BRACU/NYU Reynolds/D-Prize Social Venture Competition

Do you care for becoming a social entrepreneur with proven ideas to alleviate poverty all across the globe? Do you have a brilliant notion to create sustainable social impact that save lives?

BRAC University (BRACU) is proud to be a part of BRACU/New York University Reynolds Program in Social Entrepreneurship (NYU Reynolds)/D-Prize Global Social Venture Competition Consortium. Cutting-edge universities around the world have joined together to conduct their own intra-school competitions and support their students' efforts to scale sustainable, proven poverty solutions in the developing world. The consortium does more than providing students a chance to launch a world changing venture. It also pools university resources, encourages shared value and curriculum, and multiplies the power of each university.

From vaccines to classroom tools to solar lamps, society has already invented effective poverty solutions. But these solutions often fail to reach the people who actually need them. If you are a graduate/undergraduate student of BRACU with an idea to increase access to a proven poverty solutions and thus save lives, this is the opportunity for you.

The competition is challenging you to design a better way to increase access to proven poverty solution and to build an organization to implement your idea on the theme of “Sustainable and Scalable Proven Poverty Solutions”. Pitch your idea to solve one of the D-Prize challenges listed here, or propose your own challenge, along with your plan to implement your idea with a new sustainable, scalable social venture. If selected, the award will be up to $10,000 to pilot your new venture.

About the Consortium

The BRACU/NYU Reynolds/D-Prize Global Social Venture Competition Consortium engages cutting-edge universities around the world to conduct their own intra-school competition and support their students' efforts to scale sustainable, proven poverty solutions focused on the developing world.

Recognizing that innovation comes from all professions and from all corners of the globe, this unique consortium seeks to incorporate each school’s approach, program activities, and contributions to social change education. It pools existing resources and creates shared value and curriculum to market, support, judge, and celebrate students and their ideas at all consortium institutions. Moreover, it is an opportunity for students from diverse backgrounds, disciplines, countries and insights to connect, if only virtually, to share insights and ideas.

Learn more about all the Consortium members at D-Prize, the NYU Reynolds Program in Social Entrepreneurship, NYU Green Grants, BRAC University, Center for Social Impact Learning at Middlebury Institute of International Studies, and Nanyang Technopreneurship Center, Nanyang Technological University. Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (CED) of BRAC University is organizing the competition on behalf of the university in Bangladesh.

The BRACU/NYU Reynolds/D-Prize Social Venture Competition will challenge aspiring social entrepreneurs to create social change by designing a new venture with the potential to alleviate poverty across the country or around the world. Winning ideas will have a plan to effectively create social change, launch a new pilot or refine an existing one, and scale to serve the greatest number of people. Read below for information on eligibility, steps to participate and judging criteria. 

How to Participate

Step 1: Review the D-Prize Challenges. We have already identified several distribution challenges with sustainable and effective poverty solutions. These challenges will give you a framework for designing a new social venture or refining an existing one.

Step 2: Design your social venture. Choose the challenge that most inspires you, or propose your own. The application packet explains the competition rules, process, and instructions on how to draft and submit your proposal. You can participate in three (3) global webinars with students from all consortium institutions and refer to the guidance and tips listed in the support section of the Challenges section.

Step 3: Write and submit your concept note. Refer to the application packet for guidelines and submission details. After reviewing the concept notes, judges will invite the most promising social entrepreneurs to submit a full ten-page proposal.

Step 4: Write and submit your proposal. Selected finalists will interview with the judges. If a winner is selected, the venture will be awarded up to $10,000 to launch a pilot or improve an existing venture.

What happens when you win? You launch your startup and will spend the next three (3) months using every last shred of ability and talent that you have to grow a new organization that will change the world.


The Social Venture Competition is open to graduate and undergraduatestudents of BRACU. Students may apply as an individual or as part of a team. The lead team member must be a current enrolled BRACU student. 

Students must be in good academic standing. Good academic standing is defined as having a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or greater. The BRACU staff reserves the right to disqualify any applicant who does not meet the minimum grade requirement and/or is ineligible to be enrolled at BRACU as a result of a disciplinary action.

Judging Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated on the following:

  • Commitment and quality: You or your team must be passionate about development, have the skills to build a new organization from scratch or refine an existing one, and committed to expanding to a proven, effective, large-scale organization. 
  • Quality and thoroughness of the social venture plan: Good plans are tightly focused on solving one specific problem. Anyone reading your proposal should have a thorough understanding of exactly what your organization will do, and how you will do it. 
  • Projected impact: We recognize that in many cases your pilot program may start small. It is our hope that the social venture will expand to help as many people as possible. We want to understand your plan to grow, and how you will measure your impact over time. 
  • Feasibility of post-competition success: A good proposal doesn’t end after three months. We want to see your vision for 6, 12, and 24 months out.


Note: Exact dates will be announced when the competition launches in late January 2016.

