Now Accepting Applications for the 2013 Class of Social Entrepreneurial Leaders



(Sun Valley, Idaho)  December 17, 2012.  Are you age 21-30, and committed to making a difference in the world?  Can you demonstrate leadership in projects or community activities that have resulted in positive social change? Do you have the capacity and passion to make this change happen.  If so, Wild Gift can help you bring your social entrepreneurial vision to reality!

Wild Gift is nonprofit organization based out of Sun Valley, Idaho, that supports emerging social entrepreneurs to implement innovative projects worldwide. Each year Wild Gift selects a new class of young leaders with their own transforming ideas.  Recipients are provided grants and  other support to help bring their projects to fruition.

The Wild Gift program consists of four components:  (1) professional mentoring to help shape  project  proposals and empower leaders; (2) financial support to ensure the project’s first year success; and( 3) ongoing membership in Wild Gift's growing Network of leaders with ongoing opportunities for collaboration  and strategizing through annual forums.

In addition, each leader is given (4) The Wild Gift - a deep wilderness experience in the Idaho backcountry connecting them to the natural world on a very personal level, where they can plan projects without the distractions of daily life while discovering their unique responsibility as stewards of future generations.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Wild Gift has supported the projects of 39 young innovators working in 8 countries on 4 continents (including Haiti, Canada, Nigeria, Kenya, Chile, India, Samoa, Nepal) and 15 states in the areas of education, sustainable agriculture, affordable housing, energy efficiency and innovation, community development, public policy and wildland conservation and stewardship.

“Wild Gift was founded on the belief that it's impossible to separate the well-being of the human person from the well-being of the earth - a consciousness sorely missing in our traditional leaders today”, stated Executive Director Deborah Knapp. ” We believe that pioneering entrepreneurs infused with inspiration and appreciation of wild nature will ultimately find the solutions.”

Applications are due on April 15 and can be found online at Minorities and residents of the Wood River Valley are strongly encouraged to apply.


WHAT: Grant opportunity and other project support for social entrepreneurs ages 21-30

DEADLINE: Applications due by April 15, 2013

TO APPLY: Application forms are available at

SPONSOR: Wild Gift

CONTACT: Deborah Knapp at (208) 471-5091 or [email protected]




Check out how Wild Gift Leaders are already making a difference across the globe:  Here's a glimpse of three alumni:

VIRAJ PURI ('05): Shesyon Solar Earthworks - India.  From 2005-2009, Viraj completed six green buildings, over 70,000 square feet, including schools, a medical clinic and a vocational training school, generated over $550,000 in revenue and created over 150 construction jobs in India. In 2009, Viraj co-founded Gotham Greens (GG), a New York City based company advancing sustainable urban agriculture. Today, GG operates NYC's first commercial scale urban farm. With 20 full-time employees, this 15,000 square foot state-of-the-art, renewable -energy- powered greenhouse facility produces over 100 tons of premium quality greens and herbs for sale annually to the local NYC restaurant and retail market. Viraj was recently a featured speaker on TED Talk.

CODY HOPKINS ('08): Falling Sky Farm - Arkansas.  Cody founded Falling Sky Farm - a diversified, grass-based, livestock farm with a mission to provide technical, processing, marketing, and organizational support to develop a profitable and environmentally-friendly community of small farms in central Arkansas. Today, this community of farms serves as the backbone of a local-food system that both works in harmony with nature and reinvigorates a local economy that has historically existed on the margins. In 2012, Cody was selected as a 2012 Yoshiyama Young Entrepreneur by the Hitachi Foundation.

AMY FREEMAN ('10): North American Odyssey - Minnesota. Amy's project, the North American Odyssey (NAO) is a 11,700 mile kayak, canoe and dogsled expedition across North America designed to educate third through eighth grade students about the plants, animals, and people of the wildest remaining places in North America through an online curriculum, thereby empowering them to protect North America’s waterways and wildlands and combat global warming. Today, approximately 2,200 teachers are registered and about 70,000 students are participating online from around the world. NAO was recently featured in Canoe and Kayak Magazine.


Social Entrepreneur Gina Olszowski