WASHINGTON, DC. November 11th, 2009 - The William James Foundation (WJF) announces eight socially responsible business plan competitions offering more than $100,000 in cash and in-kind prizes

WJF director Ian Fisk notes “The next great ideas that will use the power of business to make the world a better place are already out there. Our partners are working with us to offer more than $100,000 in cash and in-kind expertise to help sustainable entrepreneurs turn their passion from plans to action.”

The WJF, a long-time leader in expertise and prize philanthropy, brings together more than 300 high-level experts, including Wall Street executives, CEOs, senior social entrepreneurs, and subject experts from around the world to provide detailed feedback on the business plans that are submitted into the competitions.

The WJF provides its partners with the opportunity to find and support new for-profit businesses that have a defined social and/or environmental goal. In addition to our own Social Responsibility prizes, the WJF has partnered with seven complimentary organizations to give entrepreneurs one easy place to find feedback, mentorship, and financial and in-kind support.

Interested entrepreneurs need only submit one executive summary and they will be considered for all of the prize areas for which they qualify. The next entry deadline is December 4th, 2009. Full information on what the WJF is looking for, how to apply, and application fees is available at www.williamjamesfoundation.org/criteria. Prize categories include:

Past award-winning entrants include Sproxil (A west African firm providing world-class counterfeit protection for pharmaceuticals), PowerMundo (A Peruvian-based company creating distribution networks for clean technology products and support new local economic development in emerging markets.), and Atayne (A US company making high performing outdoor and athletic gear with a sustainable point of view).

Entrants can be of any age and from anywhere in the world. Full entry details are at www.williamjamesfoundation.org/criteria . The prizes include cash, software, legal and accounting services, and technical and communications consulting. Competition prize winners choose the prize most valuable to them in order of finish. Mike Callahan, whose company, PowerMundo entered more than 30 similar competitions last year, wrote "[The WJF] competition successfully defined the rules of the funding opportunity, matched qualified judges with the appropriate business plan, and provided constructive feedback. [They] set a good example for other social business plan competitions to follow."

Experienced executives who have successfully combined mission with financial viability with a social mission and who are interested in help the next generation do so are encouraged to learn more about our judging process at: www.williamjamesfoundation.org/judge or by contacting us at judges@williamjamesfoundation.org.  Mark Albion, a co-founder of Net Impact and a frequent judge for socially responsible business plan competitions, says that “[The WJF’s]  process and scorecard are truly first rate, better than other competitions I am involved with."

Organizations and individuals with the desire and ability to provide resources and investments to the next great ideas should contact our executive director, Ian Fisk, at ian.fisk@williamjamesfoundation.org