Social Enterprise plans are judged by a mix of philanthropists, impact investors, capacity building organizations, and social entrepreneurs. There will be two rounds of judging - a semi-final round and a final round. The objective of the semi-final round will be to provide feedback to participants and reduce the pool of contestants to a group of finalists. There will be a different set of judges for the semi-final and final rounds.

Judges are asked to evaluate the plans based upon their potential to become the basis of a viable new venture and will focus on the idea, its potential for social value creation, and the likelihood of achieving success based upon the team's plan and experience. Judges will look at both the strength of the concept and areas related to execution of the plan, and will evaluate specifically:

  • Idea/Concept: The concept reflects an innovative approach. The team has a clear understanding of the issue it seeks to address, the economic and social drivers of the model, and the feasibility of the concept.
  • Social Value Creation: The business model is likely to make a substantial contribution toward the solution of the issue it seeks to address and can be sustained for a period of time consistent with achieving the desired social impact. (If growing the organization is not the preferred strategy, the program is transferable and replicable).
  • People: The team has (or can get) relevant skills, contacts, and experience. The team is persuasive in communicating the idea and its potential.
  • Context: The rules of the game (i.e., regulatory, tax, political) are favorable. Market need, size of opportunity, competitive landscape, and potential risks are identified and manageable.
  • Resources: The financing plan is sensible in terms of the capital required to launch and operate. Funding sources are identified and a plan for securing initial investment is articulated.
  • Performance Measurement: The plan takes a practicable approach to measuring organizational outcomes and provides a clear plan to deliver high performance.