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Foundations to Provide $50,000 in Cash and Prizes to Sustainable Business Start-Ups; Summaries Due on November 16th

Submitted by: Foundation for a Sustainable Future

Categories: Clean Technology, Ratings & Awards

Posted: Oct 29, 2007 – 01:25 PM EST


Oct. 29 /CSRwire/ - WASHINGTON, DC. - October 29, 2007 - The William James Foundation is teaming up with the Foundation for a Sustainable Future to offer more then $50,000 in cash and in-kind prizes to Socially Responsible and Sustainable Business Plans and Start-Ups. The William James Foundation's 5th annual Socially Responsible Business Plan Competition has been expanded to include an additional set of cash prizes for businesses that will address environmental sustainability issues such as population, consumption culture, technological innovation, and the planet's limited resources.

This is an important addition because -- in light of depleting resources and global warming -- there is an increasing sense of urgency in developing environmentally-responsible and sustainable technology to address energy issues that are commercially viable.

This competition supports entrepreneurs who are committed to multiple-bottom line businesses (people, planet, profit) by providing entrants with expert feedback and over $50,000 in cash and in-kind prizes to the top plans. Past winners have included business ventures in a wide array of fields, including: environmentally sustainable in-fill housing in urban neighborhoods; an Afghanistan company that is helping locals return to a more stable life; and hand-made organic clothing and accessories using closed-loop resource cycling.

Feedback is 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.

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 ten years. If you have already started your business, you can not have been in business for more than a year. If you are interested in submitting an entry, please see for details and entry qualifications or contact

The prizes include more than $10,000 in cash, as well as software, legal and accounting services, and technical and communications consulting. Donors include CitySoft, a software firm serving the social sector, Affinity Labs, a shared-space office environment for start-ups, Community IT Innovators internet consultants, Acumen Financial accountants, Swankin & Turner law firm, Strategic Sustainability Consulting, HIP Investor, M&T Bank, Joint Concepts design, ThinkHost web hosting, AmeriPrise financial Services, and Wall Street Without Walls, ITF Consulting, and others. Winners choose the prizes most valuable to them in order of finish.

Ian Fisk, executive director of the William James Foundation and a longtime sustainable business activist through Net Impact, says "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. We are particularly pleased this year to partner with the Foundation for a Sustainable Future to offer an extra set of prizes aimed at those who address the need for Environmental Sustainability."

Three to five page executive summaries for the 2007-08 competition are due Friday, November 16th. On Friday, December 7th, the Foundation will announce 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 March 7th in Washington, DC where audience members will join judges in a question and answer session.
For more information on specific items, see:

The Foundation for a Sustainable Future
The Business Plan Contest
Being a Judge
The Sustainability Prizes
The General Prizes

For more information, please contact:

Ian Fisk The William James Foundation
Phone: 202 223 8888
Sarosh Kumana Foundation for a Sustainable Future

For more from this organization:

Foundation for a Sustainable Future


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