Funded by the Jacobs Foundation, the Jacobs Education Impact Prize gives select GSE Education Entrepreneurship students practical and financial support to develop and launch their own social impact ventures in the education sector.

As an awardee, you will receive $10,000 to $30,000 in total funding toward your social venture. You will also join the community of Jacobs Fellows, allowing you to share knowledge and experiences with a network of leaders from all over the world.

The application period is August 15 through September 15, 2022.

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Why you should apply

To develop, launch, and scale your impact venture, you’ll need funding and a network of supporters and advisors. As an awardee, you’ll receive both the financial support and access to the global community of Jacobs Fellows to help you power your startup.

The Jacobs Education Impact Prize gives you a one- to two-year runway—over the course of your studies—to accelerate your social enterprise.

Participant selection

The Jacobs Fellowship includes two competitive award cycles:

  • Phase 1: Fellows will be selected from the current student cohort enrolled in the Education Entrepreneurship master’s program and receive $5,000 in support to develop their start-up.
  • Phase 2: All Fellows will participate in a second award cycle following an immersive 6- to 8-month developmental program during Phase 1 and will receive an additional $5,000 to $25,000 to launch or scale their start-up.

Eligibility

To be considered for the Fellowship, you must be a currently enrolled GSE Education Entrepreneurship student, then complete an application, including a preliminary venture case with a description of the problem, research base, solution/value proposition, and proposed measurements of impact. A personal statement addressing why you are a good fit for the fellowship and how you will maximize the initial investment of time, expertise, and capital in your venture will be required.

The application timeline:

  • The application period is August 15–September 15, 2022.
  • Finalists will be interviewed in late September.
  • Fellows will be announced in October.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is the Jacobs Education Impact Prize structured?

The program is designed to create a cohort of Penn GSE Education Entrepreneurship students with a commitment to launching and refining a social enterprise.

Awardees are entrepreneurial students who are building a social impact start-up.

During Phase 1, five GSE Education Entrepreneurship students will be selected to receive $5,000 in funding for their social venture. In Phase 2, one awardee of this group will be selected to receive a $25,000 grand prize, two runners-up will be awarded $10,000, and the two remaining finalists will receive $5,000.

All winners will join the global cohort of Jacobs Fellows. Winners will have an opportunity to meet other Jacobs Fellows and to participate in networking and career opportunities. Prize recipients will become a valuable addition to the Jacobs Network and contribute to the Foundation’s thematic priorities.

When can I apply?

The application opens August 15, 2022. Applications are accepted until September 15, 2022, at 11:59pm EST. Late submissions will not be considered.

What is the Jacobs Foundation?

The Jacobs Foundation invests in the future of young people so that they become socially responsible and productive members of society. Learn more at www.jacobsfoundation.org.

Are there preferred focus areas?

The Foundation has a preference for ventures focusing on improving teaching and learning outcomes for youth ages 2 to 12.

How can I use the prize money?

Winners of the Jacobs Education Impact Prize may use prize money for any expense related to their social impact start-up. This may include business expenses and salary. Pertinent taxes apply.

Am I eligible?

All currently enrolled GSE Education Entrepreneurship students interested in launching or scaling a social impact venture are eligible. Ideal candidates are those with a commitment to continue to build and develop a social enterprise after graduating with the M.S.Ed. in Education Entrepreneurship.

For-profit, hybrid, and nonprofit ventures qualify.

How do I apply?

You can apply online on the GSE Education Entrepreneurship website. We will not consider late applications, nor will we review or recognize materials submitted in any format other than the formal application. You will be able to apply online when the application portal formally opens. For any questions, please contact Carl Moog at cfmoog@upenn.edu.

How will my application be evaluated?

In reviewing your application, we evaluate the venture and the entrepreneur.

  • We will look at the social impact of your venture—how well you have identified the problem and the need, and how likely it is that your venture will be a successful intervention. In addition, we are looking for at least two proposed measurements or metrics related to the problem you are addressing.
  • We will evaluate your proposed business and revenue models—will your venture be sustainable?
  • We will also evaluate the entrepreneurs. We know that being an entrepreneur, and especially a social entrepreneur, requires a blend of passion, commitment, business savvy, persistence, and willingness to pivot and to learn, so we will be looking for those aspects in you.
  • Because receiving the award means that you will become a member of a larger cohort of Jacobs Fellows, we will be seeking awardees who are additive to that cohort.
  • We will look at how closely your social venture aligns with the thematic priorities of the Jacobs Foundation.

Note: this prize is awarded to an entrepreneur, not a team. Ventures that are created by teams are accepted, but the application must be submitted by one individual, and only that individual will receive the award and admission into the Jacobs Fellowship.

Who will review the applications?

A team of reviewers from the GSE Education Entrepreneurship program and the Jacobs Foundation will complete an initial review of applications.

Contact Us

For more information about the Jacobs Education Impact Prize, please reach out to Global Social Impact Coordinator, Carl Moog, at cfmoog@upenn.edu.