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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.

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.

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 or Purdue Polytechnic students.

About the Process

The competition has four phases:

  • Elevator Pitch: A two-minute presentation accompanied by a single PowerPoint slide.
    Saturday, October 28, 2017.  10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  Landrum Bolling Center, Loose Lecture Hall.
  • Cameo Round: Includes a business model canvas, a five-page paper about the business idea and a five-minute PowerPoint presentation.
    Saturday, December 2, 2017 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  Landrum Bolling Center, Loose Lecture Hall.
  • Cameo Round Winners/Final Round/Judges Prep Review: This is the session like seen on Shark Tank.
    Saturday March 3, 2018.  10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. CoLab, The Nook.
  • Finals Round: A status report, a business plan and a 20-minute PowerPoint presentation.
    Saturday, March 31, 2018.  10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Carpenter Hall, Goddard Auditorium.

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

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:
    Thursday, September 21, 2017. 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. CoLab. Gene Hambrick, Director Center Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
  • Scaling and measuring impact:
    Thursday, September 28, 2017. 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. CoLab.  Rohma Zubair, CoLab Project Manager.
  • Business model canvas:
    Wednesday, October 4, 2017. 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. CoLab. Becky Jestice, Associate Professor, Earlham College.
  • Developing a marketing plan:
    Wednesday, October 11, 2017.  6:00 – 8:00 p.m. CoLab. Scott Underwood, Business Advisor, Indiana Small Business Development Center.
  • Elevator Pitch:
    Thursday, October 26, 2017. 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. CoLab. Gene Hambrick, Director Center Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
  • Developing financial statements:
    Thursday, January 25, 2018. 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. CoLab, Robert Couch, Assistant Professor, Earlham College.
  • Business plan development: 
    Thursday, February 1, 2018. 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. CoLab. Seth Powless, Assistant Professor, Earlham College.
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.

Methane Hub Wins 2017 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.

Methane -hub

“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.

Spriland -nutrition

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

“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 for 2017 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. The top five teams in the Cameo Round each won a prize of $1,000.

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.”

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.

Rohma Zubair, CoLab Project Manager, zubairo@earlham.edu or 765-983-1652.