Social Venture Challenges

The world has solutions. Can you distribute them to those in need?

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Photo credit: D-Prize.org

Our world has already invented many effective poverty solutions, but, sadly, most fail to reach actual people in need. Millions of lives would improve if people had access to proven energy, education, health, and other interventions. If you had access to the invention, could you get it to those in need? If so, join Social Venture Challenges! Benefits of getting involved include:

  • Improving lives
  • Deepening friendships
  • Sharpening entrepreneurial and business skills
  • Building your résumé
  • Winning up to $100,000

See the tabs below to view our two current challenges:

The Problem

An estimated 600 million individuals in sub-Saharan Africa light their homes using kerosene lamps. These lamps are dim, cost a minimum of $35 per year to keep fueled, create poor indoor air quality, and cause fires that can injure families. The problem is particularly acute in rural Africa, where kerosene rates can be 35 percent higher than in urban areas. Alternatives, such as batteries and candles, are similarly expensive.

The Proven Solution

Solar lamps provide up to fifteen times more illumination than kerosene lamps. They cost $15–$40 per unit and pay for themselves in less than a year for most households. Families switching from kerosene to solar lamps can see household incomes increase by 15 to 30 percent, and they can double the number of available study hours for children. Solar lamps will also reduce safety hazards and improve indoor air quality.

Your Challenge

We will award up to $38,000 to a Social Venture Solar team of three to five students who can sell solar lamps to 25,000 households over the course of two years. The team should begin with a three-month pilot program which should sell at least three hundred lamps to rural or urban-slum homes and generate at least $5,000 in revenue.

Eligibility

In order to be eligible to apply for the Social Venture Challenge, you must be currently enrolled as a student at BYU. Students must comply with BYU Honor Code guidelines and values in order to be eligible for the competition.

Get Involved

BYU students from all majors and disciplines are needed to tackle this challenge! To learn more about how to get involved and how to create a Social Venture Solar  team, please email yprize@byu.edu.

The Problem

In 2013, 289,000 women worldwide died during pregnancy and childbirth, because of the lack of access to skilled and emergency care. Barriers to early maternal health care fall under three categories: delays in seeking treatment, delays in getting to the clinic, and delays at the clinic or lack of quality care. Many clinics struggle to provide quality care to pregnant mothers because of a lack of resources—including human resources and medical supplies.

The Proven Solution

Instead of focusing on one single issue, eHealth solutions* can be applied throughout the maternal healthcare process in order to detect problems early and to improve the quality of care. By addressing the three barriers to maternal health care, eHealth programs connect clinics to rural community health workers to expand their reach and efficiency in developing and remote areas.

*We are currently working with Medic Mobile and Neurosynaptic Communications. For more information about these eHealth technologies, visit: https://medicmobile.org or http://www.neurosynaptic.com.

Your Challenge

We will award up to $25,000 to teams that create and implement a distribution business with an eHealth partner’s technology. Each team will choose a developing country and a specific maternal healthcare problem for this challenge. Teams will help clinics adopt new electronic solutions to challenges in record keeping, inventory, appointments, and diagnoses.The challenge is intentionally open-ended to allow for student teams to apply eHealth solutions to local needs. Grants will be given after meeting certain benchmarks of viability.

Eligibility

In order to be eligible to apply for the Social Venture Maternal Health Challenge, participants must be operating as, or with, currently enrolled BYU students. Furthermore, team members must comply with the BYU Honor Code.

Get Involved

BYU students from all majors and disciplines are needed to tackle this challenge! To learn more about how to get involved and how to create a Social Venture Maternal team, please email yprize_maternal@byu.edu.

The Problem

In the sub-Saharan, 11 million children leave school before completing their primary education. In south and west Asia, that number reaches 13.5 million. In Africa, there is estimated to be a shortage of 4 million teachers in the next ten years. Millions of bright students go without access to education opportunities that can help pull them out of poverty. 

The Proven Solution

Flipped classroom technologies, including Kahn Academy, Bridge Academy, and One Room are proven solutions that help give children access to better education opportunities. These technologies can improve children’s opportunities to learn in rural areas where education opportunities may be limited or non-existent. 

Elgibility

In order to be eligible to apply for the Social Venture Education Challenge, you must be currently enrolled as a student at BYU. Students must comply with BYU Honor Code guidelines and values in order to be eligible for the competition. 

At least one member of your team must be a current BYU student. 

Your Challenge

We will award up to $38,000 to a Social Venture Education team who can implement proven educational technologies in Africa and Asia. Your team will have an opportunity to develop an innovative business model integrating educational technologies into existing schools in a country of your choice. Your venture will be validated based on the long-term viability of your distribution model, a realistic plan for scaling impact, and a plan for sustainability. 

Get Involved

BYU students from all majors and disciplines are needed to tackle this challenge! To learn more about how to get involved and how to create a Social Venture Education team, please email yprize@byu.edu.

 

Meet the Social Venture Students

I was left on a doorstep outside an orphanage in Hefei, China. My village was infested with pollution, disease, and overpopulation, so my birth mother left me hoping that someone could provide what she could not.

Even lifting the spatula to fry a chicken patty started to feel heavy. After returning from my mission, I struggled to find meaning in my Chik-Fil-A job. Five hours after handing in my apron and black hat, I found an opportunity that would change my life and thousands of others.

After nearly a year of competition, judges declared Team Cambodia the winner of the Ballard Center’s Y-Prize Newborn Challenge, awarding $50,000 to a team of BYU students who presented the strongest business plan to improve and market a BYU-engineered, low-cost infant ventilator for hospitals in developing countries.