For the past three years, Stratham, NH-based Timberland has partnered with the University of New Hampshire (UNH) to encourage and support the next generation of sustainable business through the university’s annual New Hampshire Social Venture Innovation Challenge (SVIC). Now in its fourth year, the global outdoor lifestyle brand is working with UNH to challenge students and community members to develop innovative business solutions as part of the company’s long-standing commitment to addressing social and environmental challenges in communities across the world.
Registration is open for New Hampshire students and community members, with a deadline to submit projects by November 7. Contestants have the option to submit projects as an individual or with a team, and the winner will be chosen after a final round of judging at UNH on December 1.
“The SVIC is particularly exciting because it focuses on engaging and growing a generation of young leaders who do not just discuss global challenges, but take real, concrete steps toward solving them,” said Fiona Wilson, executive director of the UNH Center for Social Innovation and Enterprise. “UNH’s Center for Social Innovation & Enterprise couldn’t organize the program without significant collaboration from community partners who provide financial resources, mentoring and coaching. Timberland has been a pivotal and significant partner for the last three years and really allowed us to turn a small experiment into an annual event with statewide impact. We are incredibly grateful to Timberland for their partnership and are proud to have sponsors whose values and mission are so closely aligned with the purpose of the Challenge.”
Together, Timberland and UNH aim to create a forum to shine a light on aspiring students and social entrepreneurs designing sustainable solutions to some of society’s most pressing social and environmental challenges. Last year, over 70 entries represented more than 20 different majors, showcasing how entrepreneurial tools can be a force for good across industries. SVIC challenges individuals or teams to identify a pressing social and/or environmental issue at the state, national or global level, and develop an original, innovative proposal in the form of a three-minute video and two-page paper. Winners of the SVIC are eligible for a range of prizes totaling over $65,000, including in-kind law services and office space to cash prizes.
“Timberland is on a mission to equip people to make a difference in the world, and we enjoy partnering with the University of New Hampshire to encourage and support the next generation of sustainable businesses in our own backyard,” said Atlanta McIlwraith, senior manager of community engagement. “It’s amazing to see the ideas presented each year and to be a part of helping them launch and make their difference.”
To learn more about the SVIC, visit https://www.unh.edu/social-innovation/svic. To read more about Timberland’s commitment to engage communities around the world, visit: https://www.timberland.com/responsibility/community.html.