The evaluation of any TRC entry form is structured at two levels:
- pre-assessment when the written entry is read
- an interview when the shortlisted candidates are invited to present one-on-one
During the pre-assessment the entries are graded into: "definite", "maybe" and "not". The best ideas should be selected for interviews while you may wish to keep the "maybe's" to make up the numbers (if you have need to do so).
The interview should be casual and non-threatening and no more than 20 minutes in length. Note that, during the interview, the evaluation in Part 1 is repeated for a total score out of 100. Points marked with an asterisk (*) are veto questions. If the evaluator feels uncomfortable with the answers then the candidate may be automatically excluded.
Part 1 evaluation Edit
Is the candidate clear about what they intend to do? The more specific, the better. Statements such as "I want to start the business" or "I want to buy and sell" are no good at all. /10
Does the idea seem logical? Is it something that could, conceivably, make money? Do the clients mentioned actually exist? Do they have the money to spend and the time in which to spend it? /5
Is there a long product development time? Or can the products (if there are any) be made immediately for sale immediately? Does the busines require that contracts be won or that a network of sales contacts be developed? Anything that takes too long will not work within the context of this challenge. The best ideas can make money virtually within the first week. /10
Is the business aimed at consumers from the entrant's own community, or is it aimed at outsiders or (worse) tourists / foreigners? The further away clients are the more it costs to get to them and the less the entrant is likely to know about what they like and dislike. The best businesses sell simple thing to their neighbours and near community. /15
Part 2 interview Edit
If the entrant were to receive the money today, do they know what they would do with it? Do they have a clear set of tasks to carry out that would result in the business getting off the ground? Do they seem comfortable with the work that has to be carried out, or nervous? /10
Does the entrant seem excited and motivated? Do they want to do this? Or are they merely looking for a job? Do they like the idea? Do they believe, totally, that this is possible? /15
What else does the entrant do at the moment? Do they seem over involved? Do they have the time to dedicate to this project or is it just a nice-to-have alongside everything else they're doing? If they don't have the time, then they won't make this work. They need to have time and be prepared to dedicate themselves. Otherwise, no good. /15
Does the entrant have any past experience with small business (worked for a relative, or in their own business). They don't have to have been successful at it, even a failed business is good experience. This significantly increases their chance of success. /10
Is the entrant aware of compromises that they need to make (viz not buying new equipment, getting second hand or renting, not buying a shop, etc.)? Have they thought through the consequences of what they are getting themselves in to? /10