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 a business plan competition for Central PA entrepreneurs with business ideas or start-ups that use a positive social and environmental impact model. In July, a class of ten incredible social enterprise ideas are selected from a pool of applicants to go through a 5-week intensive training process. Halfway through, The Final Five are selected and carefully coached to prepare for the big day — and a chance to showcase their idea in front of a live audience. The Great Social Enterprise Pitch takes place in September and is a night to remember ­— 5 Finalists, 5 Judges, 5 Minutes.  Participants compete for an exciting prize package including cash, pro-bono services, and the chance to be Lancaster’s newest innovative business idea!

The 2019 PitchArrow Right

How it Works

Apply for the Idea Incubator

Think you’ve got a great business idea? Tell us! Apply for ASSETS’ Spring 10-week Idea Incubator to sharpen your idea or business model, and get it in tip-top shape for the 2020 Pitch. Idea Incubators take place twice a year, typically in the Fall and Spring. 

The Idea Incubator is a mandatory prerequisite for entrepreneurs who want to apply for The Great Social Enterprise Pitch.

Hone Your Idea Through Expert Training

Get your social enterprise in tip-top shape! If accepted into the Idea Incubator, spend 10 weeks with like-minded entrepreneurs in a collaborative environment. You will leave with an externally-critiqued business plan, an outline for community impact, and an understanding of what your next steps should be. You will also be encouraged to launch a crowdfunding campaign to test how your idea resonates with the community, and to secure some capital for your start-up costs.

Apply for The Pitch

Think you’re ready for the main event? Apply for The Great Social Enterprise Pitch!

Applications will open for the 2020 Pitch on May 7 and will close on June 4. Selections will be made June 11.

It all comes down to this. Put what you’ve learned in the Idea Incubator into action, and submit your application for The Pitch. Ranking is based on the following judging criteria: 1) Clarity on social or environmental need to be addressed, 2) Potential impact the enterprise will have on that need, 3) Market demand, 4) Financial sustainability, 5) leadership, and 6) Potential for scale. There is no entry fee, and applicants can be individuals or teams.

The top ten applicants engage in a 5-week Intensive that builds on the Idea Incubator and prepares you for the ultimate goal — a chance to compete in The Pitch. Halfway through, the Final Five are chosen and carefully coached to prepare for the big day.

Present at the Live Pitch

Get on stage and show us what you’ve got!

5 Finalists, 5 Judges, 5 minutes — it’s the Live Pitch! On September 18th, 2020, the Final Five will have five minutes to pitch their business idea to a panelist of judges and a live audience, competing for cash prizes, pro-bono services, and the chance to be Central PA’s newest innovative business idea!

The Event Organizer

ASSETS is a non-profit that works with start-up and existing businesses to form a more ethical economy. They believe in changing the way business is done to build an economy where everyone can prosper. To do this, ASSETS offers in-depth training and financing for entrepreneurs, and works with established businesses to improve their social and environmental impact. The ASSETS staff is a diverse, innovative team of passionate experts with extensive experience in entrepreneurship, social change, and economic development. All program staff are bilingual in English and Spanish.

Learn more by visiting assetspa.org      

The Event Organizers

Lancaster County Community Foundation
Assets Lancaster