Finalists Announced for 2015 Social Entrepreneur of the Year Awards

Five finalists have been selected for The Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award sponsored by The Metropreneur and Rotary District 6690. Each social enterprise will have the opportunity to give a brief presentation on their mission at aspire2015. The event will celebrate and educate business owners and social entrepreneurs from Central Ohio, featuring a keynote interview, resource panel discussion and culminating in the awards ceremony.

This year’s finalists include:


Candle With a Cause

Candle With a Cause has made something as simple as buying a candle into a way to support the community. CWC teams with local non-profits to donate 25 percent of the sales from their locally made, sustainable candles to the partner organization. The social enterprise is on the brink of nationwide growth and wants to keep the locality of its product as they go, teaming with local non-profits wherever candles are sold.

logos-pearlPearl Interactive Network

This certified women-owned social enterprise is helping groups like veterans, disabled veterans, military spouses, individuals with disabilities and people who live in geographically challenged areas find gainful employment. Pearl Interactive Network staffs contact centers giving top priority to these groups of individuals. While their home base is in Columbus, Pearl has grown to 450 employees across 26 states.

logos-rooseveltRoosevelt Coffeehouse

Downtown’s Roosevelt Coffeehouse uses every cup of coffee to fight against social injustice. As a non-profit, the coffee shop guides their profits to organizations supporting clean water initiatives and fighting against hunger and human trafficking. The more coffee Roosevelt sells, the more they can help.


Hot Chicken Takeoverlogos-hct

The spicy chicken joint has gone from small Olde Towne East pop-up to a permanent part of bustling North Market. They couldn’t have done it without making really, really good chicken, but the business model plays just as important of a role – and has garnered an equal amount of attention. HCT offers second-chance employment and a number of other programs to help their employees grow personally and professionally.

logos-packh2oPack H2O

Pack H2O is addressing the global water crisis one specially designed water backpack at a time. The pack makes it easier to transport water and comes with features like a removable liner that can be sanitized in sunlight, a puncture-proof outer shell and dispensing spout. All it takes is $10 to donate a pack to one of Pack H2O’s campaigns that have helped communities in over 20 countries.


Aspire 2015 will be held from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. at Studio 35 on Thursday, October 29, 2015. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit