The Colorado Institute for Social Impact (CI4SI) is proud to have celebrated our 4th Annual PRISM Awards. The PRISM Awards celebrates businesses and entrepreneurs in Colorado that use the powerful economic engine of capitalism for good, not merely for gain. Referred to as the Fourth Sector, these Social Impact Businesses and Social Entrepreneurs are changing the way business is done. This new sector of the economy is embracing businesses that merge mission and margin, purpose and profit; it is reshaping the economy, capitalism, businesses and nonprofits. This event celebrates a business, either for profit or nonprofit, that pursues purpose in addition to profit. This higher purpose can be social and/or environmental and provides impact that can be measured.

Each year, the PRISM Awards’ theme highlights a Social Impact industry. In 2017, Social Impact Caterers and Social Entrepreneur Chefs were featured. In 2018, Social Impact Apparel Businesses took the spotlight. As the Awards opened statewide for the first time in 2019, it seemed appropriate to highlight Outdoor Recreation, an integral part of the Colorado lifestyle. *2020 expanded to include all business types that make a Social Impact in Colorado.  



Social Entrepreneur of the Year:
Northern Colorado:

Chris Brock

Southern Colorado:

James Proby

Social Impact Startup of the Year:
Northern Colorado:

Helping Habit, PBC

Southern Colorado:


Social Impact Business of the Year:
Northern Colorado:

Bridge to Justice

Southern Colorado:

Who Gives a SCRAP-Colorado Springs

PRISM Awards Eligibility Criteria

  • Demonstrated Social Impact to Colorado
  • Principal must live and work in Colorado
  • Can be for-profit or non-profit but non-profit must have 60% earned revenue
  • NOTE: Past winners cannot win the same category two consecutive years.
  • Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award
  • We consider a Social Entrepreneur 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. A Social Entrepreneur focuses first and foremost on the social and/or ecological value creation while optimizing the financial value creation. For this 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 from the top but can also be someone who excels within the ranks of the organization as a driver for change and impact. This person continuously refines and adapts their approach in response to feedback and has demonstrated Social Impact that is measurable and apparent.
  • Social Impact Startup of the Year
  • For Social Impact Startup of the Year, we are looking for a social impact business that has been operating less than 3 years that can clearly demonstrate their future vision and how they are going to achieve it. This vision shows opportunities for growth and a creative approach to problem-solving. This award recognizes a young social impact business that has a clear model for their impact as well as strong measurement of the model’s effectiveness. We are looking for a business that utilizes ongoing problem-solving techniques that engage and enhance the community. In addition to having a clear vision, we are also looking for clear implementation strategies and the potential for future success.
  • Social Impact Business of the Year
  • A social impact business is an established entity that has been operating for more than 3 years with a clearly defined social, environmental and/or community impact, that 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 Social Impact Business of the Year shows the ability to measure their impact as well as demonstrate a high degree of customer satisfaction. This business’s culture and leadership are presented as drivers of the business's success, and employees at multiple levels contribute actively to that culture. Innovation and creativity are clearly a part of everyday discussions and decisions and is encouraged at multiple levels of the organizations. The Social Impact Business of the Year is recognized repeatedly for their work and is considered a subject matter expect on a social impact business topic according to at least one other source.

PRISM Award Application Process:

  • 1. Someone nominates a social impact business, which can be either for-profit or non-profit.
  • 2. Multiple nominations are allowed (i.e. Five people can nominate one person for Social Entrepreneur. Also, one person can nominate several different nominees).
  • 3.Nominations can also be submitted in multiple categories for one entity (i.e. Social Entrepreneur and Social Impact Startup OR Social Entrepreneur and Social Impact Business).
  • 4.The nomination does not qualify as an application. The nominee should keep an eye out for a “you’ve been nominated” email from CI4SI that gives the Social Impact business/entrepreneur an application to complete and submit to us.
  • 5.Only one application from the nominee (per category in which they are nominated) is required.

PRISM Judging Process:

  • 1.CI4SI recruits a team of judges across academia, funders, nonprofits and business owners.
  • 2.The judges are provided the qualified applicants’ nominations and applications.
  • 3. The judges use a rubric to rate the applications based on how concise the answers are.
  • 4.The highest three scores are finalists.
  • 5.The highest score wins!

The theme for the 3rd Annual PRISM Awards in 2019 was Outdoor Recreation Social Impact Businesses! For the first time, the PRISM Awards were open statewide and businesses from all over Colorado were invited to participate. As a celebration of our State’s love of the outdoors, we decided to highlight Outdoor Recreation as it is an integral part of the Colorado lifestyle.

2019’s PRISM Awards were held at the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center, a Social Impact Organization itself. For the past 23 years, the Visitor & Nature Center has hosted over 15.7 million visitors and donated over $3.8 million back to the Garden of the Gods Park. The Visitor Center is the #1 visited attraction in the Pikes Peak region and the Park was voted the #1 Park in the nation making the perfect backdrop for 2019’s special event theme, featuring: Outdoor Recreation Social Impact Businesses.

Garden of the Gods

March 8th, 2019 was a fabulous evening of food, drink, and networking over celebrating Colorado social impact!


Our Mission & Vision


Harness Social Impact to accelerate the evolution of business


The Social Impact Economy powers a new business definition for success