Business Plan Competition

For High School Students

1st Place Wins $1,500
2nd Place Wins $1,000
3rd Place Wins $500
4th - 6th Places Win $300
7th - 10th Places Win $100
Donated by the South Dakota Bankers Foundation and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development


Have you ever thought about starting your own business?  Being your own boss?  Helping your community grow and thrive?  The first step in this rewarding process is to develop a business plan for your idea.  A business plan is a document that describes how your new business is going to accomplish its goals.  Writing a business start-up plan helps you decide what is needed in terms of time, money and resources to get your business up and running. 

For the past 25 years, the South Dakota Bankers Association Foundation, in conjunction with the SD Governor’s Office of Economic Development, has sponsored a Business Plan Competition. Six finalists will be chosen to travel to Pierre to present their oral plan before a panel of judges on February 7, 2018. Winners will be announced that evening at the SDBA’s annual Legislative Banquet.  Prizes include:  first place prize of $1,500 cash, second place of $1,000 cash, and third place of $500 cash. Fourth through sixth place prizes will be cash awards in the amount of $300 each place. Seventh through tenth place prizes are $100 each place.

Your plan should be in narrative form, with thorough, well-thought-out answers.  Remember, you will be “selling” your plan to a panel of judges, so give ample thought to your strategy.  It is recommended that all the points listed on the back of this page be addressed. Judging will be based on the following criteria:

  • Completeness of business plan

  • Viability as an ongoing business

  • Realistic financial projections/cash flow plan

  • Conciseness in presentation

  • Creativity and innovation

The cover page for your business plan MUST include the following. 
Points will be assigned for completeness of the cover sheet.
          • Your business name
          • Your first and last name
          • Your home mailing address
          • Your phone number
          • Your school name
          • Your school’s mailing address
          • Your school’s phone number
          • Your advisor or school contact’s name
          • Your advisor or school contact’s email address

Send 7 copies of completed business plans (one for each judge and one working copy) by:

DECEMBER 15, 2017 Business Plan Competition
South Dakota Bankers Foundation
109 W. Missouri
Pierre, South Dakota 57501Questions? Halley Lee || 605.224.1653  || ||

Business Start-Up Plan


  1. Business Goals
    1. What type of business are you planning?
    2. What do you hope to accomplish by starting this business?
    3. Who can help you out/be your partner(s)?
  2. The Basic Structure:
    1. Will your business be a sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation? (Don’t confuse legal structure with managerial decision-making authority.)
    2. Why did you choose this form of organization?
    3. Do you and/or your partners have any previous experience in this field or related fields?
    4. What contributions will each make to this organizations?
  3. General Decisions:
    1. Where will your business be located?
    2. What will you need for materials, equipment and inventory? What are the costs involved?
    3. What regulations or licenses are required?
    4. Where do you see your business headed one year from now?
    5. Do you have an exit strategy? Describe.
  4. Financing Decisions:
    1. How much do you anticipate spending to start your business? Be realistic.
    2. Where will you get the money?
    3. Specifically, what do you plan to borrow money for – cash, collateral?
    4. How much do you think you'll need to borrow?
      1. Do you anticipate needing more than this?
      2. Can you still finance your project if you borrow less?
    5. What collateral/security do you provide for any loans requested?
    6. What is your repayment plan for any borrowed funds, including interest?
    7. What do you do if revenues fail to meet original projections?
    8. Have you drawn up realistic financial statements which detail your projections? This is very important.
    9. Will you be using cash or accrual accounting and why?
    10. Will you have employees? What are your challenges in having employees? Business insurance?
  5. Marketing Decisions:
    1. Who will be your competition?
    2. How big is your market?
    3. Who is your average customer?
    4. Who will be your target market?
    5. What can you do differently to attract customers?
  6. The Product:
    1. How will you price your service/product?
    2. How did you arrive at this price?
    3. Will you offer credit to your customers?
    4. How will your product be distributed?