Do good. Win a scholarship.

You're doing well in school. Here's a chance to do good.

The Presbyterian College Service Entrepreneurship Competition gives South Carolina high school seniors the opportunity to solve a problem they see in their community. They’ll put their community-changing problem-solving skills to the test for a chance to win a full scholarship to PC.

What the Competition is all about

You’ll write a plan for how you would solve a problem you see in your community.

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.

Mark Koska redesigned medical tools by introducing a non-reusable, inexpensive syringe to be used in under-funded clinics. This innovation safeguards against the transmission of blood-borne diseases. Oska’s SafePoint Trust has delivered 4 billion safe injections in 40 countries via his “auto-disable” syringes.

And Sophie Small noticed poverty is an issue in her community. She gathered volunteers and materials to repair a home for a family in need.

What will you do?

If you’re creative, motivated, intellectually curious, and service-oriented, we want to see what you do to solve a problem in your community.

To right a wrong.

To help those in need.

Yes, to be the change you wish to see in your community.

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?

Show your commitment to serving others

The Presbyterian College motto is “While We Live, We Serve,” and students truly take these words to heart.

They tend to gravitate toward meaningful and impactful work after they earn their diplomas. PC graduates improve their communities through creative problem-solving.

The same type of problem-solving you can demonstrate in the competition. You can become a part of PC’s culture of service by showing what you would do to make an impact.

There are several ways to win:

  • One winner will receive a “full ride” to Presbyterian College, which includes tuition, room, and board. The winner will also receive up to $10,000 in the form of coaching, mentoring, and independent study class credit to put their plan into action.
  • One runner-up will receive a scholarship covering 80% of tuition and up to $10,000 in the form of coaching, mentoring, and independent study class credit to put their plan into action.
  • An honorable mention will receive a scholarship covering 70% of tuition and up to $10,000 in the form of coaching, mentoring, and independent study class credit to put their plan into action.

The winner, runner-up, and honorable mention must be admitted to PC to receive scholarships.

Change Your Community. Now.

The deadline for submissions to be considered for 2022 is now closed. Dates for submissions to be considered for students who plan to enroll in the Fall of 2023 will be announced in the Fall of 2022.

Winners will be selected on:

  • the thoughtfulness of the proposed plan (ingenuity, achievability, measurability, quality of research)
  • how compelling the problem under consideration is
  • the degree to which the plan would produce social value and improve lives

President vandenBerg has advice for you. Check it out.

Get started today.

Competition Guidelines

Competition Guidelines

The Presbyterian College Service Entrepreneurship Competition is a social entrepreneurship case competition open to all high school seniors in South Carolina. Students must apply to PC to be eligible and may work individually or in teams of two or three. Students must have submitted their plans by January 7, 2022.

Competition Evaluation

Competition Evaluation

Service entrepreneurship proposals will be evaluated on their potential to become the basis of a viable new social solution. The evaluation process will focus on:

  • the idea
  • its potential for social value creation
  • the likelihood of achieving success based on the team’s plan and experience

Judges will look at the strength of the concept and areas related to execution of the plan. There are three rounds of judging:

  • a preliminary round
  • a semi-final round
  • a final round

A different set of judges will be present for each round.

Process and Judging

Process and Judging

Preliminary Round

The preliminary round is based on the students’ plans to solve a problem in their community or the world. During this round, judges will provide feedback to participants and narrow the pool of contestants to a group of semi-finalists. While the number of semi-finalists may be large, the preliminary round ensures a minimum level of quality.

Semi-Final Round (Greenville, S.C.) and Final Round (On the PC Campus)

These two rounds are based on the students’ plans and the students’ live presentations to 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.

Competition Timeline

Submissions by January 7 – Deadline has passed

Students must have submitted their plans by January 7.

Semifinals in January

Contestants who make it to the semifinal round will be invited to an event in Greenville, S.C. During the event, judges will ask contestants questions about their plans.

Finals in February

Contestants who make it to the final round will interview with judges on the PC campus. Finalists will be presented with their awards and will be celebrated on the same day.

Before May 1: Finalize recruitment and financial packaging of students.

Summer 2022

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 2022 – Spring 2023

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: