The League of Intrapreneurs: Building Better Business from the Inside Out

The League of Intrapreneurs

Building Better Business from the Inside Out

convening sponsor: accenture

Competition Information

Competition News

The verdict is in – the four winners of The League of Intrapreneurs: Building Better Business from the Inside Out have been selected. These winners are pioneering game-changing models for business and society. The winners will be profiled on Fast Company’s blog, Co.EXIST, and will receive consulting support from Accenture Development Partnerships to further their work.

The top 15 entrants from this competition make up the inaugural class of the League of Intrapreneurs, an elite global network of changemakers. These entrants will also receive media and press recognition and will be featured in the publication of a globally distributed intrapreneur toolkit.

The IFC special focus prize for the entry that best integrates low-income populations at the base of the pyramid in its value chain has also been awarded to Tribanco. The IFC will provide advisory support best suited to support this entry’s continued success.

Read about all of their solutions below. As always, we welcome your continued comments on all entries. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to receive updates on the latest in social innovation and to send us your feedback.

Welcome Letter

Do you work for a leading company? Are you responsible for launching a new initiative, product/service, or business model that is a force for good in the world? Would your colleagues describe you as someone who pushes boundaries and has the potential to be at the forefront of social change given the opportunity and resources? If so, you may be a social intrapreneur!

Social intrapreneurs are becoming instigators in the race towards a new kind of economy. These changemakers are developing innovative and scalable solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems ranging from health to education to environment. But contrary to social entrepreneurs, they are innovating from within some of the world’s largest companies.

Delivering game-changing innovation inside a company is never easy, but it’s even more challenging when the problems you’re tackling – such as climate change or poverty – are not always well understood or overtly connected to the business strategy.

That is where you come in. Ashoka, the world’s largest organization of social entrepreneurs, invites you to participate in a global competition – The League of Intrapreneurs: Building Better Business from the Inside Out, supported by Accenture, the convening sponsor. This competition seeks out social intrapreneurs within leading companies who are pioneering new ideas and projects that have the capacity to transform business and society. The best entries will be those that demonstrate social and/or environmental impact, offer an innovative solution or novel approach to a problem, and demonstrate strategic business opportunity.

The top 15 entrants from the competition will form the inaugural class of the League of Intrapreneurs, becoming part of an elite global network of changemakers. These entrants will also receive media and press recognition and will be featured in the publication of a globally distributed intrapreneur toolkit. Of this league, the top four winners will be profiled in Fast Company’s blog, Co.EXIST, and will receive consulting support from Accenture Development Partnerships to further their work.

Competitive solutions may include those that target:

  • Product innovation: socially and/or environmentally responsible product development
  • Supply chain: innovative approaches to enhancing supplier or producer welfare; reduction in social or environmental footprint
  • Human capital: processes or systems to harness employee talent and skills for corporate changemaking
  • Business models: new models for reducing the environmental footprint of consumption and increasing social prosperity

We’re looking for ideas that move beyond traditional corporate responsibility. Perhaps you’ve developed more affordable and appropriate pricing, or products to make a difference in the lives of low-income consumers. Maybe you’ve radically reduced your company’s environmental footprint or are finding innovative ways of working with suppliers to increase the welfare of local producers. Or you may be changing the game through a radical re-imagining of your company's business model.

Tell us your story. How are you changing society from within the walls of your company? Submit your solution or nominate a project today!

Guidelines & Criteria

Who Should Enter

The competition is open to all intrapreneurs within companies around the world. Our aim is to find social intrapreneurs that rival our network of social entrepreneurs at Ashoka – individuals that demonstrate visionary leadership and have a profound commitment to societal change. As much as we’re looking for people, we’re also looking for outstanding ideas and projects. Entries should describe innovative solutions that offer transformational impact both for their companies and the world at large.

Entrant criteria

  • Entrants may apply as individuals or teams; however, team submissions should have a single person submit their entry.
  • Entrants may apply from any industry.
  • Entrants must be from companies that have a for-profit status. Entries from nonprofits are not eligible.
  • Preference will be given to intrapreneurs within companies that have a multi-country or global presence, as well as to intrapreneurs working for the SMEs (small- and medium-sized enterprises) in these multinationals' value chains.
  • Preference will be given to entries that show a strong alignment with strategic business drivers.
  • We can only accept entries in English, Spanish, Portuguese or French.
  • We will look for a diversity of entries in terms of project stage (e.g., idea, pilot, venture, business unit) as well as the target beneficiary of the project (e.g., developing vs. developed countries)

How do we evaluate the intrapreneur?

We’re looking for social intrapreneurs who will transform the world through new products, services and business models. These individuals are fueled by a healthy impatience for the status quo. They don’t take no for an answer, but rather build support and consensus for new ideas. They take a long-term view, understanding the interconnections between business success and community prosperity.

