Aspire 2018 to Honor Central Ohio’s Social Enterprises on September 13

Central Ohio’s social enterprise leaders work tirelessly to impact the lives of others through innovative business models that value more than just profit. Join The Metropreneur in recognizing these efforts and connect with the social enterprise community at Aspire 2018 on Thursday, September 13 from 6 – 9 p.m. at The Roosevelt Coffeehouse, 300 E. Long St.

Network with social enterprise owners, resource providers and community supporters from 6 – 7:30 p.m. Programming begins at 7:30 p.m. with a keynote interview and audience Q&A session featuring Carter Stewart, managing director at The Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation.

Carter Stewart

Founded in 2002, The DRK Foundation is a global venture philanthropy firm supporting early stage, high impact social enterprises. The organization has provided funding and support to over 130 ventures, including Columbus’ own Ruling Our Experiences (ROX). In his role as managing director, Stewart serves on the board of ROX and identifies and supports DRK Entrepreneurs. The Metropreneur’s Susan Post will interview Stewart to learn more about the Foundation’s work, and discuss the growing social enterprise movement.

Aspire 2018 will also feature the sixth annual Social Enterprise of the Year Awards, presented by The Metropreneur and SocialVentures. Three awards will be handed out, recognizing operations in following categories:

  • Emerging Social Enterprise of the Year: local for-profit businesses, independent nonprofits or businesses of an existing nonprofit with a social mission operational for less than a year
  • Social Enterprise of the Year: small, local for-profit businesses or independent non-profits with a social mission operational for more than a year
  • Nonprofit Sustainability Award: local, for-profit businesses of any size that support the operations of a nonprofit

Three finalists will be recognized in each category, with a panel of judges featuring past award winners and members of the business community selecting the winners based on an application that evaluates the business’ mission and social impact. Learn more about this year’s finalists here.

A cash coffee bar will be available from The Roosevelt Coffeehouse, a social enterprise that donates a portion of its profits to support efforts that provide clean water, fight hunger and combat human trafficking. Light bites will be provided from Hot Chicken Takeover, winner of the Social Enterprise of the Year Award in 2017, with deserts from Food For Good Thought, an award winner in 2016.

Aspire is made possible with support from SocialVentures and Barnes & Thornburg.

Tickets are $10. For more information and to register for Aspire 2018, click here.