Social enterprise competition gets renewed funding; changes name

Future for aspiring non-profit entrepreneurs is bright in St. Louis


St. Louis — Close to half a million dollars has been committed to the annual Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation Competition (SEIC) sponsored by the Skandalaris Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at Washington University in St. Louis.

The YouthBridge Community Foundation, which has been a Washington University partner in the SEIC since its inception in 2005, is renewing its support with an initial three-year commitment of funding and training for non-profit, community-based ventures.

The newly named “YouthBridge SEIC” is unique in St. Louis and, in terms of monetary awards, is the largest competition of its kind in the U.S.

Over the past five years, the SEIC has made 23 awards totaling $480,000, including $5,000 student awards each year presented to the best student-founded or supported venture. The competition defines social entrepreneurship as “using entrepreneurial skills to craft innovative processes, approaches, and solutions to help resolve social issues.”

Last year’s 42 entrants in the SEIC included a diverse range of ventures with missions to provide educational, cultural and vocational training. Additional sponsors to the YouthBridge SEIC include the Incarnate Word Foundation, the Lutheran Foundation of St Louis, and the Daughters of Charity Foundation of St Louis.

The 2010 YouthBridge SEIC competition is open to all members of the Washington University and St. Louis communities and accepting applications now. For information about the entry process, go to:

The Skandalaris Center is located on the Danforth Campus of Washington University in St. Louis. It stimulates a campus-wide environment of collaboration, innovation, and entrepreneurial creativity. This expands learning, understanding and economic opportunities for students, faculty and the St. Louis community. Information about the Skandalaris Center may be found at

YouthBridge Community Foundation, founded in 1877, is focused on capitalizing children’s charities. Its services are two pronged – to help children’s agencies implement business practices to build productive capital and achieve sustainability; and to help donors, or philanthropic investors, find stable charitable organizations in which to invest. Information about YouthBridge can be found at