The Social Innovation Tournament by the EIB Institute

Deadline: 4 March 2020
Open to: individuals or teams from (or residing in) the European Union Member States, enlargement countries, and EFTA countries
Benefits: 1st and 2nd Prizes of EUR 50 000 and EUR 20 000 respectively


The Social Innovation Tournament recognizes and supports the best European social entrepreneurs. It promotes innovative ideas and rewards initiatives that contribute to creating social, ethical or environmental impact.  Typically, it covers projects in the areas of education, healthcare, the environment, circular economy, inclusion, job creation, ageing and many more.

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 participate in a tailor-made training programme (Mentoring Bootcamp, e-training on pitching, one-to-one coaching sessions) to provide them with the necessary guidance to finalise their proposals and prepare them for the final event where all the finalists have to present and defend their project to a jury of social innovation specialists.

This year’s Social Innovation Tournament will take place on 8 October, in Lisbon, Portugal.


The EIB Institute Tournament responds to the considerable need for greater emphasis on Social Innovation and aims to attract interest from both not-for-profit and for-profit organisations, mainly from young entrepreneurs and social enterprises, corporate responsibility departments of private-sector companies of any size, NGOs and government or local government entities and university communities. Entries from student teams are also welcome.

Submissions can be at different stages of the project cycle. Proposals can be innovative ideas which could be implemented within a reasonable time frame and have substantial benefits for society, or already implemented innovative solutions with tangible outcomes in terms of societal impact which could serve as best practices and replicable models. All submissions must commit to use potential awards for the purpose of their proposal.

The Tournament is open to individuals or teams from (or residing in) the European Union Member States, enlargement countries, and EFTA countries that submit proposals to be implemented in one or more such countries.


All projects compete for the General Category and Special Category 1st and 2nd Prizes of EUR 50 000 and EUR 20 000 respectively. In 2020, the Special Category Prizes will go to projects focusing on the environment (with a special emphasis on biodiversity and ecosystem conservation).  Two projects will be selected to attend INSEAD’s Social Entrepreneurship programme in Fontainebleau, France.

Finalists from all SIT editions become members of the SIT Alumni Network. As members, they may benefit from numerous training opportunities such as (i) the Scaling Executive Programme, a full-time executive training course focused on scaling, pitching and engagement with investors, (ii) SITolarships, an innovation grants programme, and (iii) conferences around Europe and network with investors, venture philanthropists and foundations who can help their project to scale. Furthermore, to explore synergies and complementarities with the growing community of social entrepreneurs supported by the Institute through the SIT, the Institute is supporting the first social incubator in the North of Portugal.

How to Apply?

For application instructions please check the following link.

For more information please check the official web page.