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Loyola University Chicago

Quinlan School of Business

Quinlan Social Enterprise Competition

Loyola University Chicago’s Quinlan School of Business is pleased to announce the third annual Quinlan Social Enterprise Competition (Quinlan SEC).  The Quinlan SEC is open to all individuals and teams from around the world who meet the criteria listed below for this business plan competition. The Competition will take place on Saturday, April 11, 2015, beginning at 1:00 p.m.

This year, we are pleased to announce that our Keynote Speaker will be Jessica Droste Yagan, CEO of Impact Engine in Chicago. Yagan will talk about her experience and share her thoughts on social enterprise. 

For the past nine years, Quinlan has hosted a Business Plan Competition, but beginning two years ago, the focus has been on the developing area of social enterprises. Quinlan has made social enterprises a key strategic initiative, and thus the Quinlan SEC is an opportunity for individuals who are interested in developing and launching social enterprises around the world to present their business plans to a panel of judges, who will evaluate the business plans and provide feedback regarding the business plan’s viability.

2014 CSER comp winners

Last year’s winners all had innovative social enterprise concepts which they have continued to move toward a reality.  Those winners were:

First Place - BluFlame Ventures (Bhanu Aror, Karl-Johan Flyborg, Samuel Yamoah and Shawn Zhou) - This business involves the distribution of clean cook stoves in Ghana in order to replace unhealthy and inefficient charcoal-burning stoves now in use.  The business will also distribute and sell ethanol as a source of fuel; the ethanol will initially be imported from low cost ethanol producing countries, and will later be replaced by direct production through franchised micro-distilleries set up within Ghana and run by local entrepreneurs with BluFlame’s support.    

Second PlaceBetter Together (Emily Gipple, Kate Yeskey and Sam Faycurry) - This business will assist elderly women who want to remain in their homes by enabling home sharing arrangements between these women and other responsible adults.  The business facilitates a process whereby an appropriate individual leases space in the elderly woman’s home in exchange for reduced rent or other considerations.

Third Place - Life After Justice Center (Jill Balek, Brad Lorden, Zach Relli and Ricky Serrano) - Every year, several individuals are released from prison after being completely exonerated of the crimes for which they were convicted but which they did not commit.  The Center is a not-for profit organization that provides housing for these exonerees while they acclimate to society outside of prison, as well as other services such as job training, interview skills, computer training, and counseling.

The Quinlan SEC encourages an entrepreneurial spirit focused on the common good and allows participants to build new value and competitive advantage by addressing community needs through new business development. Social enterprises today must take into account not only profitability, but also the business’s impact on the environment and people in the society.

The Quinlan SEC provides participants with a venue to develop confidence and interdisciplinary skills relating to writing a complete business plan and executive summary. In addition, the top five business plans will be chosen to present to successful investors and professionals serving in today’s business market. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three business plans to provide capital to take the team’s business idea and continue to move toward fruition.


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