The Kauffman Foundation: Global Student Entrepreneurship Awards



The Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) is the premier global competition for students who own and operate a business while attending college of university. Nominees compete against their peers from around the world in a series of local and/or national competitions in hopes to qualify for GSEA Finals. Founded in 1998 by Saint Louis University, GSEA is now an Entrepreneurs’ Organization program.


EO GSEA supports student entrepreneurs who require much needed mentorship, recognition and connections to take their businesses to the next level of success.

VISION:  Empowering student entrepreneurs to become the world’s more influential change makers.

MISSION: To give student entrepreneurs the opportunity to accelerate their success, challenge the status quo. connect to an instrumental peer group and make the greatest impact possible in their community.


Undergraduate college/university students who own and operate a business for at least six months are eligible to compete.


Qualifying competitions are held in cities and countries worldwide, with the 2017 Global Finals competition will be held in Frankfurt, Germany.


Qualifying competitions take place throughout the calendar year with the Global Finals held in 27-29 April 2017.

EO GSEA History

  • 1998: Program originated in John Cook School of Business, Saint Louis University, Missouri, USA.
  • 1998: Program expands to encompass North America (Canada, US, Mexico).
  • 2002: Name change to GSEA to reflect new global scope (all countries worldwide).
  • 2006: Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) takes over the program from Saint Louis University to provide a sustainable model and continue global growth and expansion.
  • 2006: Mercedes-Benz Financial signs on as GSEA Global Partner.
  • 2007: GSEA nominations hit 750; expansion into Australia, Africa and Asia; more than US$100,000 in prizes available; student finalists had businesses ranging in size from US$750,000 to more than US$2 million.
  • 2008: GSEA nominations hit 1,000; more than US$150,000 in prizes awarded to the Global Finalists; more than 60 elite judges with a combined net worth of more than US$2 Billion in attendance.
  • 2009: GSEA nominations hit 1,500; more than $250,000 in prizes awarded to students in regional and global competitions; expansion into 12 new countries for a total of 18; more than 90 elite judges at the 2009 GSEA Global Finals.
  • 2010-Present: GSEA applications expected to exceed 2,000; global program continues to expand to new countries and support student entrepreneurs worldwide.


Gender: All
Country: USA
State: All
Grade level: Undergraduate
GPA: 3
Need or Merit: Merit
Race: All
Ethnicity: All
Religion: All
Major: All
Veterans: Yes
Employment: Yes
Community Service: No
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