Guest Articles

May 12

James Militzer

Get Ready for SOCAP16: Apply for SOCAP Open and Entrepreneur Scholarship Program

Though spring has barely taken hold (at least here in Michigan), SOCAP, the world’s largest conference on social enterprise and impact investing, is already gearing up for its fall 2016 event.

SOCAP16 will take place Sept. 13-16 at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco, CA, and NextBillion will serve as a media partner at the conference. In the meantime, SOCAP is accepting applications for two important elements of the event:



To advance the conversation around diverse social innovation issues, SOCAP Open allows the public to submit ideas for sessions at the conference, and to vote for them online. Proposals will be reviewed by SOCAP’s advisory panel of experts and voted on by the general public, with selected session organizers presenting their ideas at SOCAP16. The submission process began May 4, and you can submit your ideas through May 31. If your session is selected, you’ll receive a complimentary ticket to the event.

But how can you decide on an idea to submit? According to SOCAP organizers, “proposals should be aligned with the primary interests and passions of the SOCAP community, including the SOCAP16 conference themes.” However, ideas that fall outside of these conference themes (but that are relevant to other areas of social innovation) will still be considered. To help you craft a successful proposal, SOCAP has provided the SOCAP Open FAQ and Tips to Crafting a Winning SOCAP Open Idea. You can submit your proposal here.

SOCAP Open 2016 dates:

  • May 4: SOCAP Open is live (submissions welcome)
  • May 31: Final day to submit an idea to SOCAP Open
  • June 16: Commenting and voting period ends
  • June 16 – 28: Judging panel and final selection by SOCAP16 Content Team
  • June 29: Winning sessions announced to session organizers


SOCAP16 Social Entrepreneur Scholarships

Social entrepreneurs are the heart of SOCAP, and the conference aims to support them in several ways. One is by offering scholarships to 150 outstanding entrepreneurs, allowing them to attend SOCAP16 free of charge and to participate in additional programming and development opportunities. These scholarships have been offered since the first SOCAP, with recipients representing a wide variety of sectors and business models. At last year’s conference, for instance, these entrepreneurs came from more than 35 different countries.

SOCAP16 Entrepreneur Scholarship Program recipients will receive the following:

  • Free SOCAP16 full conference pass (valued at $1,495)
  • Impact Accelerator @SOCAP – tailored entrepreneur programming pre-conference
  • Hostel accommodations for the duration of the conference
  • Recognition and high visibility in the SOCAP program
  • Dedicated mentorship from notable impact leaders

Applications for the Entrepreneur Scholarship Program will be accepted through June 20. You can apply here.


Early Registration Discount

Beyond that, it’s not too early to register to attend SOCAP16. In fact, the sooner you register, the lower the price, as “Spring Fling” prices are in effect until June 1, offering $500 off the full price of admission. The price will increase incrementally between now and the conference, going up on June 1st, July 2nd, July 30th, and September 1st. But regardless of when you register, NextBillion readers can get $200 off the current ticket cost by entering this discount code: MP_NextBillion.

We’ll be featuring other SOCAP news and updates in the coming months, as NextBillion and the broader social business community prepare for this essential event.



Date: Sept. 13-16

Location: Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA

SOCAP16 site:



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