale

The application process will be opened in March 2017 I More information and online application here


7. StartsocialProgrammes and competitions for emerging social entrepreneurs and change-makers in 2016! - whatamission.comProgrammes and competitions for emerging social entrepreneurs and change-makers in 2016! - whatamission.com

Startsocial is a national-wide competition, under the patronage of Angela Merkel, fostering volunteer and social engagement initiatives in Germany. 100 coaching scholarships are offered to social initiatives on an annual basis.  Each of the 100 selected initiatives receives 4 moths support by two coaches.  The top seven initiatives (Bundespreisträger) will receive in addition 5.000 EUR financial support.

Who can apply?

  • Individuals and teams with social initiatives based in Germany
  • Initiatives focused on voluntary service / people focussed
  • Applications can only be submitted in German


  • Social impact, sustainability, efficiency and scalability

The application phase will be opened in April/Mai 2017 I More information here I Register for a reminder of the application start by sending an email to info@startsocial.de with subject line “startsocial 2017/18”.


8. Post Graduate Certificate in Social Innovation ManagementProgrammes and competitions for emerging social entrepreneurs and change-makers in 2016! - whatamission.com

The post-grad certificate in Social Innovation Management covers a period of 10 months and combines online with field-based learning. It is offered by the Amani Institute, whose aim it is to developing whole individuals who have the knowledge and practical skills required to solve today’s problems and the networks to be equipped to take on social challenges. It is offered in Nairobi, Kenya and Soa Paulo, Brasil.

Who can apply?

  • Anyone who wants to further develop their leadership competencies
  • Individuals currently working in the social sector who want to accelerate their career
  • Social entrepreneurs who want to take their venture to the next level
  • Individuals and recent graduates who are seeking to launch their social change careers


  • A university degree (undergraduate or bachelor’s)
  • At least two years of practical experience (either working or volunteering)
  • Evidence of commitment to social change through your personal and/or professional life
  • Strong desire to develop yourself further both professionally and personally
  • Interest in gaining a further global perspective to your previous experiences

Costs: USD 7950 (Financial aid may be offered for programme costs)

Application deadline: not yet stated for 2017 I More information here

 9. Ericsson Innovation Awards 2017

Ericcson Innovation Awards is an open competition giving students from all around the world the opportunity to develop innovative ICT ideas in collaboration with Ericsson experts. This year’s competition theme is the FUTURE OF FOOD and is based on the UN Sustainable Development Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

The first four winner teams win a cash prize:

  • First prize: EUR 25,000
  • Second prize: EUR 15,000
  • Third prize: EUR 1,000
  • Fourth prize: EUR 1,000

Who can apply?


  • How well the innovation addresses the theme – The future of food.
  • The impact the innovation has on a sustainable level and on social responsibility issues.
  • How well the team members have collaborated. Teams with members from different universities, main fields of study, backgrounds and nationalities will have the edge in the jury process.
  • How global or local the innovation is; does it solve a problem or improve a situation on a small or large scale?
  • Potential revenue or cost reduction for the customer purchasing the innovation. The business case should verify these numbers.
  • How easy it is to develop and how fast it can get to market, explained in a constructive and concise manner.
  • How easy it is for the potential customers to deploy, considering time, change of behavior, money. The benefits of the innovation (user or efficiency). What impact does the innovation have?
  • Did the solution solve the problem in an innovative way?
  • Has the innovation been taken to the next level in the form of a Lite-Prototype or Minimum Viable Product (MVP) in the semi-final process?

Application deadline: 17.03.2017 I More information here


10. SenseCube

SenseCube,  a project powered by MakeSense, is a 6 month accelerator program for social start-ups based in Paris, Dakar and Mexico. They support innovative entrepreneurs, using digital technologies to mobilise strong communities and solve social and environmental issues.

More informaton here


11. Asia Social Innovation Award

The Asia Social Innovation Award (ASIA) was launched in 2008 and aims to promote social entrepreneurship and business 2.0 concepts in Asia through a social innovation idea competition. The Award provides a platform for idea-stage entrepreneurs to kick-start projects through cross-country networking and expertise exchanges.

A total of 11 awardees will be selected from Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and Other Asia region, and compete for the Grand Award of Social Innovator 2016.

Who can apply?

  • Asian social startups with an impact driven business solution ideas that address urban issues in Asia


  • Creativity
  • Social Need Solubility
  • Feasibility
  • Sustainability
  • Scalability

Applications open: expected September 2017 I More information here

12. I Inspire – The Social Innovation Award

This Award recognizes an individual who is an innovative leader who finds solutions to expand economic opportunities, relieve poverty, or increase the financial inclusion of marginalized communities. These is for the individuals who attract, support and inspire some of the most innovative, high-impact social entrepreneurs in India.

Who can be nominated?

  • Anyone aged 30+ with solutions to social-economic challenges in India


  • Innovation
  • Measurable Impact

Nominations must be submitted by: 15.01.2017 I More information here


13. Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme

The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme is the flagship entrepreneurship programme of the Tony Elumelu Foundation.

Their vision is to establish the pre-eminent pan-African entrepreneurship programme and create 10,000 startups across Africa within the next 10 years that generate significant employment and wealth. he programme is open to young compelling businesses with strong market feasibility, clear financial models and run by capable teams.

The Programme provides critical tools for entrepreneurial success, including:

  • Training:12 weeks of intensive training on setting-up and managing businesses
  • Mentoring:A mentor will guide successful applicants in creating a robust business plan
  • Seed Capital:$5,000 in non-returnable seed capital and access to a $5,000 convertible loan

Who can apply?

  • Open to all citizens and legal residents of any one of the 54 African countries
  • For profit businesses between 0-3 year old based in Africa
  • Applicants must be at least 18 and a legal resident or citizen of an African country


  • Viability of idea
  • Market opportunity and financial understanding
  • Scalability
  • Leadership and entrepreneurial skills

Application deadline: 01.03.2017 I More information here


Do you know about other scholarships, programmes and competitions that should be on this list? Then please let me know by leaving a note in the comment box below. Relevant tips will be added to this overview.