The Earlham Prize for Creative Capitalism, Academics | Earlham College Skip to Content

The Earlham Prize

For Creative Capitalism

The Business Plan Competition for Social Entrepreneurship

Earlham is a place where social entrepreneurship is thriving.

The Earlham Prize for Creative Capitalism is a business plan competition that helps students move their passions, ideas, and ideals from theory to practice through the lens of social entrepreneurship and creative capitalism.

The competition provides a platform for students to transform their ideas into real world business plans.

Methane Hub Wins Final Round

The winners in the Final Round of The Earlham Prize for Creative Capitalism — The Business Plan Competition for Social Entrepreneurship were announced at Goddard Auditorium on April 8.

“Methane Hub” earned the first-place prize of $20,000 and office space at the Richmond Innovation Center. The winners are interested in transforming fecal matter into methane, which can then serve as an affordable and environmentally friendly alternative energy source in low-income communities in Haiti.

The second-place award of $4,000 went to “Spriland Nutrition.” This team came up with an innovative solution to tackle malnutrition in Vietnam. Their product is a protein bar made of insect powder that offers tremendous nutritional value at an affordable price.


“Know Hunger, Know More,” a team composed of students from Earlham College and the Earlham School of Religion, garnered the third-place prize of $1,500. This group focused on tackling the pressing issue of food insecurity in Richmond and the larger Wayne County area.

Cameo Round Winners Announced

The teams of “Know Hunger, Know More” and “Methane Hub” tied for first place in the Cameo Round of The Earlham Prize for Creative Capitalism — The Business Plan Competition for Social Entrepreneurship on February 11. The top five teams in the Cameo Round each won a prize of $1,000.

The final round will take place on Saturday, April 8, from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m., at Goddard Auditorium in Carpenter Hall on the Earlham College campus.

In the Earlham Prize for Creative Capitalism, teams of up to five students hone their business skills from their business ideas and elevator pitches to develop business plans to launch their social entrepreneurship endeavors.

The competition will award more than $40,000 in seed capital with the grand-prize winner receiving $20,000 to help start its endeavor.

Below is a video of the Cameo Round presentations by “Know Hunger, Know More” and “Methane Hub.”

Creating Social Change

The competition showcases how Earlham students channel their desire to create change into practical solutions to real world problems. Teams entered in this year's competition are focused on such diverse issues as food scarcity here in Richmond, educational opportunities for children in Africa and, as this video shows, alternative energy sources in Haiti.

About the Process

The competition has three phases:

  • Elevator pitch — a two-minute presentation accompanied by a single PowerPoint slide
  • Cameo pitch — includes a business model canvas, a five-page paper about the business idea and a five-minute PowerPoint presentation
  • Finals pitch — a status report, a business plan and a 20-minute PowerPoint presentation

Judges will look for innovation, social impact, quality of the materials presented and the entry’s potential for success in the marketplace.

Who Can Enter

Each team that competes for the Earlham Prize for Creative Capitalism must include at least one current Earlham College student. Teams may also include students at Earlham School of Religion, the Earlham MAT students, IU East students, Ivy Tech students, Purdue Polytechnic students, or Earlham graduates from the last three years.

Support from the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

In addition to sponsoring the competition, The Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the Earlham Business and Nonprofit Management program will host workshops on:

  • Launching a social business
  • Scaling and measuring for impact
  • Business model canvas
  • Developing a marketing plan
  • Elevator pitch
  • Developing financial statements
  • Business plan development
Learn More

To learn more about The Earlham Prize for Creative Capitalism — The Business Plan Competition for Social Entrepreneurship, please read the rules and eligibility guidelines.

For More Information

For further information regarding The Earlham Prize for Creative Capitalism, please contact:

Gene Hambrick, Director Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Executive in Residence, hambrle@earlham.edu or 765-983-1356.

Kwabena Sarfo-Panin, CoLab Project Manager, sarfokw@earlham.edu or 765-983-1652.