Entries should highlight:

  • Visionary thinking: An ability to think creatively and conceptually about society’s toughest problems – be able to merge business and societal agendas.
  • Commitment to society: Demonstrate a long-standing commitment to changing the world.
  • Corporate mastery: Show sophistication for creating change from within big business (e.g., ability to work across silos, generate buy-in around ideas, build communities of support both internally and externally).

Assessment Criteria

Winners of The League of Intrapreneurs: Building Better Business from the Inside Out will be those that best meet the following criteria:

Innovation

This is the knock-out test. The entrant must describe an innovative idea or project that is truly a corporate game-changer. The best entries will be those that demonstrate a substantial difference from other initiatives in the field.

Social Impact

The solution has (or will have) powerful outcomes on society – positively and directly impacting the lives of people and/or having a positive impact on the natural environment. Entries must show an understanding of the anticipated social and/or environmental impact. The best solutions will have clear potential for scale and replication.

Financial Sustainability

For an idea or program to be truly effective, it must have a plan to exist and grow well into the future – a plan to sustain itself. Innovations will be judged on their long-term vision for increasing impact and creating lasting change. Entries should describe how they are currently leveraging company resources to support their work, what sort of momentum they have for the idea or program within their company, and how they plan to grow and sustain their idea or initiative into the future.

Competition Deadlines, Procedures, and Rules

Online competition submissions are accepted until 6 p.m. EST on January 15, 2013.

There are five phases in the competition:

Entry Stage

Beginning September 26, 2012, entries can be submitted until 6 p.m. EST on January 15, 2013. Throughout this stage anyone can participate in an online discussion with entrants.

  • Early entry deadline: October 24, 2012. Entries received by 6 p.m. EDT on October 24, 2012 are eligible for the Early Entry Prize: $1,000 and their story and project featured on Fast Company’s blog, Co.EXIST. The Early Entry Prize winner will be announced on November 7, 2012.

Online Review and Finalist Selection

January 15, 2013 - February 6, 2013: Online discussion continues. Simultaneously, a team of Ashoka staff and expert evaluators nominate the 15 strongest entries.

Voting

February 18 – March 8, 2013: The public votes online to select the People’s Choice winner from the League of Intrapreneurs.

Judging Panel

March 2013: A panel of expert judges selects the top three entries.

Winners Announced

April 10-12, 2013: The four winners will be announced!

Prizes

Early Entry Prizes

Entries received by October 24, 2012 will be eligible to win $1,000 and a feature story about their project on FastCo.Exist. The Early Entry Prize winner will be announced on November 7, 2012. Being an Early Entry Prize winner does not preclude you from winning the competition in any way, nor guarantee finalist status. The Early Entry Prize winner may continue to revise their entry up until the competition close. All entries will be evaluated on an equal basis at the completion of the entry period according to the Changemakers criteria.

Grand Prizes

The top 15 entrants from the competition will form the inaugural class of the League of Intrapreneurs, becoming part of an elite global network of changemakers. These entrants will also receive media and press recognition and will be featured in the publication of a globally distributed intrapreneur toolkit. Of this league, the top four winners will be profiled in Fast Company’s blog, Co.EXIST, and will receive consulting support from Accenture Development Partnerships to further their work.

Winners will be announced April 2013.

ADDITIONAL PRIZE OPPORTUNITY: The IFC will independently choose the entry that best integrates low-income populations at the base of the pyramid in their value chains, as suppliers or customers. The IFC will determine the exact combination of financial and nonfinancial support best suited to the chosen entrant. Winning the IFC prize does not preclude an entrant from any other prize opportunities.

Disclaimer—Compliance with Legal Restrictions

Ashoka is responsible for this competition and complies fully with all U.S. laws and regulations, including all applicable competition, sweepstakes and lottery laws as well as Office of Foreign Assets Control regulations, export control, and anti-money laundering laws. Any grants will be awarded subject to compliance with such laws. Ashoka will not make any grant if it finds that to do so would be unlawful. This may prohibit awards in certain countries and/or to certain individuals or entities. All recipients will comply with these laws to the extent they are applicable to such recipients. No recipient will take any action that would cause Ashoka to violate any laws. Additionally, Ashoka will not make any grant to a company involved in the promotion of tobacco use.


Competition Sponsors

Sponsors: Inter-American Investment Corporation, International Finance Corporation, GlaxoSmithKline, Standard Chartered, IDB

Judges Panel

Duncan Learmouth

Senior Vice President, Developing Countries & Market Access, GSK

Imoni Akpofure

Director, Western Europe Department, International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Jason Clay

SVP for Market Transformation, WWF

Mark Devadason

Group Head of Sustainability and Regions, Corporate Affairs, Standard Chartered

Rosario Londoño

Senior Social Innovation and Development Effectiveness Specialist, Inter-American Investment Corporation

Simone Ahuja

Founder, Blood Orange, Author, Jugaad Innovation