Business Potential
Strong ventures link a clearly defined social, economic, and/or environmental problem with a compelling economic opportunity. Ventures should be designed to fit a specific market and should reflect a deep understanding of the problem they aim to solve, core customers and other key stakeholders. In addition to generating social and/or environmental impact, ventures should be financially feasible, fundable, and scalable.


  • Venture addresses a clearly defined social, economic, and/or environmental problem
  • Venture operates in a market in which there is compelling economic opportunity
  • Venture is designed for a well-defined customer and has a customer acquisition strategy
  • Venture reflects a deep understanding of the problem they aim to solve and other key stakeholders (beneficiaries, partners, employees, investors), and a thorough analysis of the competitive landscape


  • Venture offers a clear value proposition(s) to its customer and other key stakeholders
  • Venture has sustainable, defensible sources of competitive advantage
  • Product or service fits the target market
  • Product or service has a clear value chain and roadmap

Financial Impact

  • Financial projections are based on clear and reasonable assumptions
  • Venture has strong revenue model that shows clear understanding of key cost drivers, revenue streams
  • Venture has attractive unit economics and margins

Social Impact Potential
GSVC refers to social impact as it relates to social, economic, and/or environmental problems that ventures aim to solve.

Strong ventures design business models that integrate social, economic, and/or environmental impact with their financial impact. The Social Impact Assessment is a key indicator of a venture’s potential to generate positive social returns beyond the status quo.

Social Impact Value Proposition

  • Venture addresses a clearly defined social challenge
  • Venture makes a clear case for why the social challenge is important
  • Venture is supported by a well-articulated theory of change and impact value chain
  • Social impact is integrated in the business model: impact scales as company grows
  • Venture generates social value above and beyond current state or next best available option
  • Social impact projections are based on reasonable assumptions and credible data
  • Venture has a longer term vision for social impact beyond the immediate challenge

Social Impact Implementation

  • Venture has a realistic plan to address the identified social challenge through the selected business mode
  • Team has selected appropriate social impact metrics that align with the intended impact the venture has articulated
  • Team has designed a clear and feasible plan for measuring and evaluating social impact

Likelihood of Success
Successful ventures are made possible by strong teams, and ideas are only as good as their execution. A venture’s business and social impact potential depend on the team that stands behind it, and that team’s ability to carry it forward.

Quality of Team

  • Members are passionate, committed, and resourceful
  • Team is balanced, with relevant and diverse domain and industry experience that complement each other and make them competitively qualified to execute their idea
  • Ability to execute:
    • Team’s dedication, and particular composition and balance has contributed to its  track record of progress over time
    • Team has leveraged access to resources and education, including mentors, advisors, and collaborators
  • Team recognizes what key skills and expertise they are missing and has a clear plan to address these gaps 
  • Presentation is professional, persuasive, and organized*


  • Venture has a clearly defined vision and growth objectives
  • Plan includes a coherent and convincing go-to-market strategy
  • Team has a clear execution plan and is prepared to address potential risks

Organizational Fit

  • Venture’s core values support its vision and desired outcomes
  • Venture’s legal form (e.g. for profit, non-profit, etc.) supports its vision and desired outcomes

*Not relevant for Round One Submissions

Judges are selected for their knowledge and experience in the field of social entrepreneurship.

Judges from last year:

First Round Jury

Ayse Sabuncu – Co-Founder of Impact Hub Istanbul

Bugra Celik – Director Imece

Gonca Ongan – Managing Director at KUSIF

Istem Akalp – Social Entrepreneurship Programs at Ashoka Turkey

Itir Erhart – Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Adım Adım

Mehru Ozturk – General Manager at Turkish Entrepreneurship Foundation

Mert Cetinkaya – Organization & Learning Design Lead at Atölye

Regional Round Jury

Mantoan Luca – Head of Communications UniCredit Foundation    

Samira Nuhanovic- Founder of  Mozaik

Jaan Aps – Chairman of Estonian Social Enterprise Network

Semih Boyaci –  Co-Founder of Impact Hub Istanbul

Atıl Erken –  Co-Founder at Collective Spark and Ashoka Turkey Board Member

Enrica Cornaglia – Social Entrepreneurship Programs Director at Ashoka Italy