Aspire 2016 to Celebrate Social Enterprises in Columbus on September 15

Social enterprises are impacting the Columbus community in many ways and The Metropreneur will honor those efforts at its second annual Aspire event on Thursday, September 15 at Studio 35, located at 3055 Indianaola Ave. The evening will feature an interview that will aspire social enterprises to new heights, a panel discussion to tackle the technical questions, and an award ceremony to honor the 2016 Social Entrepreneur of the Year, sponsored by Rotary District 6690.

Meet other business owners in the social enterprise space and the community that supports them with an hour of networking from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. Light refreshments will be provided with a special treat from Freshbox Catering, a social enterprise supporting Lutheran Social Services.

Programming will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a panel discussion moderated by Center for Social Enterprise Development President & CEO Allen Proctor. The panel will feature leaders of local non-profits sharing their experiences currently building social enterprises to support their organizations through the SE Catalyst program. Joining the panel are:

  • Joy Chivers, President & CEO, Gladden Community House
  • Teresa Trost, Executive Director, Community Shares of Mid Ohio
  • Robert (Bo) Chilton, CEO, IMPACT Community Action

The panel will be followed by a keynote interview featuring Joel Diaz, Chief Marketing & Community Affairs Officer at Equitas Health. Equitas Health is a non-profit community-based healthcare system supporting the LGBTQ community. In 2012, the organization opened the non-profit Equitas Health Pharmacy Columbus. Proceeds from the full-service drugstore support the Equitas’ mission and help prepare prevention, care, and treatment for HIV and AIDS.

Metropreneur Staff Writer Susan Post will interview Diaz about Equitas’ role in the community and how the pharmacy has helped to further their mission. The interview will also discuss the organization’s rapid growth and the increasing recognition of social enterprises in the broader business community.

The evening will conclude by recognizing the Social Entrepreneur of the Year in a ceremony led by C. Lee Smith of the Columbus Rotary. Four finalists will share details on their business and the impact they are making in the community. Click here to read more about this year’s finalists:

  • Art & Clay on Main
  • BESA
  • Food for Good Thought
  • Double Comfort Restaurant

Aspire will wrap up at 8:30 p.m.

Aspire is presented with support from The Center for Social Enterprise Development, Columbus Chamber of Commerce, ECDI and SalesFuel.

Aspire will run from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 15, 2016. Tickets are $10 and are available online via eventbrite. This event is expected to sell out in advance.