The Presbyterian College Service Entrepreneurship Scholarship Competition gives high school seniors the opportunity to win a full scholarship to PC by creating a plan that solves a problem in their community.
Service Entrepreneurship Scholarship Competition
Make an impact. Win a full-ride scholarship.
What will you do?
If you’re creative, motivated, intellectually curious, and service-oriented, we want you to identify a problem in your community and make a plan for how to solve it.
When you write your plan, you’ll answer questions like:
- What problem are you solving, and why is it a compelling problem?
- What is your solution and how will it create change in your community?
- What is your projected timeline for implementing your solution?
- What resources or guidance from qualified parties informed your proposal?
A Business That Helps Those in Need
You might have heard about Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS shoes. Mycoskie wanted to support those who live in poverty. His company donates one pair of shoes for every one sold, raising awareness about issues like global poverty.
PC students do that kind of thing too.
Last year, when her mother became ill, freshman Maggie Judd came up with the idea to create a business that lends medical equipment to those in need.
Maggie and her family couldn’t find the medical equipment they needed. Maggie thought of others who might not be able to rent or buy the medical equipment they need.
She created a durable medical equipment loan service that practices sensible stewardship by making use of the material resources already available in the community and sharing them with other patients.
“An outreach project like a durable medical equipment loan service is my chance to make a difference in my local community and help my neighbors,” Maggie wrote in her Service Entrepreneurship Competition proposal a year ago.
Win a scholarship.
The Service Entrepreneurship Competition is a social entrepreneurship case competition open to all high school seniors in the U.S. Students must apply to PC by December 1 and may work individually or in teams of two or three.
Winners will receive one of the following:
- Winner(s): A full-ride scholarship, which includes tuition, fees, room, and board totaling $53,760. The winner(s) will also receive up to $10,000 in the form of coaching, mentoring, and independent study class credit to put their plan into action.
- Runner(s)-up: A $34,000 scholarship and up to $10,000 in the form of coaching, mentoring, and independent study class credit to put their plan into action.
- Honorable Mentions: A $30,000 scholarship and up to $10,000 in the form of coaching, mentoring, and independent study class credit to put their plan into action.
The winner(s), runner(s)-up, and honorable mentions must be admitted to PC to receive scholarships. Please note that these scholarships are not combined with other PC Merit Scholarships. If you have already been offered a scholarship, that will be canceled and the SEC will be offered in its place.
Change your community. Now.
You must submit your plan by Dec. 1 to be considered for a Service Entrepreneurship Scholarship.
Scholarship recipients will be selected on:
- the thoughtfulness of the proposed plan (ingenuity, achievability, measurability, quality of research)
- the urgency of the problem
- the degree to which the plan would produce social value and improve lives
Three of Last Year's Winners
Get started today!
The Presbyterian College Service Entrepreneurship Competition is a social entrepreneurship case competition open to all high school seniors in the U.S. Students must apply to PC by December 1 and may work individually or in teams of two or three. Students must submit their plans by December 1.
What to Include in Your Proposal
This service entrepreneurship opportunity is designed for you to provide a written plan to address a community concern with in-depth insights to improve lives and the place you live. When writing your plan, make sure you include:
1. Problem: What problem are you solving, and why is it a compelling problem?
- Describe the problem.
- Show how you noticed the problem.
- Outline how the issue is being addressed today, if it is being addressed, and why current solutions are not working.
2. Solution: What is your solution, and how will it create change in your community?
- Describe your solution to the problem.
- Demonstrate the potential for the solution to add value.
- Explain how the solution is sustainable (how it will be a long-term or permanent solution and not one that will only last for a short amount of time).
- Explain how the solution will be measured.
3. Timeline: What is your projected timeline for implementing your solution?
- Provide a projected timeline for implementing your solution.
- Clearly state your plan for execution.
4. Guidance: What resources or guidance from qualified parties informed your proposal?
- Include the resources or guidance from qualified parties that informed your proposal.
- Include if anyone has attempted this problem before. If so, what was the result? Why do you think their solution wasn’t successful?
- Identify potential barriers that would keep someone from executing this solution.
- Provide any examples from your personal experience.
5. Materials: What resources will you use to solve the problem?
- Explain the resources you already have at your disposal.
- Explain the resources you’ll need to solve the problem.
- Explain how you’ll use these resources.
Once the proposal is submitted, the Service Entrepreneurship Competition Committee will evaluate the proposal for its potential to become the basis of a viable new social solution. The evaluation process will focus on:
- the idea
- its potential to create social value
- the likelihood of achieving success based on the team’s plan and experience
After reviewing the proposal, the Service Entrepreneurship Competition Committee may recommend that the student revise the proposal to make it more detailed and clear.
Process and Judging
The Service Entrepreneurship Competition Committee will review students’ proposals and invite students to campus based on the strength of their proposals. On campus, students will explain and defend their proposal during a 15-minute interview. The interview may include business leaders, philanthropists, impact investors, capacity building organizations, and social entrepreneurs.
All rounds will be evaluated based on concept and execution.
Concept (50% of score)
Idea/concept: The concept reflects an innovative approach. The team has a clear understanding of:
- the issue it seeks to address
- why the issue is important
- the recipients of the product or service
- economic and social drivers of the model
- feasibility of the concept
Social impact: The plan is likely to make a substantial contribution toward the solution of the issue it seeks to address. The plan can be sustained for a period of time consistent with achieving the desired social impact. (If growing the organization is not the preferred strategy, the program is transferable and replicable.)
- Proximity: The idea is built on an understanding of the community it serves.
Execution (50% of score)
- People: The team (through its members or partnerships) has or can get relevant skills, contacts, industry knowledge, and experience, including working in environments with diverse cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives.
- Proximity: The team brings personal experience or draws on community members to execute the idea.
- Context: The conditions (i.e., regulatory, tax, political) are favorable. Market need, size of opportunity, competitive landscape, and potential risks are identified and manageable.
- Resources: The funding plan is sensible in terms of capital required to launch and operate. Funding sources are identified and a plan for securing initial investment is articulated.
- Performance measurement: The plan takes a practical approach to milestones and organizational outcome measurement, and provides a clear plan to deliver high performance.
- Messaging and communication: The team was persuasive in communicating the idea and its potential.
Students must submit their plans by December 1.
Students who advance to the final round will be invited to the PC campus on February 17, 2023. During this final round, three judges will ask students questions about their plans during a 15-minute interview.
The Service Entrepreneurship Committee will notify students about the results in early March.
Winners will meet their mentors (PC alumni, PC faculty, VIPs) during a three-day or week-long bootcamp. During the bootcamp, students and mentors will work together to put the students’ plan into action.
Fall 2023 – Spring 2024
Students continue to pursue their ideas and present their work during Honors Day. PC will work with teams to identify business executives, nonprofit leaders, elected officials, and other VIPs with an interest in the subject matter.
We owe a debt of gratitude for borrowing the competition guidelines from “Rediscovering Social Innovation” from the Stanford SOCIAL INNOVATION Review, “Social Enterprise Track” from the Harvard Business Review, and D-Prize, an organization that supports entrepreneurs who distribute proven poverty interventions.
Interested in helping with our Service Entrepreneurship Competition? Check out these ways you can get involved: