Business Plan Competition

Business Plan Competition

Business Plan Competition

2014 Business Plan Competition Overview

The Social Impact Exchange Business Plan Competition identifies social sector scaling initiatives with demonstrated impact and readiness to scale – and supports them with financial and consulting awards. The Competition helps develop a strong pipeline of scale-ready initiatives and provides them with resources to take the next step successfully. Click here to see the presentations of the 2014 Business Plan Competition Finalists.

U.S.-based nonprofits with a focus in education, youth development, health, poverty alleviation or community economic development are eligible to enter. 

See Eligibility Requirements

During an 8-month process, entrants develop and submit business plans to scale their impact and improve the lives of people in need. Judging is conducted on a pro bono basis by professionals from the private, public and nonprofit sectors. Competition entrants have access to a website of resources on scaling, take part in one-on-one consulting, and receive customized written feedback on their plans. The final round of the Social Impact Business Plan Competition takes place in June in New York City.

To enter the Competition, nonprofits must meet the following requirements

  • 501 c 3 in U.S. (i.e., main office, administrative center from which operations are managed, directed and controlled)
  • Member of Social Impact Exchange (membership is free - click here to join).
  • Have begun or are well into the process of scaling an evidence-based solution to reach greater numbers of people, thus increasing impact through one or more of the following strategies:
    • Expanding through program replication: offering a current program, service, product, platform, practice or initiative in new locations – local, regional or national; or
    • Reaching significantly larger numbers of people or new audiences: providing a current service, product, platform, practice or initiative more frequently or in greater quantity to current or new people; or
    • Promoting a model: encouraging the replication of a social intervention by promoting it to others; or
    • Influencing public policy: changing public policy to increase the number served or needs addressed, or to reduce the need; or
    • Effecting systems change: creating a more hospitable environment that allows effective programs to flourish or encourages collaboration among stakeholders (e.g., Collective Impact); or
    • Building or growing a social movement: creating change through a large-scale social movement that influences public opinion or collective action in support of an issue.
  • Meet the following eligibility requirements:
    • Documented key program elements and processes required for additional scaling.
    • Initiative implemented in at least 2 sites for a minimum of 2 years (for geographic scaling).
    • Achievement of product or service adoption for a minimum of 2 years (for other types of scaling)
    • Evidence of positive outcomes, such as demonstrated through a third-party quantitative evaluation studying the effects of the actual initiative being scaled (not general research data that states a particular method or approach works).
    • A well-defined strategy for scaling in the next 2-3 years. 

The 2014 Competition is now closed to entrants. Stay tuned for updates from this year's competition.