For The Good Entrepreneur contest, the notion that an idea can change the world is not an idealistic daydream; it is one of the contest’s motivating forces. The Good Entrepreneur is designed to help green startups with triple bottom line ideas realize those ideas, thereby promoting environmental and economic growth as well as entrepreneurialism. In doing so, the contest also highlights and rewards the inspiration, innovation, and practically inherent in green startups’ development processes. However, while the quantitative impact of implementing contestants’ ideas is important, perhaps even more significant are the contest’s greater implications for the long-term sustainability movement.
The Good Entrepreneur’s approach is simple. Between June 8th and July 31st, it accepted applicants (based in Europe) who pitched an idea or business plan for a product or service that would help create a greener future. The Good Entrepreneur listed the top 10 entries (“Shortlisted” entries) on its website today, and it will announce the three finalists on September 2nd. These three finalists will have their progress documented on a four-part CNBC television series, which will be broadcast across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and in Asia, this fall. The winner of the contest will receive a huge prize pack worth €250,000, which will include CNBC exposure and business support from Allianz. (CNBC and Allianz are partners in the project.)
The ten shortlisted entries’ ideas are various, inventive, and indicative of the spirit of the contest; the realization of the shortlisters’ proposals are expected to promote environmental well-being while proving the value of innovation in green business. These plans include “Artica – Eco Friendly Cool Air,” “Social Stock Exchanges – Growth Capital for the Fourth Sector through Professional Transparency,” “Free Commuter Bikes, London First,” Photosynthetic Architecture – or Grow your Own,” and “The Elvis & Kresse Organisation: Reclaimed, Re-engineered.”
While the €250,000 funding in and of itself will do quite a bit for the winning contestant’s sustainability efforts, I believe the contest’s primary benefit to the sustainability movement may be its attraction of startups across Europe and its broadcasting of their endeavors throughout several world regions. This attraction and promotion will address some of the primary barriers to worldwide sustainability, including lack of awareness, fear of innovation (and failure), lack of follow through, and distrust in a “slow but steady” approach. By proving the effectiveness of “keeping on keeping on,” The Good Entrepreneur may be a significant stepping stone in the furtherance of green entrepreneurialism.
What are your thoughts on The Good Entrepreneur’s approach?