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Michigan Corps Social Enterprise Fellows 2013

In 2013, Michigan became the first state to host a statewide social entrepreneurship competition! Take a tour with our group of Pure Michigan Social Entrepreneurship Challenge finalists, and see how they're changing the world!

Michigan Corps

on 10 June 2014

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Transcript of Michigan Corps Social Enterprise Fellows 2013

The Great Lakes contain 20% of the world’s fresh water. Jim Olson and Liz Kirkwood have made it their mission to protect this invaluable natural resource. They do this by delivering policy and education programs that provide community leaders with tools and resources to incorporate public trust ideas into their decisions. These decisions affect not only our water, but energy, food, and climate change here in our state!

Amanda Godward helps residents of southeast Michigan live more comfortable and healthy lives while minimizing their energy costs. She does this through her companies Ecotelligent Homes and Ecotelligent Buildings, which provide certified energy audits and efficiency solutions for homes and businesses. Amanda works with her customers to install energy efficiency improvements to help reduce their utility costs and environmental impact. Amanda won the 2013 Consumers Energy ‘Fostering Energy Affordability’ Prize for her work to help low-income residents of Detroit reduce their home energy costs!
Chris Blauvelt has succeeded in applying modern technology to an age-old problem. His is a solution that allows individuals to support local projects that need funds but are unsure where to turn. The company operates as a localized crowdfunding platform that enables anybody to make a difference in their community by supporting local businesses, organizations & events, while simultaneously offering them incentives to do so. They accomplish this by helping these local entities – for example a small business – raise capital through online donations for specific growth-related projects. In return for their support, the business offers value-added rewards to donors. Patronicity is designed to build vibrant communities by connecting local projects to local patrons Chris was awarded the 2013 Magic Johnson Millennial Social Innovator Prize through the 2013 Pure Michigan Social Entrepreneurship Challenge.

Amy Peterson and Diana Russell are two passionate and creative Detroiters. Together, they founded Rebel Nell, a company that creates defiant jewelry with a purpose. They use unique local materials to create beautiful designs. Not only this, but they employ disadvantaged women from the local community to create their bold styles. Their aim is to help these women transition from a life of dependence to one of self-reliance, overcoming barriers to employment through the fruits of their own labor.
Brenda Moore is a pioneer. When she opened her own coffee roasting business over 5 years ago, she was the first African American woman in the US ever to do so. Brenda now uses her experience and expertise to help women on welfare achieve the same transformational success that she did. She founded the Java Hope Project to help women build self-sufficiency through the operation of micro coffee carts. After successfully completing training, Java Hope participants apply for financing to acquire their own coffee carts, and go on to sell coffee at some of Java Hope’s biggest university, business and government clients. Through small-scale business training and support, the Java Hope Project not only lifts women out of poverty, but strengthens local communities in a big way. Brenda won a New Enterprise Idea prize through the 2013 Pure Michigan Social Entrepreneurship Challenge.

Gillian Henker’s DIIME is an emerging venture with an international reach. The organization creates four products for use within hospitals in the developing world. Their current efforts are centered on commercializing these products developed through research at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana. The team at DIIME has leveraged their expertise and the design process to create innovative medical devices that will aid in the delivery of safe and affordable healthcare in disadvantaged communities all over the world. DIIME won a New Enterprise Idea Prize through the 2013 Pure Michigan Social Entrepreneurship Challenge.
In 2013, Michigan became the first state to host a statewide social entrepreneurship competition! Take a tour with our group of Pure Michigan Social Entrepreneurship Challenge finalists, and see how they're changing the world!

Amanda Godward
Brenda Moore
Gillian Henker
Liz Kirkwood
Ten years after moving to his new home in Detroit’s Brightmoor neighborhood, Jeff Adams has started a new company to uplift his community. His business, P3 Enterprise, establishes urban hydroponic farms in under-utilized commercial structures. P3 Enterprise utilizes new technology to create indoor farming and fishery systems. The goal is to provide locally grown produce and fish to the community year round . Not only this, but the business will provide employment and entrepreneurial training to chronically unemployed adults and at-risk youth. Jeff has partnered with Green Spirit Farms to import growing technology to his first farm in a previously abandoned warehouse in the neighborhood.
Rich Daniels is changing the game of packaging in more ways than one. His company, RNS Packaging, has created a breakthrough packaging material made from corn that is 100% biodegradable and compostable. This product is a new alternative to the less environmentally friendly plastic air pouches, bubble wrap and Styrofoam peanuts. Rich also has an innovative and socially responsible approach to hiring. He has decided to help his fellow veterans by giving them employment and training opportunities through his own company. Rich was awarded a New Enterprise Idea prize through the 2013 Pure Michigan Social Entrepreneurship Challenge.
Access to healthy food in urban areas is a popular topic of discussion these days. Val Waller and her team are some of the people
something about it. Their company, Fresh Corner Café, is a mission-driven healthy food distributor formed in response to the troubling lack of access to high-quality healthy foods in Detroit. They work to connect an expansive network of neighborhood stores with a burgeoning local food supply in order to ensure that all Detroiters—including the 70,000 households that do not own a private vehicle—can easily and always access an affordable and delicious healthy meal. They employ a 10-person team and have sold over 25,000 healthy meals in the last 12 months. Fresh Corner Cafe was awarded an Emerging Organization Prize through the 2013 Pure Michigan Social Entrepreneurship Challenge.
Chris Blauvelt
Amy Peterson & Diana Russell
Jack Bidlack is breaking down the digital divide. His company, Digital Inclusion (DI), is providing youth from disadvantaged backgrounds with the resources they need to succeed in our digital society. The company provides technical training classes and refurbished computers at a significant discount. They sustain their operations by sourcing used computers for free from local companies and offering cost-effective system administrator services. Graduates of the program have the opportunity to use their newfound skills as budding entrepreneurs by providing technical support services in their communities. Digital Inclusion was recognized with an Emerging Organization Prize through the 2013 Pure Michigan Social Entrepreneurship Challenge.
Patrick Beal’s Detroit Training Center is going to meet the demand for locally trained workers brought about by the resurgence of the construction industry in Detroit. The Center offers customized vocational programs specifically tailored to meet individual, corporate, governmental and non-profit needs, and is geared toward helping chronically unemployed individuals re-enter the workforce. They offer all of the certification and licensing a worker in the construction, facility maintenance, or landscaping industries might require. This will ensure that Detroit’s own workers will gain employment in the construction of exciting large scale projects such as the M1 and the new Red Wings arena.

Patrick Beal
Jack Bidlack
Val Waller and Team
Jeff Adams
Rich Daniels
Thank you!
Learn more at http://michigancorps.org/TheChallenge
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