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July 23, 2015

Forbes offers $1 million to businesses with a conscience

Social Activism Competition
Elizabeth Holmes entrepreneur Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch (creative commons license)

31-year-old billionaire Elizabeth Holmes, seen here at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco, will be the keynote speaker at the Forbes Under 30 Summit.

Do you dream of making a difference in the world?

Then this contest isn’t for you.

Have you actually started to make a difference in the world, and want to take your dream to the next level?

Then there could be up to $600,000 with your name on it.

Forbes Magazine has announced the biggest-ever competition for young social entrepreneurs, with a total of $1 million in prize money at stake.

As part of the Under 30 Change the World Competition, do-gooders under the age of 30 who have started socially conscious enterprises will compete for the chance to win $100,000 to $600,000. Finalists will be announced and compete in Philadelphia this fall. 

It doesn’t matter whether your company is for-profit or nonprofit, as long as it has an entrepreneurial spirit and a mission to make the world a better place. Enterprises that focus on education, poverty, environmentalism, health or any other social good are welcome.

However, you need more than a good idea to win. Applicants must have already started their businesses and demonstrate to the judges how they will use the money to further their social mission.

Either five or six semifinalists will win $100,000 for their companies, then compete at the Under 30 Summit, taking place Oct. 4-7 in Philadelphia, for the money remaining in the $1 million pot.  

The prize money will be in the form of either a grant for a non-profit company or an investment if it's a for-profit business. 

The submission deadline is Aug. 26, and the application can be found at semifinalists will be announced on Sept. 9.

At the summit, more than 2,000 people who have made Forbes’s 30 Under 30 list will be watching as the contestants make their final presentations. The summit will feature TED-style talks, mentorship programs and a keynote speech from 31-year-old Elizabeth Holmes, the world’s youngest female billionaire.

The money for this competition will come from the Schusterman Family Foundation, Case Foundation, Pratt Foundation, Keywell Foundation and billionaire Bob Duggan. Forbes will provide an advertising grant, and the Wharton School Social Impact Initiative will handle the initial screening of applicants.

As a motivational speaker once said: "Some people dream of success, while you're going to WAKE UP and work hard.” So just do it!