About GWUpstart

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GWupstart is GW's central hub for social entrepreneurship training, mentoring, and funding. Based in the Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service, it builds on GW’s strength as an institution that fosters the next generation of citizen leaders. It provides the know-how and support to students to turn their ideas into practical action that makes a measurable, sustained difference.

GWupstart works with both undergraduate and graduate students as they hone their ideas, construct solid plans, and set out to put those plans into action with some share of the $60,000 collectively available annually through our opportunities.

GWupstart offers five competitive funding opportunities: 

  • Knapp Fellowship for Entrepreneurial Service-Learning - helps students connect academics to their own DC-focused projects
  • Public Service Grant Commission - supports students to create social entrepreneurial projects in the local DC community
  • Campaigning for Change - supports students in developing a grassroots community campaign to address social issues in DC
  • Eco-Equity Challenge - helps students bridge (and address) the gap between environmental issues and social issues in the DMV
  • Commitment Maker Challenge - supports students to develop and carry out their own CGI U Commitment to Action

Contact Jonathan Butler, Senior Program Associate for Community Engagement and Social Innovation in the Nashman Center, with any questions, including guidance on which opportunities most suit your interests.

Knapp Fellowship

The Knapp Fellowship for Entrepreneurial Service-Learning provides grants of up to $10,000 annually for students to design and implement entrepreneurial service-learning projects that make a difference in the world and integrate academic research. 

Public Service Grant Commission

The Public Service Grant Commission awards up to $20,000 annually (two grant deadlines each semester) to students who need funding to make their entrepreneurial community service project in the greater Washington DC community come to life. 

Clinton Global Initiative University

The Clinton Global Initiative was founded in 2005 to bring together global leaders who make commitments to generating innovative solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. To date, these commitments have improved the lives of over 400 million people in more than 180 countries, with a fully-funded value of $73.1 billion.