Global Webinars 

January & February 2016
The BRACU/NYU Reynolds/D-Prize Global Social Venture Competition Consortium will host three (3) webinars to help you learn more about the competition and design your idea. These webinars will be organized at GDLN Centre, BRAC University [Building #2 (19th Floor), 65 Mohakhali, Dhaka 1212]. Schedules of the webinars are as follows:

Webinar 1


4 February 2016


08:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Webinar 2    


11 February 2016


08:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Webinar 3


18 February 2016


08:00 PM - 10:00 PM

First Round

Submission Deadline: Late February 2016
Download an application packet and follow the instructions to draft and submit your idea. You will submit a two page concept note and resume for each team member. A team of judges will review and invite the most promising ideas to the next round. Invitations to the next round will be sent in early March.

Second Round

Submission Deadline: Early April 2016
Those invited will receive a second round application packet. You will expand on your concept and draft a full 10 page plan of your new venture. The plan will include an executive summary, a budget, milestones you plan to hit, and your future vision. A team of judges will review and send decisions by mid-April.

Final Round

Team Interviews: Mid-April - Early May 2016
The most promising entrepreneurs will have interviews with judges on the phone. Based on your plan and interview, judges may decide to award you seed capital to launch. Winners will be notified in early May.

Tentative Dates [to be finalized later on]



Round 1 Deadline for Concept Notes

February 22

Round 1 Decisions Announced

March 7

Round 2 Deadline for Full Proposal

April 4

Round 2 Decisions Announced and Interview Invitations Sent

April 18

Final Decisions Announced

May 9

Venture Teams

Information on venture teams

Ready to Apply?

Review the challenges and support materials and download the application packet with instructions for submission. The first round deadline for entry is February 22, 2016.

Learn more about registration and other details from: 

Ms. Iffat Enam
Program Officer
Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (CED)
BRAC University

Address: Building #2 (19th Floor), 65 Mohakhali, Dhaka 1212
Tel: +880-2-8824051-4 Ext. 4099, 4090
Cell: +8801921-304211
Email: iffat.enam[at][dot]bd

Global Webinar 1

Title: Intro to the BRACU/NYU Reynolds/D-Prize Competition Consortium and Social Entrepreneurship

Date/Time: February 4, 2016, 08:00 PM (Dhaka Time)

Place: GDLN Centre, BRAC University (Building No. 2, 18th Floor)

Student Registration Link:

Description: Join us for the first webinar of the 2016 competition, which will be hosted by BRAC University’s Mohammad RezaurRazzak (Associate Professor and Head, BRAC Business School; and Director, CED, BRAC University), NYU Reynolds Program Executive Director Gabriel Brodbar, and D-Prize Program Director Nicholas Fusso. You will learn how to successfully design your social venture, get a brief overview of the field of social entrepreneurship, have the opportunity to workshop your idea with an international community of change agents, and ask any questions you may have. At least half of 90-minute session will be dedicated to your thoughts and questions.

Global Webinar 2

Title: Unlock Your Network: Leverage the Resources You Already Have

Date/Time: February 11, 2016, 08:00 PM (Dhaka Time)

Place: GDLN Centre, BRAC University (Building No. 2, 18th Floor)

Student registration link:

Description: We all exist in networks full of unseen opportunities. Yourkey funder, your newest client or your most important partnership could bewithin your reach without you even realizing it. Unlock Your Network isdesigned to help you identify those opportunities and realize that, nomatter what goal you are trying to accomplish, you have the necessaryresources to get there. In this webinar by The Opportunity Lab, you willlearn the key skill of Resource Mapping to visualize your resources as an ecosystem – a changing and living network – and use that ecosystem tofurther your social mission. You will learn how to think differently aboutyour resources – shifting your thinking from what you don't have to whatyou do – and how to access them. We will show you how to identify thepeople, organizations, markets, capital, knowledge and communications thatyou can use to have more impact now.

Global Webinar 3 [Final Webinar]

Title: Social Entrepreneurship Done Right: Knowing Oneself, Why We Fail, and How to Succeed Through an Empowering Core Values Based Approach

Date/Time: February 18, 2016, 08:00 PM (Dhaka Time)

Place: GDLN Centre, BRAC University (Building No. 2, 18th Floor)

Student Registration Link:

: The call to address the world’s most intractable social problems is a powerful one. But how do we ensure the intention to do good work, and scale the best efforts, translates into real success? How do we ensure that while we are trying to do good, we don't inadvertently do harm? The answer lies in-part in focusing on a reflective, community-first approach. Understanding who you are as a changemaker, and the values that help to shape your vision of social change are as a critical to the social entrepreneurship space as understanding finance and organizational psychology. In this highly interactive webinar, you will learn not just the best practices of solving the problems of impoverished and marginalized communities, but also the best practices for how to build an organizationand social innovations that can stay true to your mission. The challenges that social entrepreneurs face are complex, dynamic and at times confounding. This session aims to provide you with a framework for thinking and decision making to learn from real-world experience and put theory into practice.