Social Entrepreneurship at UNCW

ETEAL and Social Entrepreneurship

Special Pedals

What is Social Entrepreneurship?

Do you have an idea for a project that would address a social problem or community need? Social Entrepreneurship is a way to transform a project that address a social problem into a sustainable business model through planning, testing, community engagement, and refining your business plan. Whether your plan is to start a nonprofit or for-profit enterprise, social entrepreneurship is a great way to help solve problems in your community and enable community members to contribute to the solution!

How can I get involved?

Every year, there are a number of social entrepreneurship competitions across North Carolina including the UNC System-wide Social Entrepreneurship Competition. If you enter these competitions, you'll have the chance to pitch your project idea for a chance to get funding and support that will help you make your idea a reality. In addition to the state-wide competition, a number of other opportunities, competitions, workshops, and other events are available every semester. Here are just a few of the upcoming events in the Fall 2015 Semester:

New Entrepreneurship Opportunities!

Apply now to Pitch your idea at the October 26th event, "Social Entrepreneurship & Nonprofits: What's the difference?" This is an excellent opportunity to pitch your social entrepeneurship idea along with finding out more about your options and opportunities for developing and implementing your project idea. Applications are now closed. 

Attendance for this event is open only to applicants. Please contact for more information.

Past Social Entrepreneurship Competitions and Events

The 2016 Social Entrepreneurship Competition

The 2016 social entrepreneurship competitionOn February 16th, three teams of UNCW students and their faculty mentors traveled to Greensboro, NC to compete at the UNC System-wide Social Entrepreneurship Competition. There they joined the 45 other teams from across the 17 campuses of the UNC system and pitched their project ideas to the judges. All of our teams put forth a strong showing and one team, Special Pedals Inc., made it to the final round and went on to become the 1st runners up in the competition!

Congratulations to Special Pedals Inc. and to all of our 2016 social entrepreneurship teams! Check out our 2016 Social Entrepreneurship Competition page for more details on our teams, their projects, and photos from the competition.

Along with the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the Wilmington Small Business Technology Development Center, and Academic Affairs, ETEAL is proud to support the efforts of students and faculty in developing their social entrepreneurship projects.

The 2015 UNC Social Entrepreneurship Competition and Future Plans and Directions

In February of 2015, Teams from across the UNC System all met and pitched their social entrepreneurship projects to the judges this year and our UNCW teams faced some tough competition. While neither of the UNCW teams were selected as finalists, both teams have already started planning their next steps and looking for future funding sources and opportunities.

On February 20th, the Renewable Recreation team held a presentation and crowdfunding campaign at the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship to promote their social entrepreneurship project. Their efforts to raise money, awareness, and interest in their project are ongoing and they are optimistic about their future funding possibilities.

The MAPSS Team is currently pursuing other funding opportunities as well and outlining plans to make their mapping activities an applied learning experience that would give more undergraduate students the opportunity to participate in the project.

For more information about the 2015 competition, see our coverage of the 2015 Social Entrepreneurship Competition.