We are looking for ideas to help solve
our society's most pressing issues.

The big idea could compete for a donation up to $600,000

WHY?

Puerto Rico needs spaces and opportunities to think differently, to reimagine, and to co-create solutions that lead to social innovation

WHAT DO WE WANT TO ACHIEVE?

We are looking to propel ideas that develop, test, and scale new solutions to the most pressing issues faced by our island: social, economic, technological, renewable energy, healthcare access, social mobility, housing, environmental, agricultural sustainability, telecommunications… Impress us!

HOW?

Multi-sector teams led by Puerto Rican non-profit organizations will have the opportunity to compete for grant awards of up to $600,000, tailored mentoring, and constant inspiration for two years.

3 FINALISTS WILL RECEIVE:

Specialized Coaching
with experts


Training


A donation
up to $600,000

ABOUT THE CHALLENGE

  • Puerto Rico needs spaces and opportunities to think differently, to reimagine, and to co-create solutions that lead to social innovation

  • We are looking to propel ideas that develop, test, and scale new solutions to the most pressing issues faced by our island: social, economic, technological, renewable energy, healthcare access, social mobility, housing, environmental, agricultural sustainability, telecommunications… Impress us!

  • Multi-sector teams led by Puerto Rican non-profit organizations will have the opportunity to compete for grant awards of up to $600,000, tailored mentoring, and constant inspiration for two years.

ELEGIBILITY

Who can participate?

To be eligible to participate in the Challenge, teams must consist of three or more allies from different sectors or industries, and led by a non-profit organization duly registered under the laws of the Puerto Rico State Department.
Fore more information access our Terms & Conditions here.

CRITERIA

Applications will be reviewed and evaluated based on the following set of criteria:

Ideas should be bold, creative, and seek to address our society's most pressing issues.

To be successful, ideas must have the potential to significantly improve the quality of life of citizens.

Even though implementation plans don’t need to be fully developed at the time of application, applicant teams must be able to demonstrate their commitment along with a viable way to bring their ideas to fruition.

Ideas should have the potential to serve as models for other initiatives. Winning ideas will be of benefit not just to their initial target population but must also have the potential to benefit residents of other areas, municipalities, or at island-level. If successful, how easily can this project be scaled?

Do you have the necessary plans and resources/equipment in place to execute the proposed plan? Have you identified adequate partners for the implementation phase?

PRIZES

Three teams will be chosen as finalists and will each receive a grant award of up to $150,000 to test their idea’s implementation plan during a six-month period.

At the end of this test phase, each idea’s implementation progress will be evaluated
and a First, Second, and Third Place will be chosen, each winning additional grants of:

1ST
$450,000
2ND
$300,000
3RD
$200,000

CONTACT US

Fundación Banco Popular
(787) 722-7388

If you have any doubt write us
bigideaschallengepr@popular.com

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The Challenge is a call to Puerto Rican non-profit organizations to seek allies to re-imagine a new Puerto Rico together. Challenge participants will compete for prizes of up to $600,000, specialized mentoring, and constant inspiration for two years while they test their big idea for social change.

Immediately following the wake of Hurricane María, Fundación Banco Popular, as Popular’s philanthropic arm, launched the Embracing Puerto Rico campaign to benefit victims of the hurricane. Embracing Puerto Rico’s mission is to unite and reconstruct. Having finalized the fundraising and emergency supplies distribution phases, we now enter a phase of reconstruction. To be able to reconstruct, it is first necessary to re-imagine. The Puerto Rico Big Ideas Challenge launches because Puerto Rico needs spaces and opportunities to think differently and co-create solutions that lead to social innovation.

Fundación Banco Popular, together with The Hispanic Federation, calls upon the island’s non-profit organizations to re-think the way our main problems are attended; to look for new solutions to create a stronger and more resilient Puerto Rico.

Participants must be multi-sector teams led by a non-profit organization duly registered in the Puerto Rico State Department and with a current tax exemption from the Puerto Rico State Treasury Department. The idea may come from a non-profit, an individual, private business, local government, foreign organization, among others, but the team must be led by a Puerto Rican non-profit organization.

No. Each team’s lead organization must have the local tax exemption granted by the Puerto Rico State Treasury Department.

A project is the concept developed by the team (the idea) captured in an action plan for its implementation. The objective of the proposed idea should be to achieve positive social change in Puerto Rican society. The project categories are open. Ideas can be in the areas of education, economic development, food sustainability, health services, technology, social mobility, housing access, environment, institutional, telecommunications…Impress us!

Social innovation provides solutions to complex challenges faced by Puerto Rican society, improving its capacity to act through effective relationships and collaborations. Novelty – In the sector, field, region, market, or use of an existing product.
From idea to implementation – implementation, not just invention, of new ideas.
Response to social needs – Conceived to recognize and meet social needs.
Effectiveness – More effective than existing solutions.
Increase in society’s capacity to act – Empowers its beneficiaries, creating new roles and relationships, as well as asset development, capacity building and use improvement.

Each team must be composed by three (3) or more allies from different sectors and/or industries.

We define collaboration as the process of uniting people who are committed to catalyzing social change through organizations, problems, and sectors.

No, it doesn’t need to be a new idea for the organization. It can be a work in progress. In any case, independently of the idea’s development stage, we need to know exactly how funds awarded will impulse implementation progress and how the idea will further social impact.

Yes, but you must consider that projects will be judged on their innovative focus and potential for scaling. So, you will need to be able to tell us how and why your team and organization is especially qualified to successfully implement the use of funds awarded or how you plan to partner with other organizations to achieve a greater efficacy.

The Challenge’s three (3) finalists will receive initial awards in September 2018. They will then have six (6) months to use the funds awarded to test their idea’s implementation.

Yes, as long as they are operating and personnel expenses that are directly tied to the idea’s implementation.

No. Organizations should not send in any confidential information in their application forms and should consider that, if selected as semifinalists, the project’s summary will be open to the public on the Challenge’s website.

Applications will be reviewed and evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Vision: The ideas presented must be bold, creative, and tackle our society’s most pressing challenges.
  • Impact: To be successful, ideas must have the potential to significantly improve citizens’ quality of life.
  • Implementation: Though implementation plans need not be fully developed, applying teams must demonstrate their commitment as well as a viable way to take their idea to fruition.
  • Scalability: Ideas presented must have the potential to serve as a model for other initiatives. Winning ideas will be a benefit not just to their initial population, but will also potentially benefit residents of other areas, municipalities and/or at the island level. If successful, how easily can your project be scaled?
  • Viability: Does your team have the necessary plans and equipment in place to execute the proposed plan? Have you identified potential partners to achieve a successful implementation?

Up to ten (10) semifinalists will present their ideas to a panel of five (5) judges from different sectors and/or industries who will be responsible for selecting the Challenge winners.

All members of the judging panel will be chosen based on their commitment to social change and their capacity to evaluate the best ideas.

Feel free to contact us. You can write to us at bigideaschallengepr@popular.com. We will review all e-mails and post responses to recurring questions in our FAQ page.