In its 23rd year, the QEC is the foremost international undergraduate business plan competition in Canada, organised entirely by students. Every year, we receive business plan submissions from undergraduate students of top universities in Canada and around the world, all competing for $25,000 in cash prizes that help them jumpstart their business ventures.In addition to the cash prizes, our judges also provide valuable feedback to all teams that have submitted a business plan. The QEC works hard to provide competitors a platform to share their business ideas, meet other young entrepreneurs, and network with leaders in the business community.
First, there is no “right” way to organize or write your plan. You can express and explain your concept and vision for your idea in whatever way suits you. But, regardless of the style and execution, make sure your plan is comprehensive. The judges will be looking at your business plan just like venture capitalists would. They will be looking to see how you plan to execute your concept effectively, the finances, the marketing among many other aspects.
There are 7 criteria that will be used to judge the preliminary round for QEC 2011:
1. Finance: Judges will expect to see how the business idea will be financed. The plan should include projected income statements such as balance sheet, income statement, statement of cash flows, break even analysis, and an outline of the required funding for the idea.
2. Human Resources: The business plan should outline the skills and positions required for the project, reasonable contingency plans, and organizational structure.
3. Originality: First, the judges will assess whether the idea can be realistically implemented in today’s marketplace. They will ascertain the thoroughness of the idea development and thought process. The executive summary of the plan should outline the general business idea.
4. Marketing: Judges will assess how well the business plan addresses the various areas of marketing such as research and testing, price, distribution, and product. The plan will be compared with the submitted budget to determine whether the marketing communications analysis can be realistically implemented.
5. Production/Operations: The business plan should outline production and operations. Teams should consider the benefits of subcontracting production, the capacity of the new business, the logistics of the production scheme, and a master time frame for completion. They should also consider major suppliers, levels of customer service and warranties, and the level of quality management.
6. Business Viability: Judges will determine whether the business idea is feasible. Competitors should take into consideration operating risks, insurance, contingency plans, and social and ethical issues.
7. Quality and Conciseness: The business plan must be presented in a concise, professional, and coherent manner. Facts that are relevant to the business concept must be clearly and precisely stated. Spelling, grammar, and format will be taken into consideration.
In addition, here are a number of websites that can help you with preparing your business plan:
· Angel Blog (http://www.theqec.com/site/www.angelblog.net)
· Business Basics for Engineers (http://www.theqec.com/site/www.sfu.ca/~mvolker/biz/)
· Bplans.com (http://www.theqec.com/site/Bplans.com)
· Online Business Advisor (http://www.theqec.com/site/www.onlinebusadv.com)
· OCRI Entrepreneurship Centre (http://www.theqec.com/site/www.entrepreneurship.com)
· Inc. (http://www.theqec.com/site/www.inc.com/guides/start_biz/20660.html)
· Entrepreneur (http://www.theqec.com/site/www.entrepreneur.com)
· Planning for Business Growth (http://www.smallbusinessbc.ca/pdf/PlanningforBusinessGrowthGuide.pdf)
· Beginners Guide to Financial Statements (http://www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/begfinstmtguide.htm)
To find out more about the details of the competition, visit us at www.theqec.com and follow us on Twitter @theqec. The 2011 Competitor Guide can be found at http://www.theqec.com/site/media/files/QEC2011_Competitor_Package.pdf. Also, feel free to contact me directly (info below) if you have any questions or concerns. Good luck!
Ziyu (Margaret) Lu
B.Comm (Cand. 2012), Queen's School of Business
Competitor Coordinator (Asia), the Queen's Entrepreneurs' Competition 2011