Entrepreneurs’ Organization celebrates young business founders and proudly presents ‘Start it Up’ beginning 2 June
29 May 2023, Alexandria, VA: On 2 June 2023, at 6pm South African time (SAST), 12pm ET, the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) will be premiering a second season of its YouTube mini-series, Start It Up– a four-part docuseries that travels around the world to identify and support some of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs building businesses.This unique series will take a closer look at the lives of the student entrepreneurs enrolled in universities, in the final stage of the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) –from semi-finalists to finalists– and the stories behind their innovative and inspiring start-up businesses.
GSEA is EO’s premier global competition for students who own and operate a business while attending college or university and 2023 marks the 17th year that EO has hosted the awards.
Students are scored with 70 percent weighting on the individual entrepreneur’s vision, grit and values, and 30 percent on the business concept and strength. That means, GSEA is uniquely placed to identify the entrepreneurial spirit and qualities that will enable young business founders to stand the test of time. EO believes entrepreneurs have both the potential and the opportunity to move the world forward for the better, and it looks for that belief system in the student competitors spotlighted.
To compete, students from 39 countries began pitching their businesses nearly a year ago to established EO members from more than 100 local EO chapters. Local winners moved on to the Global Quarter Finals – hosted regionally. Throughout the process, each student received mentorship from local EO members to support them throughout the competition. From 1,100 participants, only 59 students made it to the Global Quarter-Finals, and just 18 advanced to the Semi-Finals. The semi-finalists then competed for a place to be among the top six finalists. The top 18 student entrepreneurs and their businesses are featured in the four-part Start It Up series.
The winner of EO’s 2023 Global Student Entrepreneur Awards will be announced during the final episode of the four-part YouTube series, which posts online on Friday, 23 June. Start It Up was recorded in May, and Global Finals took place in Cape Town, South Africa. The winner will receive a flexible cash prize of US50,000, funded by the non-profit EO. The runner-up and third place competitors will receive US25,000 and US15,000, respectively.
In 2022, season one of Start It Up, earned 2.7 million views. A full list of past GSEA winners, dating back to 2006, may be found on the competition’s website, here.
“It is a great privilege to be able to share the compelling stories of these inspirational young changemakers. Their ability to see solutions where most would see only problems gives us all hope for the future,” said Tamarin Morrell, EO’s Programme Director for GSEA “But beyond that, we are seeing that identifying and investing in young people who exhibit an entrepreneurial spirit has a ripple effect on the community around them. Whether these specific businesses succeed or fail, the individual who has the tenacity to weather proverbial storms in future will grow and thrive and elevate those around them as they do.”
Who will take this year’s title? Tune into the GSEA’s YouTube channel every Friday in June at 6pm SAST /12pm ET to witness young change-makers take on critical business challenges, including sustainability, while pursuing their university degrees.
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EO is a high-quality support network of 17,000+ diverse business leaders across 75 countries. EO helps entrepreneurs achieve their full potential through the power of life-enhancing connections, shared experiences, and collaborative learning. EO has been helping entrepreneurs achieve transformational growth since 1987 and its member network is committed to learning and helping each other succeed. For more information or to get involved, follow us on Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook and visit our website: www.eonetwork.org
The Global Student Entrepreneur Awards is the premier global competition for university students. Each year, more than 1,000 student entrepreneurs from 39 countries compete for the title of Global Champion and the chance to build their business and gain recognition for their innovation. GSEA is designed to inspire students to stretch themselves as the future’s leading entrepreneurs and bring their businesses greater global visibility. GSEA was founded at the John Cook School of Business at Saint Louis University in 1998. Since that time, GSEA strives to honour those students who achieve so much as both students simultaneously attending university full-time and running their own businesses. To maximize student experiences and give them access to a global network of mentors, resources and business connections, EO took on leadership of the GSEA in 2006. For more information visit: https://www.gsea.org/
GSEA 2023 by the numbers:
Nearly 1,100 total student applications were received from the following regions:
- Asia Pacific (APAC) region: 61
- North and South Asia: 389
- Canada: 4
- Europe: 110
- Latin America: 145
- Middle East, Pakistan and Africa (MEPA): 149
- United States: 182
- Other applications without a competition in their area: 59