Nominations for the Fourth Annual PRISM Awards are being accepted and must be submitted online no later than Feb. 7.

The PRISM Awards are presented annually by the Colorado Institute for Social Impact to celebrate businesses and entrepreneurs that use the powerful economic engine of capitalism for good and not merely for gain.

Award categories include:

• Social Impact Business of the Year
• Social Entrepreneur of the Year
• Social Impact Startup of the Year

Like last year, the PRISM Awards will be opened to businesses and entrepreneurs statewide. One recognition in each category will be awarded in northern and southern Colorado. Businesses and entrepreneurs may nominate themselves or others.

To be eligible for a PRISM Award, a business must have demonstrated social impact to Colorado and the business’s principal must live and work in Colorado. Both for-profit and nonprofit businesses are eligible, but a nonprofit must have 60 percent earned revenue.

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The Social Impact Business of the Year will be an entity that has been operating for more than three years with a clearly defined social, environmental or community impact and also shows sustainability in terms of profit and growth.

“The Social Impact business of the Year has a clear and articulate Social Impact Model, which is regularly shared and understood in the community with articulated plans for the future,” the institute’s website states.

The entrepreneur of the year will be “someone who achieves systemic and sustainable social change through innovation, a unique approach to a product or service, an innovative partnership or a redesign of known technologies or strategies, or a combination of these.”

For the Social Entrepreneur of the Year award, “we are seeking someone who can innovate with direct impact to a population, cause or industry by finding a new product, a new service, or a new approach to a social problem. A social entrepreneur might be the lead of an organization … but can also be someone who excels within the ranks of the organization as a driver for change and impact.”

The Social Impact Startup of the Year award recognizes a young social impact business.

“We are looking for a social impact business that has been operating less than [three] years that can clearly demonstrate their future vision and how they are going to achieve it,” the website states. “This vision shows opportunities for growth and a creative approach to problem-solving.”

Multiple nominations for these awards are allowed. Once a business or entrepreneur has been nominated, an application must be completed and submitted to the institute.

A team of judges will review and score the nominations and applications.

Awards will be presented from 5-8 p.m. March 12 at the Historic Colorado Springs Auditorium, 221 E. Kiowa St.

For more information about the nominating procedure and to purchase early bird discounted tickets to the PRISM 2020 awards, visit the institute’s website.

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