Students changing the world-one business idea at a time.

Lauren Zahringer, founder at The Radically Good, LLC, is an independent consultant and freelance writer. Lauren lives in Brooklyn, NY. Contact her at

Each year the GSEC challenges students to create viable business solutions for some of the world's most challenging issues. Student from across the world come to Seattle where they present their social venture ideas for alleviating the problems of poverty in the developing world. This year, the GSEC received 160 applications from universities in 37 countries. From the total applicant pool, 20 semi-finalist teams were selected.

Competitions such as the GSEC have positive impacts far beyond competition events. They play an important role in driving the growth of social entrepreneurship, and demonstrate the boundless possibilities for using business as a force for good. Over its nine-year history, the GSEC has brought awareness of pressing global issues to thousands of people and engaged over 2000 students from around the world.

This year's competition week begins February 24th. On February 27th the winning teams will be announced at the Celebration Dinner and Awards Banquet. In addition to cash prizes, participants receive coaching, advising, access to mentors, and have the chance to present to judges and investors.

Crucial to the competition's success is the support from sponsors and the involvement of professionals who contribute their passion, knowledge, and experience. Drew Tulchin, of Social Enterprise Associates, is an alumnus of the UW Foster School of Business and has been an active advocate and supporter of the GSEC for several years. He now serves on the GSEC advisory board.

Spotlight on the 2014 Team Projects

The cultural and academic diversity of the GSEC produces rich variation in student perspectives and their creative solutions for the problems of poverty. Below are three of the semi-finalist projects for this year. For more information check out the 2014 semi-finalist teams.

Gas for Tomorrow (G4T) -- University of Rwanda: G4T will reduce deforestation for charcoal production and also reduce dependency on petro fuel throughout Rwanda.

SafeSIPP -- Arizona State University: SafeSIPP improves access to clean water in the developing world by addressing transportation, purification and storage issues.

SmartSchool -- University of Dhaka, Bangladesh: SmartSchool purchases and assembles used computer parts into working computers meant for use in elementary and secondary schools.

For more information, about these and many more, be sure to check out the GSEC online.

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