Applications are open for the social entrepreneurship competition that identifies next generation, financially sustainable, ideas making an impact in Wisconsin

The Force For Positive Change is a state-wide competition that focuses on social entrepreneurship as a model for solving social or environmental challenges in a way that is sustainable, just, and generates impact. To be eligible, entities must: be an incorporated enterprise — a nonprofit, for-profit or hybrid company — with a revenue-generating product or service; address a significant social and/or environmental challenge that exists in Wisconsin through their products, services or operations; and have a staff based in Wisconsin.

Applications are being accepted online now through January 19, 2018.  After February 1, select applicants will be invited to advance to a second phase of the competition, and a panel of expert judges from the public, private and academic sectors as well as investors and granting organizations will review each of the final applications.

Up to twelve awards of $12,500 will be distributed this year in hopes of maximizing the impact across the state.  The program is launching the following distinct award categories as part of this year’s application and award:

  • Education and youth programing
  • Workforce and urban development
  • Finance/lending, housing
  • Food, agriculture, environment
  • Energy, cleantech, water
  • Art, manufacturing

Similar to last year, the program will culminate with a day-long event on March 22 hosted at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI.  During the event, the award winners will be announced.

“We are looking to lift up great examples of social entrepreneurship across the state that energize and inspire future generations,” said Laura Heisler of WARF.  Winners will “demonstrate an innovative approach to solving a significant social challenge in Wisconsin and articulate a vision for lasting, positive impact.”

This is a collaboration between Marquette University, WARF, American Family Insurance, Ashoka, The Commons, Dohmen Constellations, the Morgridge Institute for Research, Promega Corporation, StartingBlock Madison, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business, Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council, Wisconsin Technology Council, and Wisconsin Campus Compact

For more information or to apply visit