Top 10 Business Plan Competitions for Social Enterprises

Business Plan Competitions

Business plan competitions are great platforms for social entrepreneurs to pitch their startup to investors and partners, share their story with the world, raise some cash and get valuable feedback on their business.

Following are some famous platforms for Social Enterprises to showcase their ideas.

1.  TATA Social Enterprise Challenge (TSEC)



Courtesy: link

  • Organized By: Tata Group and the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIM-C)
  • Primary Motive: To promote India’s early stage social enterprises (not older than 3 years).
  • Eligibility: Team of two members with no age barrier who should have an existing venture or an idea which should have sustainable social impact. There are few other eligibilities too.
  • Procedure: 3-step process; create an account, fill the Impact Proposal document and fill the registration form.
  • Prize: Top 3 winners are rewarded with Rs.2 lakhs each. Incubation is provided to the teams who reach the grand finale. Finalists and semi-finalists are introduced to India’s top VCs for seed funding. 3 weeks mentorship is given to all the short-listed teams.
  • Website 

TATA is one of the renowned companies of India and we can never expect from it, not to take any step when it comes to social enterprises. To know which kind of ideas are supported by TSEC , you can know more about TSEC 2015-2016 winners HelpUsGreen (winner), Jeevtronics (1st Runner Up).

2.  Eureka! – An International B-Model Competition



Courtesy: link

  • Organized By: IIT Mumbai
  • Primary Motive:  It bridges the gap between innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • Eligibility:  Start-ups with less than two years of their establishment are eligible. There are few other eligibilties too.
  • Procedure: 4 rounds; Online Registration, Questionnaire Round, Business Model Round and Pitching Round.
  • Prize: Rewards the winners with prizes worth INR 5 Million with incubation opportunities. Provides excellent networking in India and the Silicon Valley. Mentorship and a large variety of consultancy services to be offered.
  • Website

It is Asia’s largest Business Model Competition which has been  accredited by reputed companies like Thomson Reuters and CNN. This B-Plan Competition has supported many startups with the motive of bringing a bright revolution in the society, one such social enterprise is Greensole.

3.  Cloud Social Investment (CSI) Challenge 2016




  • Organized By: ARUN
  • Primary Motive: To solve social issues across Asia by promoting investments from Japanese companies.
  • Eligibility: Social start-up (can be for-profit or hybrid) within 5 years of operation. Religious/political organizations or scholarships/research-based projects are not eligible.
  • Procedure: 4-phase; application period, document selection, online presentation session and final selection. The winner will be announced on the website.
  • Prize: Up to $50,000 investment and mentorship from ARUN’s partners and investors.
  • Website

ARUN is an organization funded by Japanese and corporate partners. It aims to build “meaningful money” so, that poverty rate can be reduced.  This challenge focuses on sectors like health, water, agriculture, energy, gender and education, etc.

4.  New Venture Competition

Harvard Business School

Courtesy: link

  • Organized By: Harvard Business School (HBS)
  • Primary Motive: To support Harvard graduates who carry ideas which can bring positive change inthe society.
  • Eligibility: HBS MBA student/current Center for Public Leadership Fellow / Full-time Harvard graduate enrolled in specific courses as mentioned on the website
  • Procedure:  Register online, develop your idea during the course with the help of feedback from judges and attend the finale.
  • Prize$50,000 to the winner, $25,000 to the runner-up and the rest in kind.
  • Website

It is a Harvard Business School’s annual competition which is sponsored by HBS’s Rock Centre for Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise Initiative. The Social Enterprise Track is a competition under which Harvard graduates come up with Business Plans which can bring revolution in the society. For more information, you can view the profile of 2014 winner, Saathi.

5. Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) 

Hass School

Courtesy: link


  • Organized By: Hass School of Business at UC Berkeley in association with 5 outreach partners and 9 regional partners 
  • Primary Motive: It aims to empower next generation entrepreneurs by providing mentorship, exposure and over $80,000 to transform ideas.
  • Eligibility: Eligibility Rules and Guidelines for 2017 have two sections; one for ventures and the other for teams.
  • Prize: 2016 prize structure comprised; First Place Award: $25,000 with a Cordes Foundation Fellowship,     Janus Foundation / Perkins Investment Management Second Place Award: $15,000,Third Place Award: $7,500, Priya Haji Memorial Award (Challenger Round Award): $2,500, Quick Pitch Award: $1,000
  • Procedure: There are 3 rounds; First Round, Regional Semifinal Round (the first two rounds will be held by GSVC global partner schools and competitions) and Global Finals Round (this round will be held in UC Berkeley in April 2017).
  • Website

It is the largest and oldest Business Plan Competition led by students. About 25% of entrants of GSVC are now companies. More than 500 entrants came from approximately 40 countries in 2015. Know more about the winner of 2014, Sampurnearth Environmental Solutions partners who were rewarded with $25,000 for their quirky idea to reduce waste in the society.

