Eligibility and Judging Criteria

The Resolution Social Venture Challenge is a competition for a Resolution Fellowship. A Resolution Fellowship provides a full ecosystem for a new social entrepreneur and a pathway to creating positive impact today. This includes seed funding to launch the venture proposed for the SVC, along with ongoing mentorship, robust support, access to the Resolution network, and membership in a community that is committed to action. All decisions regarding the Fellowship will be made by The Resolution Project in its sole discretion. The level of support and/or funding will be dependent on The Resolution Project’s resources and abilities, and shall be provided on a discretionary basis.  Each team receives one grant and venture-specific guidance, but each Fellow also receives individualized mentorship and support.

Eligibility for a Resolution Fellowship:

You must be a current undergraduate student in college or university.

To be eligible for a Resolution Fellowship, you need to be enrolled as an undergraduate student and not yet have received an undergraduate degree. Integrated joint degree programs with a bachelors degree are permissible if you receive the joint degree at the same time as your bachelors degree (and that cannot have happened already). Students working toward an associates degree or who are working towards their first bachelors degree after their associates degree are eligible. Students who are working toward another non-bachelors degree that will be their first college or university-granted degree are also eligible.

You must be a Founder of the social venture you are proposing.  The social venture must be created and led by the Founder(s).

A Founder is someone who is involved in the strategic creation and development of the social venture, and plans to be part of the implementation of the social venture. One, two, or three Founders per venture are permitted unless the team can show extenuating circumstances and obtains permission from The Resolution Project to participate with more than three Founders. High school and graduate students may participate as Venture Team members, but are not eligible to receive Fellowships.

Please note, due to space constraints, teams participating at a Resolution Social Venture Challenge at the Youth Assembly at the United Nations are limited to three Founders/participants per team and all participants must be undergraduate students.

You must present and represent the Venture in-person at the conference at both the Social Venture Forum and, if you move forward, the Finals.

You must not be a staff member or volunteer of the host conference/organization for the Social Venture Challenge in which you are competing.

You must have at least one teammate working on your social venture.  You and your team must be trustworthy and committed to ethical standards.

If members of your team are attending the host conference we expect the team to be active and participate in the Forum (and, if selected, in the Finals).  If, however, you are the only member of your team attending the host conference, we require a letter from at least one other teammate, stating his or her name, a brief introduction, and explaining his or her involvement in and support of the social venture. Please note, this letter should be no longer than one page.

Your proposed social venture benefits a community and is socially-responsible.

Resolution supports both for-profit and not-for-profit social ventures. Resolution does not consider as eligible purely for-profit businesses that donate a portion of their proceeds to other charities.  Businesses may be eligible if they have social impacts on underserved populations or major social challenges, and businesses may be eligible if they perform philanthropic work as part of their model (e.g., those that have an associated foundation that the leadership directly works on and is substantively involved in leading or implementing).

Your Venture is youth-created and youth-led.

Your proposed social venture is a new organization, program or business, or a major new initiative of an existing organization.  If this is part of an existing organization, you must to be able to distinguish the initiative from existing operations; expansion without clear differentiation is not eligible. 

Your proposed social venture cannot have already received funding from another institution or organization.

Small-scale crowdfunding and small-scale fundraising from Founders, family, and friends are acceptable.

Your proposed social venture has the support of an Ally, who can be a professor, professional or other senior advisor.

An Ally is an advisor with experience in the area you are looking to address. Often an Ally is an academic advisor, mentor, or family friend in an appropriate industry who can share helpful insights on the project or who gives very sound advice.

Your proposed social venture must be ongoing and sustainable (not a one-time event), have clear, attainable, and measurable goals, and a well-defined and realistic budget.


Judging Criteria

Judging will be done by qualified individuals selected by Resolution's Board of Directors. If any judge has a relationship with an applicant, the judge will recuse him/herself from judging that applicant. Selection of Fellows will be made without regard to race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, religion, sexual orientation or political beliefs. In judging your Venture, panelists will be assessing your Venture on the following criteria:

Leadership and Collaboration

  • Leadership Characteristics – Is the Founding team open to mentorship? Are they poised and professional? Are they prepared? Do they articulate their vision well?
  • Team Dynamics – Are all Founding team members engaged in the development and presentation of the social venture? Does the team collaborate and support each other? If participating as an individual, does he or she have demonstrated support from peers?
  • Commitment to Social Responsibility – Does the Founding team demonstrate a desire and a long-term interest in making a positive impact? Do they have passion for the social change their venture aims to make?

Social Impact & Innovation

  • Problem/Issue -- Is there a discernible problem? Has the social issue been articulated clearly and effectively?
  • Social Impact -- What is the specific need the Venture fulfills? Who is helped? How are they helped? How many are helped?
  • Integration of Missions -- Do the Venture's social mission and identified problem align? Does the idea address the issue?
  • Innovation-- Is this approach innovative or unique? Can the innovation be leveraged through other organizations to bring about faster or greater social returns?


  • Model -- Is the idea for delivering the social innovation viable? Can is be executed upon immediately? Will the social venture be effective?
  • Fundability -- Does this venture have the potential to receive financial support from additional investors/donors?
  • Marketability -- Is there a clear demand for these products or services in the marketplace?

Strategic Plan

  • Scalability -- Is there potential for growth or replication of the venture?
  • Sustainability --Is there potential for the venture to have long-term impact?
  • Performance Benchmarks – Does the venture have clear methods to track, monitor, and access the goals articulated in the action plan?
  • Risk Assessment -- Are there risk factors associated with the Venture and development of the venture? Have they been identified? Is there a plan for mitigating them?