Social Enterprise ideas are evaluated on 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. There are three rounds of judging – a preliminary round, a semi-final round, and a final round – and a different set of judges for each round.

The preliminary round is based on the executive summary. It will provide feedback to participants and narrow the pool of contestants to a group of semi-finalists.

These two rounds are based on the executive summary and live presentation to a mix of philanthropists, impact investors, capacity building organizations, and social entrepreneurs.

All rounds will be evaluated based on:

CONCEPT (50% of score)
Idea/concept: The concept reflects an innovative approach. The team has a clear understanding of the issue it seeks to address, why the issue is important, the recipients of the product or service, economic and social drivers of the model, and feasibility of the concept.
Social impact: 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.)
Proximity: Idea is built on an understanding of the community it serves and system within which it operates.

EXECUTION (50% of score)
People: The team (through its members or partnerships) has or can get relevant skills, contacts, industry knowledge, and experience, including capability to support and engage a diverse team and community of stakeholders.
Proximity: The team brings personal experience or draws on community members to execute the idea.
Context: The conditions (i.e., regulatory, tax, political) are favorable. Market need, size of opportunity, competitive landscape, and potential risks are identified and manageable.
Resources: The funding plan is sensible in terms of 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 practical approach to milestones and organizational outcome measurement, and provides a clear plan to deliver high performance.