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Aspire 2019

September 18, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Celebrate Social Enterprise in Central Ohio at Aspire 2019 on September 18
Aspire returns on Wednesday, September 18 from 6 – 9 p.m. at the social enterprise Roosevelt Coffeehouse and Long Street Studios, 300 E. Long St. The annual event presented by The Metropreneur brings the social enterprise community together to connect, learn and honor some of the area’s most impactful social enterprises through the Social Enterprise of the Year Awards.

Network with social enterprise owners, resource providers and community supporters from 6 – 7 p.m. Programming begins at 7 p.m. with a panel discussion on hiring individuals with barriers to employment. Moderated by The Metropreneur’s Susan Post, the panel features leaders and owners of social enterprises actively employing the formerly incarcerated, victims of human trafficking, adults with disabilities and more. Panelists include:

Jacquie Mahan, Founder & CEO – The Awesome Company
Harley Blakeman, Co-founder & CEO – HonestJobs.Co
Sheila Kendrick, Director of Human Resources – CleanTurn
Paula Haines, Executive Director – Freedom a la Cart

aspire 2019 how to hire second chance people

Panelists will provide insights on their employment models, share why they do what they do, and discuss the additional considerations, programming and services they provide unique to their populations. The audience will also have the opportunity to ask additional questions.

Aspire 2019 will also feature the seventh annual Social Enterprise of the Year Awards presented in partnership with The Metropreneur and SocialVentures. Three social enterprises will be honored, 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 18 months

Nonprofit Sustainability Award: local, for-profit businesses of any size that support the operations of a nonprofit

Social Enterprise of the Year: small, local for-profit businesses or independent non-profits with a social mission operational for more than a 12 – 18 months

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. Finalists for the 2019 awards will be announced on The Metropreneur.

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. Food will be provided by clients of ECDI’s social enterprise Food Fort. The Food Fort gives business owners the freedom to develop their own unique culinary masterpieces, network with other entrepreneurs, and establish their markets at their own pace with an exhaustive set of resources and services. Since launching in 2011, the Food Fort has created more than 350 jobs.

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


September 18, 2019
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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The Metropreneur
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The Roosevelt Coffeehouse
300 E Long St
Columbus, 43215 United States
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