Albers-SJIM Virtual Competition

Students from Seattle University, St. Joseph’s Institute of Management in Bangalore, and other Jesuit universities collaborate to create business solutions for pressing social problems.

SJIM students on a stage

A Global, Collaborative Social Impact Business Plan Competition

In this competition, students from Seattle University, St. Joseph’s Institute of Management (SJIM) in Bangalore, India, and other Jesuit universities around the globe come together in collaboration to create a business solution for a pressing social problem. 

Teams work together virtually to create a social impact business plan that addresses the competition topic. Teams are intentionally made of students from all schools to consider the causes, effects, and possible solutions to global issues from a larger perspective.

The topic is different each year. Past topics include the following: 

  • 2023: Safe Drinking Water
  • 2022: Urban Green Spaces
  • 2021: Responsible Consumption
  • 2020: Universal Digital Inclusion
  • 2019: Food Insecurity
  • 2018: Combatting Fake News
  • 2017: Bringing Recycling to Bangalore, India

Although this program is organized by the St. Joseph's Institute of Management and the Albers School of Business and Economics, all Seattle University students of all courses/departments/programs/schools are encouraged to participate.

In 2023, team members represented schools from four countries:

For more information about the competition, visit the SJIM Details page at St. Joseph's Institute of Management's B-Plan Competition

Competition Details

Each team has about a month to formulate a seven- to 10-page business plan. 

First round

For the first round, the business plan should be submitted in Word or PDF files. All submissions will be passed through anti-plagiarism software. Word documents should use Times New Roman 12-point font with one-inch margins all around. The length of the document must be a maximum of 10 pages, excluding any appendices. Judges will read, but not evaluate, appendices. The required structure of the business plan is below:

  • Cover page: Include the name of the proposed company and the names of the team members.
  • The Idea: One page dedicated to explaining the idea (or your solution) in brief.
  • The People: The individuals who will be starting and running the venture, their roles, and details about any outside parties providing key services or important resources, etc.
  • The Opportunity: A profile of the business itself—what it will sell and to whom, whether the business can grow and how fast, what its economics are, and obstacles standing in the way of success.
  • The Context: The bigger picture—the regulatory environment, demographic trends, technological trends and developments, and any other factor that will inevitably change your offering but cannot be controlled by you (the entrepreneur). How will you be prepared to deal with the inevitable change in the environment?
  • Risk and Reward: An assessment of everything that can go wrong and right, and a discussion of how the entrepreneurial team can respond.
  • Appendices: Optional.

The structure listed above is adapted from an article by William Sahlman, Baker Foundation Professor of Business Administration (Emeritus) at Harvard Business School. All teams are highly encouraged to read this short article about writing a business plan.

Final Round

The business plan for the final round should be submitted as a Microsoft PowerPoint (.ppt/.pptx) file. The structure of the presentation will follow the broad structure of the written plan. Each team will have 15 minutes to present their plan. After all teams have presented their plan, the judges will give each team a set of questions to answer. All teams will get 10 minutes to discuss between themselves, including the overseas team members, online. The last step will be for the teams to provide their answers to the judges.

In addition to virtual infrastructure, students will need to be able to commit about five hours a week to the completion of the program, with one to two of those hours dedicated to meeting with the team.

Teams are encouraged to establish protocols on communication guidelines, internal deadlines, and assignment of roles and responsibilities. 

Remember time zones. Bangalore will be 13.5 hours ahead of Seattle! If you email your teammates at 10 a.m. PST, it will be 11:30 p.m. IST (Indian Standard Time) for them. If they respond the next day at 10 a.m. IST, you will receive it at 8:30 p.m. PST. Committing to timely communications and setting expectations for response times are essential for success in working with team mates across time zones.

SJIM-Albers Virtual Competition takeaways "Refined research skills and new relationships."

Keisha Lugito, '22 MSF; Kyle Yoo, '21 Finance and Analytics; Anne Transier, 21 Marketing & Finance

"We were able to use information we have learned in class and apply it to our business, as well as really refine our researching skills. The process taught us how to write a business proposal and showed us what a proper business presentation looks like. We have also built relationships that we wouldn't have been able to before."

2018 Winning Team Members

Got questions about the competition?

Contact Amelia Marckworth today to get more details

Amelia Marckworth

Director of Community, IEC

Amelia Marckworth headshot