Aspire 2020 – A Virtual Celebration of Social Enterprise in Central Ohio

A global pandemic won’t stop the celebration of social enterprise in Central Ohio! For its sixth annual event, Aspire will be going virtual in 2020, debuting on Wednesday, September 30.

The coronavirus pandemic has helped to highlight the important role social enterprises play in the community. Focused on making an impact before, during and after a global pandemic, as businesses of all shapes and sizes have faced immense challenges, local social enterprises have forged on, continuing to carry out their missions, or finding new ways to step up and serve the community.

Those stories will be highlighted through the eighth annual Social Enterprise of the Year Awards presented in partnership with SocialVentures. Two awards will be handed out during Aspire 2020.

The Social Enterprise of the Year Award recognizes social enterprises of any structure with a social mission and demonstrable impact, that have also helped to give social enterprise a name as a way to do business in Central Ohio.

The finalists for the Social Enterprise of the Year Award are:

  • Besa Promise
  • Fortuity Calling
  • Mod Squad

The Social Enterprise Coronavirus Pivot Award recognizes social enterprises that made a significant shift or pivot in their operational model to continue to support the community and make an impact during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The finalists for the Social Enterprise Coronavirus Pivot Award are:

  • L.A. Catering
  • The Roosevelt Coffeehouse & Coffee Roasters
  • Zero Waste event productions

Learn more about the finalists for this year’s awards here.

During the virtual event, attendees will hear from the leaders of each social enterprise about their mission and how they have continued to navigate the current business landscape. A panel of judges featuring past award winners and members of the business community will select a winner for each award based on an application that evaluates the business’ mission and social impact.

Rebecca Dray

Rebecca Dray, Executive Director of Society Profits, will join Aspire 2020 in a keynote interview with The Metropreneur’s Susan Post. Dray will share more about Society Profits’ Social Enterprise certification criteria and what it means to be a social impact business. Dray will also discuss the concept of social procurement and what happens when businesses and individuals are supporting social enterprises at scale.

Aspire 2020 will make its virtual debut at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 30. Additional details about how to watch the event will be released in the coming weeks.

Aspire 2020 is made possible with support from SocialVentures, Barnes & Thornburg and ECDI.

Aspire will be a donate-what-you-can event, with a suggested donation of $5. Those who donate $15 or more will be eligible to win a Social Impact Box from SocialVentures, featuring products from local social enterprises. All ticket registrations support The Metropreneur’s mission to highlight Central Ohio’s small business and entrepreneurial community without charging a paywall for our readers.

To register for the virtual event, click here.