When we ask student entrepreneurs what it takes to succeed, they usually emphasize the same two things. No, the two essentials are not “getting more sleep” and “having more time” — although, we wouldn’t be surprised if these are needs #3 and #4. The two things student entrepreneurs tell us they need are funding to sustain the development of their venture and a network of supporters and advisors to lean on.
That’s why Wharton Social Impact is thrilled to partner with the Swiss-based Jacobs Foundation — an organization that invests in the future of young people so that they become socially responsible and productive members of society — to launch the Jacobs Impact Entrepreneur Prize.
“We are excited to see the changes and impact that Wharton MBA students will achieve with the new Jacobs Impact Entrepreneur Prize,” said Dr. Urs Arnold, the Foundation’s head of operations.
The two-year program will start with a cohort of three selected first-year MBA awardees from the Class of 2020 who will receive an initial $5,000 stipend to support their venture development. We’ll follow the journey of these three “Jacobs Fellows” as they develop, launch, and/or scale their social ventures. During their second year as MBA students, one of these three Fellows will receive additional funding of $45,000 to launch or scale their startup. A total award of $50,000 can be the catalyst needed for a student to develop their enterprise so they can make a positive social impact on the world.
But funding is just half the picture. Awardees also become part of a global network of Jacobs Fellows that they can lean on for support and advising, while expanding their community of like-minded peers. They’ll even have the opportunity to travel to Switzerland — all expenses paid — for a weeklong networking and learning session. The opportunity to be included in this diverse global community sets the Jacobs Prize apart from other programs.
“The Jacobs Prize is an extraordinary and unique opportunity to advance Wharton’s leadership in social impact and benefit from the outstanding network and reputation of the Jacobs Foundation,” said one applicant. “As a social entrepreneur and Wharton MBA candidate, I am thrilled to see my school partner with the Jacobs Foundation and excited for the long-lasting impact that this partnership will have on social entrepreneurs, on our Wharton community, and on our efforts to make our impact sustainable and scalable.”
— Nisa Nejadi
Posted: January 8, 2019