I Will Teach You To Be Rich Scholarships
The I Will Teach You To Be Rich Scholarship for Social Innovation is an annual $2,500 award for anyone in their twenties who has demonstrated entrepreneurial excellence and is planning a socially innovative project. The award can be used for a special project, service initiative, founding a company, creating a community organization, or any other entrepreneurial venture that scales to help others.
Anyone in their twenties is eligible. No preference is given for location or financial status.
You must have a specific project proposal for how the award will be used, and detail it in the application form below.
About the Award
In 2004, I launched I Will Teach You To Be Rich, a blog on personal finance and entrepreneurship. Since then, I’ve been fortunate enough to help millions of people understand that there’s more to being “rich” than money.
Although we all define rich differently, I believe that giving back is a central part of our purpose here – back to the community that helped us, guided us, and taught us. We know this. At some point in our lives, nearly all of us volunteer or donate to charity.
And yet, even among those who consistently give back, there are a remarkable few who stand out. They’ve achieved more than the ordinary person should be able to. They’ve created a vision for helping people beyond just their local community. And they’ve shown that they can have an impact despite incredibly limited resources. This award targets the person who has the voice of 10,000. Someone who’s comfortable helping 1-on-1, but more importantly, can scale their impact to the thousands.
Why start a scholarship?
Although my blog gives me access to thousands of interested people every day, I still can’t directly make the social changes I want to. That’s why I’m turning to other talented people to help me scale social change – whether it’s work on education, poverty, or gender equality (or anything else). Imagine a small cadre of 10, 20, or 30 highly motivated people working to cause social change over the next few years. Do you think a few of them might change the world?
What is social innovation?
Social innovation can come in any form. For example, if your passion is swimming, you might have developed an innovative way to teach children to swim. If you’re a technologist, you may have created a way to bring donations to the third world (like Kiva).
How you’ll be evaluated
As a candidate, you’ll be evaluated on past entrepreneurial accomplishments, as well as a specific plan for a socially innovative project. For example, if you’ve led a community effort, or created a student organization in college – especially one that’s still thriving after your graduation – you are an excellent candidate. (Please don't be limited by these examples, though.) If you have an idea for a project, consider applying and specify how you will use the scholarship. Perhaps you plan to raise awareness about a current issue or tackle a pressing need in your community.
The recipient of this scholarship receives a one-time award of $2,500, to be applied towards a socially innovative project. In addition to the monetary award, I’ll personally work with you to offer guidance, advice and opportunities to meet people who can help you achieve your goals. For example, if you’re looking for increased funding for your business idea, I may be able to help introduce you to entrepreneurs, nonprofit executive directors, and venture capitalists, as appropriate.
Resources I Love
Here are a few links that have shaped my view of giving back.
The Process: Key Deadlines
- January 15, 2009: Application Deadline
- February 2, 2009: Finalists Announced
- February 23, 2009: Recipient of the I Will Teach you to be Rich Scholarship for Social Innovation is announced.