6.  Wharton India Startup Competition



Courtesy: link


  • Organized By: Wharton India Economic Forum (WIEF)
  • Primary Motive: To promote entrepreneurship in India among startups with a business idea or business model featuring products and/or services targeting the Indian social market.
  • Eligibility: Pre-seed, Seed, Early stage/ growth startups can apply.
  • Procedure: Competition entries will be pre-screened by a panel of experts, followed by shortlisting of semi-finalists and ultimately, finalists.
  • Prize: Cash prizes of over $25,000 along with 150 hours of free legal advice, as well as mentorship of up to 4 months and exclusive media coverage by channels like CNBC TV18.
  • Website

The Wharton India Economic Forum (WIEF) is one of the largest and most revered business and economic conferences in the world. The 21st Wharton India Economic Forum (WIEF) is hosting the prestigious Startup Competition for the fourth year in a row, not specifically to promote just social entrepreneurship but all kinds of entrepreneurs in general. Ketto was declared winner of 2016.

7.  Masterplan- Entre Cell 



Courtesy: link

  • Organized By: IIM Ahmedabad
  • Primary Motive: Masterplan promises not to leave any great idea unexplored.
  • Eligibility: Existing companies and startups, as well as those teams with a unique idea for a business enterprise or a social venture.
  • Procedure: 4 rounds; Executive Summary, Video Pitch, Business Plan and Final Presentation.
  • Prize: Prizes haven’t been clearly mentioned for 2016 but you can draw a rough idea from the prize money of Masterplan 2014 which was Rs. 5,00,000 for the winners.
  • Website

The most awaited business summit, Confluence ‘16 invites applicants every year for its B-Plan competition, named Masterplan. The organizers this year have partnered with various venture capitalist firms such as Kae Capital, Axilor and Villgro. The Masterplan competition 2016 comprises five different categories; Business Startups, Social Startups, Business Ideas, Social Ideas and Cognitive Computing. One such social enterprise which was supported by this competition was Greensole.

8.  Vishishth- EDC



Courtesy: link

  • Organized By: IIT-Delhi
  • Primary Motive: Aims to encourage the spirit of “ideate, innovate and implement”.
  • Eligibility: Idea stage startups by students mostly, with atleast one team member being enrolled in any educational institution of India.
  • Procedure: Participants shall submit executive summaries initially and shortlisted few shall deliver presentations, after being mentored by an expert panel.
  • Prize: Not mentioned!
  • Website

IIT-Delhi’s Entrepreneurship and Development Cell is quite active in promoting the spirit of entrepreneurship among students, especially so with its flagship Business Plan Competition “Vishishth”. 

9.  Conquest- E-Cell


BITS Pilani

Courtesy: link

  • Organized By: BITS Pilani
  • Primary Motive:  To help startups raise funds and pitch their ideas in an interactive session with potential investors.
  • Procedure: Networking and Pitching takes place in the venue, after which finalists are decided.
  • Prize: The investors connected to the competition are readily willing to pay upto Rs. 40 million.
  • Website

The E-Cell of Birla Institute of Technological Science, Pilani invites students to submit their unique startup propositions in their annual start-up challenge named Conquest.

10.  Eximius- Eentrepreneurship and Innovation Cell



Courtesy: link

  • Organized By: IIM-Bangalore
  • Primary Motive: To provide a platform for launching yourself and get started on your path to glory. 
  • Eligibility: Students pursuing undergraduate and postgraduate degree as well as startups in the initial stages. 
  • Procedure: Three rounds comprising of an elevator pitch, B-plan presentation and the final selection.
  • Prize: The winners take home up to 40 lakh rupees of funding in the form of equity investment and certificates along with exclusive media coverage.
  • Website

Among the top management schools in the country, IIM Bangalore boosts of one of the most active entrepreneurship cells. Eximius is their annual festival that covers various facets of entrepreneurship while Next Big Idea is their business plan competition that aims to create a community of students who become job providers rather than job seekers in India. This year, IIM-B has partnered with Colours Infinity and NSRCEL.

There are many other Business Plan Competitions which are organized every year. To know more about different kinds of competitions, visit BPC. You can also visit Impactpreneurs to explore social enterprises working across different sectors.


Leave a Reply