What is Social Enterprise?

A market-based, income-generating enterprise that aims to solve a social and/or environmental problem through its business activities. Social Enterprises focus on a triple bottom line: people, planet and profit.

What is the pitch?

The Great Social Enterprise Pitch is an idea incubator and business plan competition for concepts that use a business model and revenues to have a positive social or environmental impact. Ten social enterprise ideas will be selected from a pool of applicants. In August, these ideas will be public for you to support through crowdfunding. Then, five finalists will be chosen to participate in the Live Pitch in September. Winners will receive a prize package including cash and pro-bono services. Plus, you’ll have the chance to donate to an “audience favorite.” Be sure to attend the Live Social Enterprise Pitch and hear from the next great social entrepreneurs in Central PA!

The 2019 PitchArrow Right

How it Works

Pitch Info Session

First, attend our Information Session where you’ll learn about the application process, idea incubators, and how the competition works (including crowdfunding and a live pitch).

Spark Sessions

Then, while not required, we highly recommend you come to at least one of our Spark Sessions where entrepreneurs like you have the opportunity to participate in collaborative brainstorming with like-minded individuals in a casual environment. Specifically designed with you in mind, you’ll be able to pitch your idea, receive feedback, and fine-tune your idea before submitting your application.

Application Deadline

Submit your application online! Visit lancasterpitch.com, choose “Apply Now”, and fill out your application. Once you’ve finished, click “submit”, and you’re all set! You’ll be notified whether or not you’ve been chosen as one of the participants.

Ranking is based on the following judging criteria: clarity on need, potential impact, market demand, profitability/sustainability, leadership, scalability. There is no entry fee, and applicants can be individuals or teams. Applications are due at midnight.

Idea Incubator

If you have been chosen as one of the participants, congrats! During the Idea Incubators, you’ll spend 3-months going through (3) modules essential for building your business: Impact, Business Model / Finance, and Marketing. These incubators will help to refine and test your idea as well as provide a safe space to receive peer and expert support. They are held once a week for about 3-hours, and it’s a rigorous course, so come prepared!


Once the modules are completed, it’s time to test the waters and create a crowdfunding campaign! Crowdfunding is a chance to see which of the ideas resonate with the community and which entrepreneurs can best spread their message, while also raising start-up funds for their social enterprise. This is a time to make your voices heard and raise funds for the launch of your business!

Live Pitch

5 Finalists, 5 Judges, 5 minutes! At the close of the crowdfunding campaign, only 5 participants will be chosen to move on to the final phase of the competition – the Live Pitch. During the Live Pitch, contestants will have 5 minutes to pitch their business idea to a panelists of judges and the Central PA community, competing for a cash prize and pro-bono services that include but are not limited to marketing, legal, financial, and administrative services.

The Event Organizers

At the Community Foundation, we help people who love Lancaster County invest in the future of our community. Since 1924 we’ve been helping people establish permanent funds for the causes they care about and making grant investments to organizations that create a stronger and more vibrant quality of life for all of us. Our mission is to advance the vitality and well-being of the people of Lancaster County by inspiring generosity and by being responsible stewards of gifts for today and tomorrow. Our vision is to champion extraordinary community through inspired giving for sustainable, meaningful impact. We believe that building our community’s culture and capacity for innovation and creative problem solving is essential for an extraordinary community.

Learn more by visiting Lancfound.org Facebook Twitter

At ASSETS, we create economic opportunity and cultivate entrepreneurial leadership in order to alleviate poverty and build vibrant, sustainable communities. We have a 20 year history of supporting small business owners and social entrepreneurs through training, creative financing, and leadership development. Our staff, trainers, and volunteers have extensive experience building and growing businesses and organizations and providing culturally relevant programming. All program staff are bilingual in English and Spanish.

Learn more by visiting assetspa.org Facebook Twitter

The Event Organizers

Lancaster County Community Foundation
Assets Lancaster