(CSRwire) WASHINGTON, DC. - March 2009 -- The William James Foundation (WJF) has announced the winners in all three of our socially responsible business plan competitions for 2009.
Our primary competition, for the business plan that best integrates social and environmental values into a realistic business idea, had three finalists and eleven prize winners. Through the course of the competition, the William James Foundation provided more than 1,500 pages of detailed feedback $60,000 in cash and in-kind prizes. These awards are described at: www.williamjamesfoundation.org/prizes. The top three teams are:
1st: PowerMundo distributes alternative energy products to off-the grid Peruvian villages. PowerMundo will improve people's lives and conserve nature by connecting millions of people in developing countries to market driven, affordable, appropriate technology. Product examples include: solar flashlights, wind-up radios, and efficient biomass cook stoves. More details at www.powermundo.com.
2nd: Black Oak Capital Partners provides a return on investment through acquiring California agricultural land, timberlands and rural real estate for conservation and then produce and sell environmental credits gained from rehabilitating these properties. More details at www.williamjamesfoundation.org/Black_Oak_Capital_Partners.pdf.
3rd: First Earth Indigenous Foods will specialize in the import, branding, and marketing of teas and dried foods from indigenous communities in the developing world, starting with South Africa. More details at http://www.williamjamesfoundation.org/First_Earth.pdf,
The Honorable Mention teams, listed in order of finish, are:
LabourNet is a mobile and internet enabled service sector market place in India for a million micro-entrepreneurs and workers that creates jobs and enhances incomes while providing access to financial and social services
mPedigree Logistics provides the opportunity for anyone in a developing nation to validate their drugs before use with a simple text message, curbing the growing global problem of counterfeit medication estimated to reach $75 billion by 2010.
ArtIsAn Art connects Indian artists with purchasers of art. A flagship store in a major Indian city will retail the products to the general public.
GoCars is a mobile based service in Hyderabad, India that facilitates utilization of excess seating capacity in private vehicles by connecting people in real time.
Forest Wealth seeks to develop employment opportunities to the Village Forest Communities in the Andhra Pradesh State, India by involving them in the manufacture of eco-friendly paper from forest grass, an economically insignificant but an abundant natural resource.
Smart Build will develop a home energy retrofit business, combining job training for people facing barriers to employment with a focus on retrofitting low-income homes in the South Bronx.
U4U •Fitness•Kindness•Culture•Environment is a positive development program for girls aged 11-18 focusing on fitness, kindness, culture and environment through meetings, activities, professional coaching and small business projects.
SouperGirl involves the preparation of soup made primarily from ingredients from farms local to Washington, DC that practice sustainable farming methods.
It was a great accomplishment for these teams to have made it this far in the competition. More than one hundred plans entered the competition originally from over 15 countries and 25 US States. While the teams did not need to be current students, they were affiliated with more than 65 universities and business schools.
More than 200 reading judges evaluated the plans. The readers included experts in social ventures and traditional business plans, community activists, Wall Street professionals, academics, and CEOs of national for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. A list of judge backgrounds can be found at www.williamjamesfoundation.org/judgelist09.
In addition to managing our own competition, The William James Foundation provides the infrastructure and support for other organizations who wish to reward particular types of socially / environmentally responsible organizations.
We are pleased to announce that the Foundation for a Sustainable Future has announced their Richard Heinberg Sustainability Prize winners for 2009. They are:
1st: Black Oak Capital Partners
The DC Affinity Lab prize winners are:
2nd: M3E Consulting
The William James Foundation congratulates and commends all entrants and winners for their hard work throughout the competition process. The WJF helps support entrepreneurs who are committed to multiple-bottom line businesses (people, planet, profit) by providing entrants to our competition with resources to move forward in their ventures and goals and maintaining an ongoing network of participants and contacts. The WJF is an operating foundation, and seeks outside financial support and partnerships. Details on partnering with the foundation can be found at www.williamjamesfoundation.org/donate.