Social Business Creation: making a difference, one social innovation at time

October 11, 2023

The 8th edition of the Social Business Creation (SBC) event, which included 156 projects and over 500 participants, reaffirmed, yet again, its commitment to the social entrepreneurship ecosystem.

All the participants received training and coaching from teams of faculty and staff members from HEC Montréal and its partner universities, and they completed several stages of the School’s international competition before reaching its grand finale on October 3. Here are the winning projects, in 4 distinct categories, from this last round of the competition comprising 34 finalists:

1) Start-up

Nam Tural (Vietnam) have leveraged the unique qualities of rice straw, and created a superior product that not only boosts farmers' incomes but also significantly reduces air pollution and CO2 emissions.

Runners-up: Beta and ForestFoods

2) Established Business

CECAUV (Mexico) saves lives through its first aid training and innovative A.I.R.E. technology to provide cardiorespiratory resuscitation.

Runners-up: Editorial Picnic de Palabras and eJOY English

3) Impactful Change Agent

Established in 1960, Foreign Trade University (Vietnam) contributes significantly to reshaping the social entrepreneurship landscape through its programs, research and engagement with all stakeholders.

4) Emerging Change Agent

Connected with other universities, companies and government entities, University of Veracruz (Mexico) has been able to mobilize its entire community and merge education with social transformation initiatives.


“The resounding success of SBC 2023 reflects a global paradigm shift: when organizations and universities align their goals to improve society, the impacts are limitless.”

Mai Thai, Associate Professor and director of the competition


About the competition

SBC was launched in 2016 by HEC Montréal in partnership with IDEOS, its Social Impact Hub. Right from the start it has benefited from the support of the Yunus Centre and its founder, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus.

SBC is more than a competition – it is also a training opportunity for university students at all levels. Teams come up with an idea for a social mission they want to develop. They are then guided, step by step, as they create a social business. They learn to analyze a problem, develop solutions and identify sources of funding.

The 2023 edition of the competition was presented with support from Scotiabank, for the 3rd straight year.


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