Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Announcing the Fourth Annual Hassenfeld Social Enterprise Fund Competition

Incoming students: please see the information below for an exciting opportunity at the HNC this year!

Start planning now, and you could win up to $30,000* to make a lasting, positive impact with your cross-cultural experience and education at the Hopkins–Nanjing Center!


This fall, the Hopkins–Nanjing Center (HNC) is collaborating with the Johns Hopkins University Center for Leadership Education (JHU CLE) to offer mentorship in entrepreneurship and business planning. A CLE entrepreneurship faculty member will offer a biweekly seminar over video-conference for HNC and JHU students interested in participating in the Competition. The seminar is not for credit and will not count toward HNC credit requirements.


Hassenfeld team members present in 2012
In the spring, the HNC and JHU CLE will offer the fourth annual Hassenfeld Social Enterprise Fund Competition (Hassenfeld SEF). HNC students will have the opportunity to team up with each other and with students from other JHU divisions to design and implement a business plan for the common good in China. Each competing team must include at least two HNC students, at least one of them Chinese and one of them non-Chinese. Both M.A.I.S. students and Certificate students may participate. Teams will develop project proposals together and present them in several stages to a panel of judges. The winning plan will receive funding from the Hassenfeld Social Enterprise Fund.

Past winners have built an online bilingual resource for the Chinese and international business community ( and an online platform to connect people interested in volunteering with charities and non-profit organizations in Nanjing ( Last year’s winners are developing computer software to train corporate employees in China on corporate responsibility. Your project could focus on something completely different! A social enterprise:

a)       Directly addresses an intractable social need and serves the common good, either through its products and services or through its business and employment outcomes,
b)      Derives strong revenue from its commercial activity, whether within a nonprofit’s mixed revenue portfolio or through a for-profit enterprise, and,
c)       Promotes the common good as its primary purpose.**

You will receive specific guidelines at the beginning of the fall semester but are encouraged to start planning today.

*Initial award will not exceed $10,000, though teams have the ability to win follow-on funding based on project success. Award depends on plan quality and fund availability at the discretion of the Competition’s Selection Committee.
**Definition adapted from the Social Enterprise Alliance ( The Hassenfeld Social Enterprise Competition, the Hopkins–Nanjing Center, and Johns Hopkins University are not directly affiliated with the Social Enterprise Alliance, and reference to it does not imply those institutions’ endorsement of the Social Enterprise Alliance’s views or activities.