A global survey commissioned to announce the third year of The Venture reveals a generation determined to change the future for the better.

Since The Venture first launched in 2014 over 3,500 social enterprises have applied for the chance to receive a share of the annual $1Million fund and world class business mentorship. During that same time period, the YouGov survey revealed the wider movement of business as a force for good, has grown exponentially. This is reflected in the fact that of the 11,349 people across 10 countries surveyed, three quarters of those canvassed expect big businesses to tackle the world problems of the future. As well as being accountable for solving future problems, the research found that 95% of young professionals look to brands and companies to solve today’s world problems.

The survey revealed that 77% of people see big business as and be the number one driver of positive change for the future. This supports The Venture’s intention to support brands and companies that focus not only on financial success, but also on creating a positive impact on the wider world.

The YouGov survey suggested the primary catalyst for positive change is thought to be education. According to the research results, 70% of people across the world believe the education sector has the greatest potential to change the world for the better, while healthcare was in second with 60%. Education plays a critical role in raising awareness around social issues, and it is one of the driving forces behind the rise of socially conscious business. 

Interestingly, outside of business, opinions amongst countries surveyed also differed as to what other areas of society may be responsible for a better future. Individual entrepreneurs, investors, governments and members of the public were all proposed as alternative areas that are key to driving change. Nigeria holds entrepreneurs and inventors most accountable for improving the future of their country, while Thailand put the onus on members of the public to make a difference. 

Founding Executive Director of the Beeck Center For Social Impact & Innovation, Sonal Shah commented on the research, saying: "The results from the Chivas research highlight a number of trends that have surfaced in our work here at the Beeck Center. It shows that Millennials and Gen Z are hungry, motivated and inspired to positively impact the world. Second, young people believe that business also has a social responsibility not just government. As the world continues to become increasingly networked and collaborative, we have an opportunity to shape it - building cross-sector solutions to our most pressing social and environmental challenges." 

The YouGov survey was commissioned to announce the third year of The Venture. Founded in 2014, with over $1Million in annual funding and resources, The Venture will continue its search to find and support the next generation of startups that want to succeed whilst making a positive impact on the lives of others. 

Over the last two years the competition has invested $2Million in social businesses that are creating a better future, and have positively impacted more 200,000 lives. This year, 31 countries across six continents are taking part, but only the most promising from each country will be selected as a global finalist for the chance to compete for $1Million in funding. 

The startups selected will have the chance to take part in The Accelerator Week in March 2017, where they will be mentored by global business leaders, industry experts and successful social entrepreneurs. From May 2017, The Venture will invite the public to have their say on which of these 30 startups receives funding. An initial $250,000 of the $1Million fund will be distributed to the finalists through public voting. Last year, Columbia’s representative, Conceptos Plásticos, which transforms plastic and rubber waste into an alternative construction material for housing, shelters and classrooms, won over 64,000 votes and $53,000 over the five week period. 

In July 2017, the new group of finalists will attend The Venture Final Pitch in New York City, the culmination of the competition, where they will pitch to a judging panel in front of a live audience of influencers, social innovators and business leaders.  

To find out when applications for The Venture Year Three open in your market and for more information on how to apply, visit our Terms & Conditions.

Follow @TheVenture on Twitter for all the highlights from the competition, and the latest stories, ideas and individuals that are helping to shape our future.