Student Interest

Free Registration for The Ultimate Competition About Financing the SDGs!

How does the competition work?

  • Choose one or multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) you want to address.
  • Anywhere you want: choose to address your SDGs locally and close to home, regionally or globally.
  • This can be for a proposed initiative or an existing initiative. 
  • We welcome collaboration between students and organizations – it is a perfect opportunity to build your network, gain experience, work together and solve real issues!
  • Develop a blended finance solution.

On this page you can register your team and submit a concept note. If you are not ready to do that but are interested in the competition, fill out this form to receive updates.

Find out more about the competition and what “blended finance” means on the “About the Challenge” page.

Also, we have a number of examples, organized by Sustainable Development Goal, here. Peruse these and use them as guides for your solution!


  • Any undergraduate and graduate students at a college or university anywhere in the world are eligible!
  • Students of all backgrounds are encouraged to join. We provide resources to learn about blended finance, social equity, impact investing and sustainable finance so you are prepared to put your best solution forward.

First: Register your team for Free!

You can register your team for free using the form linked here.

(This form is also embedded at the bottom of this page)

Below are the steps to follow after you register. Have fun!

Step 1: Submit a concept note As Soon As You Can – Accepted on a Rolling Basis

Click here to submit a quick concept note.

Submit a two or three paragraph concept note. We do not use your concept not for judging, only to match you with coaching and learning opportunities relative to your general idea. We will accept concept notes on a rolling basis.

What is the “Concept Note”?

The concept note is your starting point. You have up to three paragraphs to provide us with a very general summary of what you are planning to propose. This concept note will NOT be used in the final judging. We use it to match you with coaching opportunities

When should I submit the “Concept Note”?

Concept notes are accepted on a rolling basis. The sooner you submit this the better, because we will use it to match you with coaching opportunities from professionals/practitioners that can provide meaningful information and feedback while you create your proposal. 

So what should the “Concept Note” include?
  1. Describe the Sustainable Development Goal or multiple goals (SDGs) you want to address. Go here to explore the 17 SDGs.
  2. Describe the geography and your connection to that geography: Will you approach this locally at home or in multiple countries, one country, a region within a country, globally, etc.?
  3. How will you incorporate and connect social, environmental and economic issues within your proposal? We want proposals to explore connecting all three to emulate the original purpose of the triple bottom line of pushing ourselves to simultaneously improve social, environmental and economic impact. 
  4. Select the potential finance vehicle(s) and blended finance structure(s) your team will explore for your proposal. If you don’t know yet, no problem. Just select that option and we will reach out to help. This is meant to be a learning experience. This is not your proposal. It just helps us match you with coaching opportunitiesClick here to learn more about blended finance and explore examples. Click here to explore additional questions related to blended and sustainable finance. 
  5. Finally, quickly conclude with a sentence or two about why you believe your idea will work. 

NOTE: We welcome collaboration between students and organizations – it is a perfect opportunity to gain experience, work together and solve real issues!

If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to ask by emailing Learn more about the challenge here

We can’t wait to read your “Concept Notes”! Enjoy the process.

Step 2: Match with Coaching Opportunities, Proposal Development and Submission of Proposal

The proposal submission deadline is January 20th, 2022. As soon as you have registered and submitted your concept note, you will receive a link to start your submission, which will provide detailed guidance. Then we will match your team with coaching opportunities. Your final proposal will consist of:

  • required three paragraph summary of your proposal.
  • required presentation slide deck up to 25 slides.
  • An optional two page narrative describing the proposal.
  • An optional spreadsheet illustrating financial and impact details of the proposal.

Step 3: Finals (Feb. 4 and 5, 2022)

We will announce the finalists for LIFT by January 30, 2022. The finals will take place virtually (online) February 4 and 5, 2022. These will consist of live virtual pitches to judges. The judges will consist of investment, business, finance and sustainability professionals. The finals will also provide opportunities for networking and to learn from professionals in this space.

Registration Form:

Click here if you cannot access form above.


Center for Sustainable Enterprise

The Center for Sustainable Enterprise drives responsible thought leadership and inspired action to accelerate progress in social and environmental sustainability through innovative and profitable business solutions.

We accomplish this by engaging with and connecting stakeholders to empower students, faculty and businesses to create impactful solutions, strengthen resiliency and identify breakthrough opportunities.

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UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

UNC Kenan-Flagler is a leading global professional school of business. Our research influences business leaders, academics and policymakers. Our graduates are known for their effective and principled leadership as well as their technical and managerial skills. We are a workplace of choice for faculty, staff and students; a valued member of the UNC-Chapel Hill community; and a contributor to the welfare of North Carolina and the world beyond.

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Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise

The Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise develops and promotes innovative, market-based solutions to vital economic issues. With the belief that private enterprise is the cornerstone of a prosperous and free society, the institute fosters the entrepreneurial spirit to stimulate economic prosperity and improve the lives of people in North Carolina, across the country and around the world.

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