With its first Next Big Social Enterprise Challenge, San Francisco-based Net Impact, in collaboration with Bay Area-based nonprofit Rubicon National Social Ventures, challenged its members to submit their best ideas for social enterprises with the potential to reach a national scale.
Net Impact reached out to its local chapters and received 20 business plans for a new economy. In October 2008 the judges panel—Rubicon President Rick Aubry; Net Impact’s executive director Liz Maw; and Jeff Chu, senior editor of Fast Company—selected four business plans with the potential to excel in the new economy while creating big social returns. The plans were judged according to their market feasibility, infrastructure requirements, creativity, social impact and overall rating.
From backyard farming visionaries to green roof entrepreneurs, the winners of the Big Social Enterprise Challenge are walking the triple-bottom-line.