GSEA is looking for the next promising student entrepreneur

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Are you a budding student entrepreneur? Looking to take things to the next stage? Then look no further than the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards. Organised by the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation, the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards, or GSEA, is a global program that aims to recognise and support student entrepreneurs. GSEA is a global competition that begins at a national level. Selected winners from these national competitions will go on to represent their country at the global finals.

The 2019/2020 edition of GSEA is currently underway with Sri Lanka taking part as well. So if you feel like you’re up for the task of hitting the big stage for your startup, then apply here. But before you do, there are few boxes you need to tick to deem yourself worthy.

Who can apply?

First off, you need to be an undergraduate and not be older than 30 years of age. Specifically, an undergraduate at the time of application. According to GSEA, graduates can also apply provided they “have continually enrolled in a university following their undergraduate degree and not left school to work on their business or to seek other employment. Exceptions can be made for students who have taken up to 12 months’ break before beginning their postgraduate education”.

Secondly, you should be part of an existing startup. You’re eligible if you’re either the owner, founder or controlling shareholder of the company. You should also be principally responsible for its operation. Additionally, one company can only be represented by one of its members.

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The company in question should also have been in operation for at least 6 consecutive months prior to the time of application. Furthermore, as per GSEA, “your business must have generated USD 500 (~LKR 90,500) or received USD 1,000 (~LKR 181,000) in investments at the time of application”.

Finally, you should have not been one of the 7 finalists at last year’s GSEA Global Finals competition.

What’s in it for you?

If you check all the boxes above then the next question is how GSEA program can benefit you as an entrepreneur. First off, you gain access to an entire network of successful entrepreneurs from all over the world. This includes members of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization and other student entrepreneurs in GSEA. In case you’re wondering, Entrepreneurs’ Organisation is a global network that exceeds 14,000 leading entrepreneurs in 195 chapters and 61 countries.

The competition will also offer the opportunity for student entrepreneurs to builder a stronger foundation. The mentoring and insights gained throughout the program translates to building a better business pitch and a better overall approach.

Buddhika Jayawardena – GSEA Sri Lanka 2017

Meet Buddhika Jayawardena, founder of Siplo and winner of GSEA Sri Lanka 2017. Here are his thoughts on why you, as a student entrepreneur should be a part of GSEA. Haven't applied yet for GSEA Sri Lanka 2017? Get yourself registered on http://www.gsea.org/apply today!

Posted by GSEA Sri Lanka on Thursday, January 12, 2017

But perhaps the icing on the cake would be cash prizes in store for the winners. 1st place at the global finals will walk away with USD 25,000 in cash, 2nd place will get a USD 10,000 while 3rd place will receive USD 5,000. Of course, all EO GSEA finalists will earn an all-expense paid trip to compete in the Global Finals. As per GSEA, “total value of all prizes, gifts and services for all student competitors at the EO GSEA Global Finals is nearly half a million dollars.”

Your opportunity to make some big noise

As mentioned in the beginning, applications for the local edition of GSEA for 2019/2020 is currently open. The application deadline will be on the 15th of January 2020. So best you send out those applications without delay.

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Overall, Sri Lanka has done well on the national stage as well as on the global stage at GSEA. Thus far, Sri Lanka has produced 3 global finalists in the form of Gurupaara, Siplo, and Global Tutor. Can we leave our mark this year as well? Here’s hoping for the best!

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