The Acacia Fund
Ader B. Gandi Charitable Fund
Mentor GuidanceThe William James Foundation identifies for-profit entrepreneurs who are making the world a better place and connects them to industry experts and impact investors to enhance the likelihood that those ideas scale into sustainable ventures. One of our main tools for this is our Sustainable Business Plan Competition. The competition has three goals:
Being a Mentor
The 2014 Competition has two remaining reading periods.
Scoring and Commentary Guidance
A. You are reviewing the plan, not the business. Chose your score based on both the quality of the document itself and your perception of the entrepreneur’s ability to succeed with the plan as written. If you love the idea, but not the implementation plan, score the plan itself, and then join up with the team as an advisor, mentor, client, customer, or connector to help them take the next steps. If you think the current plan doesn’t work as written, your comments should aspire to help the entrepreneur to develop a plan that does.
B. All of these companies must be for-profit and have a social and/or environmental business goal integrated into how they do business. For our purposes, if you can imagine a non-profit with the same goals, it counts.
C. The William James Foundation seeks to support entrepreneurs who are spreading their sustainable business models by either scaling (their company grows) or sharing (their company actively and openly serves as a model for others) or both. So as long as the company exists and is stable enough to serve as an example, you should judge a company against their own goals.
D. Write your comments directly to the entrants. They are forwarded to the entrants with minimal editing.
E. Be specific & constructive. Comments that past entrants have found useful are at: www.williamjamesfoundation.org/samplecomments.
F. Write as much as you like. Your feedback is the main "prize" of our competition.
G. Write from the perspective of your personal experience. You were chosen to review this plan because of your specific background (finance, marketing, legal issues, the region, etc.). All plans will be read by a team of judges, each of whom will bring their own perspective.
H. Please email any questions you have for us to email@example.com. Also, if you wish to contact the entrant for a point of clarification, please do so by email and copy us so that we can share the clarification with the other judges.
I. Please return your comments and scores to the William James Foundation via our online form. Information on our online scorecards will be provided to you when we send you the plans. We will provide you with a Microsoft Word copy of our online scorecard. We suggest using this Word document to capture and edit your thoughts, and then pasting them into the online form for submission. (The URL for this form will be provided to judges at the start of the judging process.)
J. Please use the following scoring criteria:
K. Scorecard categories and links to examples of commentary that past entrants marked as being particularly useful