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. in Regent's Hall, which is located on the 16th floor of Lewis Towers (111 E. Pearson Street, Chicago, IL 60611).

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.

The five finalists for the 2015 Quinlan Social Enterprise Competition are:

EarlyVention (Elizabeth Ames and Melissa Ames)

This social enterprise presents an affordable, one-step ordering process for effective tools that help a family start an early intervention program after their child is diagnosed with autism. The Chicago-based company offers monthly subscription activity boxes and a core system of therapy toolkits that are specifically designed for parents. 

Love To Cook (Nadir Ali, Lora Avecillas, Vince Fattore, Anthony Milton and Melissa Warden)

This social enterprise is a fully-equipped shared commercial kitchen in Englewood that will provide services to entrepreneurs who need a place to prepare food for their businesses outside of their homes.  In addition, personnel at this kitchen will assist individuals in the community who wish to start their own food-related businesses by providing them with business advice and other resources.

New Hope Ecotech (Thiago Pinto and Luciana Oliveira)

This social enterprise is a software company that leverages Brazil’s informal workforce of waste pickers to satisfy the upcoming regulatory recycling obligation of beverage manufacturers.  The company aims to connect manufacturers with the waste pickers via tradable environmental securities and direct servicing, thereby improving the income of the waste pickers while allowing manufacturers to meet these new regulations. 

Rebuilding Blocks (Vincenzo Esposito, Mitchell Goebel, Zach Houck, Daniela Nicula and Kevin Pray)

This social enterprise is a deconstruction and resale business which captures the value of reclaimed materials from buildings that are being demolished or renovated.  These materials will be sold out of a warehouse in Woodlawn to others for their own renovation and construction projects.

SAFE  Foundation (John Titilawo)

In light of the recent significant increase in childhood obesity and diabetes, this Carbondale-based foundation uses the power of soccer as a tool to educate, enlighten, empower and encourage children to be healthy and safe, while also enjoying and achieving in a physical activity.  The foundation will also use a curriculum to educate young people about the dangers of unhealthy lifestyles.


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.