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Foundation to Provide $40,000 in Cash and Prizes to Socially Responsible Business Plans

Submitted by: Mentor Capital Network

Categories: Corporate Governance

Posted: Jan 22, 2007 – 08:00 AM EST


Jan. 22 /CSRwire/ - WASHINGTON, DC. - January 22, 2007 - The William James Foundation announces its 4th Annual Socially Responsible Business Plan Competition.

This competition supports entrepreneurs who are committed to multiple-bottom line businesses (people, planet, profit) by providing entrants with expert feedback and over $40,000 in cash and in-kind prizes to the top plans. Past winners have included business ventures in a wide array of fields ranging from portable vaccine pacs used to safely transport supplies to medical outreach centers worldwide; an Afghanistan company that sends security alerts via SMS text messages; and hand-made organic clothing and accessories using closed-loop resource cycling.

The competition is open to for-profit business (or business ideas) with at least one member who is a current student or has graduated within the past five years. If you are interested in submitting an entry, please see www.williamjamesfoundation.org for details and entry qualifications or contact ian.fisk@williamjamesfoundation.org.

The prizes include cash, software, legal and accounting services, and technical and communications consulting. Prizes have been donated by a number of organizations including CitySoft, an online software provider serving the social sector, Affinity Labs, a shared-space office environments for start-ups, Community IT Innovators, Acumen Financial, Swankin & Turner law firm, Strategic Sustainability Consulting, ITF Consulting, Net Impact, and others. The competition winners choose the prize most valuable to them in order of finish.

The primary prize, however, is the feedback given to every qualified plan. The judges are experts in both social ventures and traditional business plans, and include community activists, Wall Street professionals, academics, and CEOs of national for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. Each plan will be read multiple times from different viewpoints.

Ian Fisk, executive director of the William James Foundation and a longtime sustainable business activist through Net Impact, says "We're at a tipping point wherein the entrepreneur who builds in long-term values of sustainability is the one who will be successful. Most of what people think of as environmental and social activism in business is simply long-term thinking about energy costs and human resources. There are thousands of good ideas out there. The foundation wants to find those that are attached to solid business plans and help them succeed.”

Executive Summaries for the 2007 competition are due January 26th. On February 9th, the Foundation will hold an educational symposium at the Kogod School of Business at American University, providing general feedback to all entrants in attendance, and announcing which teams will be invited to submit full plans in the next round. Out of those, three finalists will compete in a public presentation on April 13th in Washington, DC where audience members will join judges in a question and answer session.

For more information, please contact:

Ian Fisk The William James Foundation
Phone: 202 223 8888

For more from this organization:

Mentor Capital Network


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