Thank you to all the mentors who applied for the 2012 Said Global Entrepreneur Challenge. The mentor matching process is now complete and all participants have been notified. Please click here to download the instructions that were provided to successful participants.


What is the Said Global Entrepreneur Challenge and how do mentors fit into the picture?

Entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas who need guidance and mentorship will access the Said Global Entrepreneur Challenge to connect with experienced, successful business people and social entrepreneurs who offer their time and energy to help build the next generation of leaders. This Challenge offers potential mentors a unique opportunity to connect with the ideas and people that will shape our collective future. Mentors will be challenged by technology, market and organisation questions and asked to apply their skills and experience to guide others through landscapes both new and familiar. We hope that the dynamic space created through this process will be productive and enjoyable for all.

What time commitment is expected?

Mentors are expected to commit 1 hour over the course of the challenge to work with their assigned team or individual. Specific commitments and timelines should be worked out between mentors and each team or individual.

How will I communicate with the participating team or individual?

Options include Skype, email, telephone, teleconference, etc…The communication method and timeline should be decided upfront for each mentor/participant team or individual as appropriate.

How will I be matched with an entrepreneur?

You will have access to a database of submitted business plans, each one page long. You will be able to find a business plan by searching by country or industry type. Once you have selected and applied for a business plan that interests you, a matching system will soon confirm the connection and put you in contact with the appropriate business team or individual. More information can be found on the SGEC website

Will any travel be required?

Travel is not required. However, should you be able to meet with your assigned team or individual, this would likely be highly beneficial.

How will I be involved in mentoring the participating teams and individuals from their single page business plans?

Many of the participants will be in the process of turning their single page business plans into 10 page plans for final submission. It is important to note that the goals of entrepreneurs vary. Some will have clear ideas and need help exclusively with their business plan, others will need help still exploring their ideas. It is expected that mentors commit to the dynamic unique to each participant and help them move towards their goals at whichever stage they may be.

How will I be able to access the CareerConnect system?

A link will be available from the SGEC website allowing access to the registration page of CareerConnect. If not already registered, you will be required to register for access to the system.

How is this competition related to the University of Oxford?

The Saïd Global Entrepreneur Challenge is run by the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation under the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford.

What is the Venture Fund competition?

The Venture Fund is an annual competition designed to provide early funding for entrepreneurs. To take part in this competition you need to be a student or alumnus of the University of Oxford. Through participation in the Saïd Global Entrepreneur Challenge participating teams will be eligible for entry into the Venture Fund through their mentors. More information can be found at SBS Venture fund website.

What is Oxford Entrepreneurs and the TATA Idea Idol Competition?

Oxford Entrepreneurs is the largest student society promoting entrepreneurship in the world. It is based at the University of Oxford and is affiliated with a number of other organisations. The TATA Idea Idol is a business idea competition run every year offering cash prizes and business support to final round winners. More information can be found at

What confidentiality clauses surround submitted business plans?

Many of the participating teams and individuals will be sharing ideas they are very passionate about. Mentors are required to keep all discussions and exchanges regarding submitted business plans confidential. Participating teams or individuals may request a non-disclosure agreement from mentors at their discretion.

Will participants be relying on me exclusively as a mentor for the competition?

Participating teams and individuals will be relying on mentors for their guidance and support to improve their understanding of the entrepreneurial space and the process of launching a venture. After mentors have been assigned, no further mentoring resources will be available. Therefore, once committed, mentors need to offer their agreed assistance to participating teams for the duration of the competition.

Would mentors be eligible to form partnerships with participating teams in taking their ideas forward as profitable ventures?

At the discretion of participating teams and individuals, mentors may in the future be part of their business venture.

Would anything further be required of me after the 10 page document is submitted?

For many participants the opportunity to be eligible for funding from the Venture Fund is a great attraction to this competition. As per the rules of the Venture Fund, an Oxford student or alumnus is required in the team to be eligible for entry. As such, successful participants of this challenge may request mentors to be a part of their team until mid-2012 as the Venture Fund competition continues.