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The Public Value Award

Start-ups make society

Many founders address socially relevant issues with their business ideas. With innovative strength and courage, they want to overcome current and emerging challenges and create benefits for society. They show what entrepreneurship can achieve in the socio-ecological transformation and how it can shape the future.  

The Public Value Award for Start-ups honors start-ups that contribute to the common good. We want to encourage young entrepreneurs to actively shape social values and further develop their individual public value profile. 


We use the scientific methodology of the Public Value Scorecard for evaluation. It considers five dimensions on an equal footing – task fulfillment, quality of life, social cohesion, morale and economic efficiency. The contribution to the common good results from the interaction of all dimensions.

Our participants see themselves as social entrepreneurs, sustainable entrepreneurs or simply as entrepreneurs who tackle social challenges. They are guided, among other things, by social impact and sustainability goals and thus by various aspects of the common good (Public Value).  

What contribution to the common good results from your business model, your product or your service? How does your start-up "make" society? 


With your application, you can learn more about the social impact of your business model and make your own purpose more visible – to investors, customers, employees and yourself. 


The industry, size or legal form is not decisive, it is about creating value for the common good – the PUBLIC VALUE of your start-up.


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Questions and answers about the PUBLIC VALUE AWARD.


The application alone is worth it. The evaluation of your start-up from a social perspective can show you new growth potential. The contribution that your company makes to the common good (public value) is not only important for society, your customers or your employees, it is also increasingly a decision-making criterion for investors.

All start-ups that make it through to the final receive intensive public value coaching prior to the award ceremony, which helps them to recognize and focus on their own contribution to the common good.

As an award winner or finalist, you become part of our public value network: together with our partners, we want to support your start-up as best we can on its journey from purpose to public value. In addition , you will receive further mentoring and consulting services from our partners of up to 50 hours - on the topics that are next for you. you decide.  

You will also have the opportunity to have solutions for your strategic challenges developed as part of an HHL entrepreneurship seminar.
Above all, you benefit from access to an ecosystem of science and business. You will receive a membership in Forum Gemeinwohl eV, a network of scientists, entrepreneurs and consultants that promotes the idea of the common good in science, business and civil society.

We're always working to offer prizes that help your startup grow.

Further prize offers can be added or content can be specified before the award ceremony.


The Trophy

The unique trophy made of solid concrete and precious metal symbolizes the interaction between the start-up's public value orientation and society. It was designed in 2016 by three graduates of the renowned Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle/Saale - Matthias Zänsler, Oliver Reinecke and Michael Krenz and has been handcrafted by the designers since then.

The foot of the narrow trophy is round - it stands for the big picture, the circle of society. It changes shape towards the top, runs towards the Pentagon and thus becomes the image of the pentagonal Public Value Scorecard. The inside of the trophy is hollowed out. Here the change of form proceeds in a reciprocal manner, playfully referring to the interrelationship between society and the five values of the scorecard. The floor is made of metal (audience prize: wood). The five public value dimensions of task fulfillment, morale, quality of life, cohesion and profitability are engraved into these as the foundation for the success of the winning start-ups.

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