Loyola University Chicago

Quinlan School of Business

Quinlan Social Enterprise Competition

The fourth annual Quinlan School of Business Social Enterprise Competition was held on Saturday, April 9, in Wintrust Hall in the new Schreiber Center. This was the 11th business plan competition Loyola has sponsored, and the fourth to be limited to social enterprises. 

The event began with a welcome from Kevin Stevens, Quinlan’s dean, followed by a keynote address by Nin Desai, CEO of NIN Ventures LLC, a first-of-its-kind technology venture capital fund to be raised via the worldwide web. A panel of three former competition winners then explained to the audience what they did following the competition to grow their businesses, and answered questions about the challenges and opportunities they faced moving their businesses forward.

The Social Enterprise Competition then began, with the five finalists presenting their business plans to a panel of judges, who asked them several questions about their organizations and their plans for moving them into the future. After deliberation, the judges announced the winners for the competition, who are:  

First Place ($5,000) - sharEd

sharEd is a not-for profit organization that provides low-income schools in India and Bangladesh with published curricula, games, and toys needed for age-appropriate instruction for pre-school children. Schools subscribe to this service and receive themed lesson plans with structured activities and play materials for use in a particular classroom. When the curriculum is completed, the school returns the entire set of materials to sharEd so that they can then be used in another preschool.

Second Place ($3,000) - Kulisha

Kulisha for-profit manufacturer of commercial grade aquafeed. It uses insects that it grows and harvests using its proprietary production facility and methodology to produce a pelletized commercial grade feed that it sells to small scale aquaculture farmers in Kenya. This aquafeed will increase the yields of the farmers, helping to increase their profitability, while enabling the farmers to supply food insecure individuals in the region with healthy animal protein. 

Third Place ($2,000) - Movimuestras

Movimuestras is a medical test sample transportation system for health center and laboratories in Peru. The company will use motorcycles equipped with refrigeration units to move the samples to the testing laboratories in a safe and timely manner.  Currently, health clinics pay pricy private companies or taxis to transport the samples, which are not equipped with the necessary utilities to adequately transport the samples, resulting in sample contamination and untimely diagnosis.  

We want to thank all five teams who presented at the competition for their participation, and we wish them the best as they move forward with their business plans. We also want to thank our keynote speaker, our panel of past winners, the judges, and all of the student volunteers who helped to make the competition a success.

About the Competition

The Quinlan Social Enterprise Competition 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 competition 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 are chosen to present to judges who are successful investors and professionals serving in today’s business market. Cash prizes are awarded to the top three business plans to provide capital to take the team’s business idea and continue to move toward fruition.