This paper investigates the characteristics of 347 project ideas that had the potential to develop and, in many cases, did develop into social enterprises. Insight into these characteristics may help impact investors identify potentially successful social enterprises at an early stage. At this stage, the terms of a business case are usually not figured out yet, but the plans have the potential to create social as well as financial value. The project ideas were posted on a Dutch online platform. The initiators described their social goals, the need for resources, and their plans for the execution in their own words. We compared the characteristics of the ideas that survived with the ones that didn’t. It appears that potential social entrepreneurs have a higher chance to survive if they are at first less focused on the financial issues of their business and more on the impact they want to achieve.