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The Benilde Prize is the Philippine’s first University-based social innovation competition dedicated to empowering students into becoming the next wave of social innovators.

Together, we’ll prepare them to tackle the 17 SDGs of the United Nations through training, mentorship, and incubation in pursuit of scalable and sustainable solutions.

Now on its third season, the Benilde Prize trains aspiring student social innovators on creative problem solving frameworks and Social Business Design, then lets them compete to win up to Php500,000 in seed funding, exclusive incubation and mentorship from esteemed industry practitioners, as well as crucial partnerships and linkages to bring their social enterprise to life.

The Sustainable Development Goals (or SDGs) are a set of seventeen (17) international goals established by the United Nations in June 2012.

These include:

  1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
  2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture
  3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
  4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all
  5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
  7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all
  8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
  10. Reduce inequality within and among countries
  11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
  12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development,
  15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
  16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
  17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

For more details, you can read more about the history behind SDGs here.

Good news, we’re extending the Last Call for Ideas to Monday October 23, 2017!

The Benilde Prize is a nationwide innovation competition that is open to ALL students who are currently enrolled in Philippine colleges and universities, except those from De la Salle-College of Saint Benilde (we have a special incubation program for Benildeans).​ 


  1. Legal-Aged Youth (18-30 years old)
  2. Proof of current enrollment in a Philippine College or University. Graduate Students and Students of Vocational Training Institutions are also eligible to apply.   
  3. Two (2) fully accomplished Benilde Prize Recommendation Forms for EACH team member; one (1) from an academic reference and one (1) from a personal reference.

Not from Metro-Manila?
If your team and your entry makes it to the semi-finals, we’ll fly you in to join the intensive mentoring—all expenses paid!

Benilde Prize 3 Finals Night is on February 18, 2018.

Join the Benilde Prize today!

All kinds of ideas are welcome!

The project can be an product, service, or even a new system of doing things as long as it (a) helps achieve our SDGs and (b) represents the Sustainist Design qualities of:

  1. Sharing
  2. Localism
  3. Connectedness, and
  4. Proportionality

Join the Benilde Prize today!

The Sustainist Design qualities include:

  1. Sharing
  2. Localism
  3. Connectedness, and
  4. Proportionality

(“Sustainism symbol is taken from Michiel Schwarz & Joost Elffers, Sustainism Is the New Modernism, 2010, Creative Commons by-nc-nd.)

SHARING is increasingly becoming a valued quality of life. It informs new forms of social interaction, business practice, and consumption. Shareability centers around collaboration and exchange, often linked to mobile and Internet technologies. Bringing shareable assets into the design of products, media, places, and information are driving new forms of “collaborative consumption” and open source innovation.

“Local” is becoming a quality in itself. New forms of LOCALISM are less concerned with local as a geographical marker, focusing instead on local experiences and belonging. Sustainist design focuses on localist attributes, such as a sense of place, nearness, locally rooted experiences, and community building. It is grounded in the local, whilst willing to embrace the global.

Sustainism represents the culture of connectivity and networks, where everyone and everything is interconnected. As a design requirement, CONNECTEDNESS focuses on building connections between people, their living environments, and nature. Relationships, communities, and peer networks are becoming core attributes to designing for connectedness.

Sustainist design shifts our focus onto questions of appropriateness: from scale to PROPORTIONALITY. It goes beyond modernist design approaches where bigger (and faster) is always better. Focusing on proportionality moves the design agenda towards questions of selective slowness (rather than speed) and to appropriate and human dimensions (rather than unquestioned upscaling).

How sharing, localism, connectedness and proportionality are creating a new agenda for social design. Michiel Schwarz & Diana Krabbendam, with The Beach network. BIS Publishers, Amsterdam, 2013. (link:

Don’t worry about starting from scratch! We have a sample presentation deck for you right here:

Presentation Deck Template

We want to encourage and reward students like you who have a drive to make a difference, especially through solutions that help us in meeting our Sustainable Development Goals (specifically those under the People & Planet) that are:

  1. inclusive
  2. relevant
  3. trailblazing
  4. extraordinary
  5. feasible
  6. scalable, and
  7. sustainable

As well as those that possess the qualities of Sustainist Design, namely:

  1. Sharing
  2. Localism
  3. Connectedness, and
  4. Proportionality

How sharing, localism, connectedness and proportionality are creating a new agenda for social design. Michiel Schwarz & Diana Krabbendam, with The Beach network. BIS Publishers, Amsterdam, 2013. (link:

Visit our Join the Benilde Prize page to view our timeline of events!

The Benilde Prize Winners

  • Seed funding of up to half a million Philippine Pesos (Php 500,000)
  • Intensive mentorship by esteemed industry practitioners
  • Accelerator-Incubation Program (8 months)
  • Partnerships & Linkages

Consolation Prizes for Finalists

  • Various Premium Apple Products

No. The Benilde Prize’s Php500,000 is not “prize money” per se. If you win, it’s meant to be the Seed Funding for your startup/social enterprise which we will build together over an intensive and exclusive eight month incubation program.

You can view our official mechanics and instructions on how to join on our Join Benilde Prize page here!

That’s okay. You can still do your part by telling more of your friends about initiatives like Benilde Prize and

Follow us on social media and invite others to join or support the cause. Together, we can accomplish our Sustainable Development Goals!


Still curious?

You can send us a message directly!