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Call for Entries, The 2018 Laudato Si’ Challenge is to SUSTAINABLY improve the lives of 10 million refugees, migrants and internally-displaced people by 2020.

Home Forums Startup and Social Entrepreneur Opportunities Call for Entries, The 2018 Laudato Si’ Challenge is to SUSTAINABLY improve the lives of 10 million refugees, migrants and internally-displaced people by 2020.

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    Craig Zelizer


    “The logic underlying innovative forms of intervention [on behalf of the poor] is one which “acknowledges the ultimate connection between profit and solidarity, the virtuous circle existing between profit and gift … Christians are called to rediscover, experience and proclaim to all this precious and primordial unity between profit and solidarity. How much the contemporary world needs to rediscover this beautiful truth! We are truly in need of this! It is important that ethics once again play its due part in the world of finance and that markets serve the interests of peoples and the common good of humanity.

    — His Holiness Pope Francis – August 5, 2014

    inspired by his holiness pope francis and his 2015 encyclical laudato si’, The 2018 Laudato Si’ Challenge is to SUSTAINABLY improve the lives of 10 million refugees, migrants and internally-displaced people by 2020.



    We believe business can be a force for good. We believe in His Holiness Pope Francis’ vision of a “social economy,” one that works for everyone, everywhere. And, we believe it’s not enough to be profitable; businesses must also be ethical. In other words, it’s not just what you do. It’s how you do it.

    In order to apply to The Laudato Si’ Challenge, your business must be: innovative, sustainable and ethical. To that end, we are including an ethics committee to analyze entries and ensure that applicants are not only ethical in their corporate structure, but also ethical in how they conduct their business. We will examine everything from company culture (how employees and partners are treated) to supply chain (how products or services are produced).

    “Businesses profit by calculating and paying only a fraction of the costs involved. Yet only when ‘the economic and social costs of using up shared environmental resources are recognized with transparency and fully borne by those who incur them, not by other peoples or future generations,’ can those actions be considered ethical.

    — His Holiness Pope Francis


    2018 TIMELINE

    • June 13: Official call for entries at The Forbes Impact Summit, in New York City.
    • June – August: From the pool of applications, two committees—one comprised of recognized ethicists and one of professional businesspeople—will select the top 10 businesses that most effectively and sustainably improve the lives of refugees, migrants and internally-displaced people, while embodying the principles of what His Holiness Pope Francis calls a “social economy,” one that works for everyone, everywhere.
    • September 1: The 10 winning companies are announced.
    • October 1: Launch of the donation campaign on the platform. Through this partnership, The Laudato Si’ Challenge Foundation will provide grants of varying amounts (up to $1M) to each of 10 businesses, as well as ecosystem support to scale their solutions via The Laudato Si’ Challenge community of investors and partners.
    • December: The top 10 companies will present their solutions to public, private and faith-based leaders in Rome. Major “commitments to action” will be announced.


    It is important to note: your company must first meet the following eight “selection criteria” to be considered. Then, it must pass the ethics committee before it is considered by the business committee.

    Selection Criteria

    We will judge businesses along eight key criteria:

    1. Addressable Market – What is the breadth + depth of your target market?
    2. Product/Solution – How differentiated, innovative and scalable is your solution? *Please note: companies that are located in areas impacted by refugees, migrant and Internally-Displaced People will receive special consideration. We believe founders who have lived, and experienced, the problems they are solving are uniquely qualified, and motivated, to do so. We are particularly interested in businesses, and entrepreneurs, from developing countries.
    3. Ethical Implications – What are the ethical implications of your success and growth? The companies we select must not only be profitable and sustainable, they must ethical in every way—from company culture to supply chain. Applicants must clear the ethics committee review before undergoing the business committee review.
    4. Leadership Team – How uniquely qualified are you to execute your vision + business model?
    5. Business Model – How robust, sustainable and profitable is your business model? What are your unit economics?
    6. Product-Market Fit – How close are you to achieving true product-market fit? How do you measure that?
    7. Market Traction – What milestones have you achieved? What are your projected milestones? How do you hold your team accountable to execution?
    8. Impact – How do you measure your impact in “sustainability improving the lives of refugees, migrants and internally-displaced people?” What is your North Star Metric?
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