Frequently Asked Questions

Why is NCPA holding this competition?
NCPA is the national organization that represents community pharmacy. Community pharmacies are "laboratories of innovation" for the profession. Our members have an interest in serving patients while owning their own business. A business plan is a core component of a successful entrepreneur. This competition is intended to facilitate the development of the business planning process and ultimately result in more pharmacy entrepreneurs.

What is a business plan?
According to the Small Business Administration, "A business plan precisely defines your business, identifies your goals, and serves as your firm's resume. The basic components include a current and pro forma balance sheet, an income statement, and a cash flow analysis. It helps you allocate resources properly, handle unforeseen complications, and make good business decisions. Because it provides specific and organized information about your company and how you will repay borrowed money, a good business plan is a crucial part of any loan application. Additionally, it informs sales personnel, suppliers, and others about your operations and goals."

How many students can help prepare the business plan?
Any NCPA student chapter member can help prepare the business plan. However, only 4 members of the team are allowed to participate in the live presentation competition for finalists.

Are teams allowed to apply with less than 4 members?
Teams may apply with less than 4 members.

Where can I find resources about developing a business plan?
Additional information concerning business plans can be found in the Ninth Edition of Effective Pharmacy Management CD-ROM. NCPA student members may purchase this CD for only $15 by calling (800) 544-7447.

Can students in their final year of pharmacy school assist in preparing the business plan?
Although final year students can participate in the preparation of the business plan, only current pharmacy students are eligible to participate in the live presentation competition for finalists. For example, a student in their final year can help prepare the business plan in the spring, but may not participate in the live competition the next fall at NCPA's Convention.

When will the announcement of the finalists be made?
The announcement of the top three finalists will be made at the AACP National Meeting in July.

How long do you have to be a member of NCPA to participate?
There is no minimum length of time a participant has to be a member of NCPA.

How long does your chapter have to be active to participate?
There is no minimum amount of time a chapter has to be active to have participants in the competition. However, this competition cannot be the first project in which your chapter participates. See the FAQ, "What is an active chapter" for examples or contact the NCPA Department of Student Affairs if you have any questions about how to develop a chapter at your school.

What is an active chapter?
For a chapter to be eligible as active, it must participate in activities which work on the four areas of focus:

  • Neighborhood community service
  • Creating new members
  • Promoting independent pharmacy
  • Advocating legislative action

Examples of these activities include holding regular meetings at your school, having a solid membership base, participating in NCPA's Annual Convention, visiting local independent pharmacies, participating in your state association's legislative day, etc.

What is an active member?
For a member to be eligible as active, he or she must be a pharmacy student currently enrolled and in good standing in an accredited college/school of pharmacy. He or she must have submitted an application for registration as an NCPA student member, as well as paid both chapter and national fees.

How do I become an NCPA member?
To join NCPA go to and click "Join NCPA" on the menu bar. Membership for students is discounted.

Who can serve as team advisor?
The team advisor must be an active NCPA member. The NCPA faculty liaison or another faculty member at your school of pharmacy can also serve as the team advisor.

Does the team advisor have to donate money?
The team advisor is not required to donate any money to the team or competition.

What is the difference between an NCPA faculty liaison and the team advisor?
The NCPA faculty liaison is the person appointed by the Dean of the pharmacy school to oversee NCPA student chapter operations. The team advisor must be an active NCPA member, the NCPA faculty liaison, or another faculty member at your school of pharmacy.

Can the NCPA faculty liaison serve as the team advisor?
Yes. The NCPA faculty liaison can also serve as the team's advisor.

How can I found out more about the live presentation portion of the competition?
If your team is selected as one of the top three finalists, the team captain and advisor will be notified of the team's selection. Additional information about the live presentation will then be provided to your team. Contact the NCPA Department of Student Affairs if you have any questions about the live presentation.

Of the teams that make it to the finals, does each team member receive the cash prize?
For each finalist team there are two cash prizes awarded. One goes to the NCPA student chapter that the team represents, and the other is an award made to the school in your Dean's name that should be used to promote independent pharmacy at your school.

Is there a requirement for the length of the business plan (minimum/maximum number of pages)?
There is no length requirement for the business plans submitted. The plan should be comprehensive yet succinct and be able to satisfy the scrutiny of a loan provider.

How can I find out if I'm a member of NCPA?
E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to contact the NCPA Membership Department.

Where do I mail the business plan?
All application materials must be postmarked by May 15, 2012 and sent to:

Good Neighbor Pharmacy NCPA Pruitt-Schutte Business Plan Competition
Attention: Cheron McCrae
100 Daingerfield Road
Alexandria, VA 22314-2885

How can I find out if my school has an NCPA chapter?
Ask your Dean, or contact the NCPA Department of Student Affairs.

Are there any academic requirements for students?
Students participating in the competition, on any level, must be within good academic standing at their college/school of pharmacy.

Who are Joe Schutte and Neil Pruitt?
Neil Pruitt, Sr., who was killed in a tragic car accident in 2003, served as president of NCPA, then NARD, in 1981-1982 and was a Trustee of the NCPA Foundation. Pruitt grew his company, United Health Services, from a single independent pharmacy in northeast Georgia into a multifaceted health care organization with operations in several southeastern states.

H. Joseph Schutte served as president of NCPA in 1985-1986 and was a Trustee of the NCPA Foundation until his death in 2009. His career started with owning his own community pharmacy and eventually he owned six pharmacies in Kentucky that provided services for thousands of patients in long-term care facilities. In 1995, he was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Entrepreneur of the Year Institute. He is the CEO and founder of Geri-Med, Rx-Med, and IV-Med.

Ask Your Family Pharmacist TM