The Impact Challenge is aimed at innovative ideas that have a social or environmental mission at their core and that have the potential of developing into financially sustainable businesses. The award is applicable to all enterprise types.
To be successful, proposals must demonstrate that social/environmental impact can be significant and long term. To be eligible, applicants need to demonstrate that their company can start trading within twelve months of the annual Converge Awards in September.
First prize: £20,000 cash (plus £15,000 in-kind support)
Runner-up: £10,000 cash (plus £9,000 in-kind support)
All semi-finalists: four days of intensive business training and bespoke business advice
The Impact Challenge is open to all mission-led enterprises and to both product and service-based ideas.
To be eligible, all applicants must be either staff, students or recent graduates* of a Scottish Higher Education Institution.
*up to 24 months after graduation from the initial application date
You will be judged on:
- Innovation: unique selling point, competitive advantage
- Sustainable social or environmental impact
- Market validation: customer engagement, viable route to market, market fit
- Team: relevant experience, planning for future team
- Resource planning: understanding of market readiness requirements including funding, expertise and operations
If your application is successful, you will be asked to:
- Attend an online business training course
- Attend an online training day focused on financial planning
- Attend an online business masterclass with our network of partners
- Submit a business plan, financial forecast and 1-minute video pitch
Then, if you’re lucky enough to be shortlisted as a finalist, you will be asked to:
- Take part in a promotional film and photography shoot
- Pitch live to our judging panel
- Attend the Converge Awards ceremony
Programme Launch – 26 February
Application Deadline – New deadline: 14 May (12 noon)
Business Training – Delivered online w/c 15 June
Pitch to your Peers Event – 29 June
Financial Planning Training – 30 June
Business Masterclass – 25 and 26 June
Business Plan Submission – 6 August
Pitching to Judging Panel – 16 September
Awards Final – 24 September