Can social innovation competitions move beyond hype to deliver change?

Having seen a proliferation of Dragon’s Den-inspired social enterprise competitions, and being involved in designing and running two ourselves, Richard Litchfield (Director of Eastside)and I did some thinking, research and had some good dialogues. We wanted to get a sense of the logic behind the competitions, their relative effectiveness, and the various forms they take.

Drawing on our own experience, research on competitions around the world, and dialogues with others in the sector we produced a short piece to provoke a wider conversation in the sector. This article is a key piece of thinking to encourage greater self-reflectivity amongst institutions and practitioners in the field in addition to ensuring we make our next ventures even more likely to generate the impact we desire.

You can download the article to read social-innovation-competition.

Eastside Consulting is London-based organisation working to increase the impact of socially-driven organisations through financial and commercial advice. You can view their post on the article here.

You can also review some of the competitions were drew inspiration and lessons from:

Spark Challenge


Ashoka ChangeMakers

NESTA Big Green Challenge

Big Lottery Fund People’s 50 Million

Edge’ and New Statesman’s Upstarts

NESsT Social Enterprise Competition

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