The William James Foundation business plan competition is exclusively for mission-driven entrepreneurs. Applicants receive feedback on their business plan from volunteer judges across the world (including yours truly!), and compete to win investment and other awards to help them launch their enterprise.

|image1|The William James Foundation’s Sustainable Business Plan Competition offers a total of $150,000 worth of services, cash, & investment offers to the best new for-profit plans with social and/or environmental goals. Entrants can be any age or anywhere in the world, but must be starting or growing for-profit companies that are either pre-revenue, or are within five years of their first revenues. All entrants who are accepted into the competition receive an average of 20 pages of feedback a round.

Having participated as a judge for several years now, I can tell you from experience that the applicants receive immensely powerful strategic advice, usually from as many as five judges, and from across industries. In the last competition, a lawyer from Rimon Law Group, a certified B-Corporation, was one of the other judges in my group, and she has since become my legal counsel, mainly because I was so impressed with her feedback she gave to the applicant in the William James Foundation.

So, if you are looking for help and potentially funding on your mission-driven business idea, submit your application soon. Deadline for 5-8 page summaries is Oct. 12. Visit for more information on entering or contact us at or @WJF_competition with any questions.

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About The Author

Scott Cooney

Scott Cooney (twitter: scottcooney) is an adjunct professor of Sustainability in the MBA program at the University of Hawai'i, green business startup coach, author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill), and developer of the sustainability board game GBO Hawai'i. Scott has started, grown and sold two mission-driven businesses, failed miserably at a third, and is currently in his fourth. Scott's current company has three divisions: a sustainability blog network that includes the world's biggest clean energy website and reached over 5 million readers in December 2013 alone; Pono Home, a turnkey and franchiseable green home consulting service that won entrance into the clean tech incubator known as Energy Excelerator; and Cost of Solar, a solar lead generation service to connect interested homeowners and solar contractors. In his spare time, Scott surfs, plays ultimate frisbee and enjoys a good, long bike ride. Find Scott on

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