The Social Innovation Tournament recognises and supports the best European social entrepreneurs. It is organised in a different country every year to reward and sponsor European entrepreneurs whose primary purpose is to generate a social, ethical or environmental impact.
All projects compete for the General Category and Special Category 1st and 2nd Prizes of EUR 50 000 and EUR 20 000 respectively. In 2018, the Special Category Prizes will go to projects focusing on sustainable development with special emphasis on circular economy. Projects also compete for a residency at IRIS (Incubadora Regional de Inovação Social) and for numerous mentoring vouchers.
The prizes and mentoring vouchers are awarded by a jury of specialists from the academic and business worlds. All finalists join the SIT Alumni network and benefit from numerous training opportunities, participation in conferences around Europe, and network with investors, venture philanthropists and foundations who can help their project to scale.
Projects are typically related to combating unemployment, marginalisation of disadvantaged communities and promoting access to education in a wide range of fields, from education and health care to the natural or urban environment, using new technologies, new systems, and new processes.
The tournament runs in two rounds. A selection committee, comprised mainly of EIB Group experts in innovation, the environment, and other relevant disciplines, selects 15 finalists. The finalists are invited to a mentoring bootcamp to provide them with the necessary guidance to finalise their proposals. At the final event, all the finalists have to present and defend their project to a jury of social innovation specialists.