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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
social entrepreneurship, impact investing, philanthropy
and corporate social responsibility.

Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Social Entrepreneurship

This category includes articles about social entrepreneurs, typically about businesses with a for-profit model with a social mission embedded into the fabric of the business.

Impact Makers Makes the Inc. 500 for the 3rd Year

Ranks No. 463 on the 2014 Inc. 500 with Three-Year Sales Growth of 1,024%

Richmond, Virginia, August 20, 2014 – Inc. magazine ranked Impact Makers No. 463 on its Inc. 500, an exclusive ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The list represents the most comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy—America’s independent entrepreneurs.

Impact Makers’ rank is based on three-year sales growth of 1,024%. This is the third consecutive year that Impact Makers has made the list. In 2013, the company ranked 514th with 887% growth and in 2012, the company ranked 360th with 1,030% growth. This growth is especially significant due to the company’s social entrepreneurship model: Impact Makers is a for profit company but has no shareholders and contributes all profits to local charities.

“Impact Makers is honored to be named to the Inc. 500 for the third year,” says CEO and founder Michael Pirron. “This three-peat proves that companies can be doing well while doing good. Impact Makers is successful because of our model, not despite it. We create goodwill for clients and economic value through social impact.”

A founding Certified B Corporation, Impact Makers also was honored for the second year in a row as a ‘Best for the World’ company by the nonprofit B Lab, for creating most overall positive social and environmental impact.

“These two distinctions show Impact Makers success by both pure capitalist metrics and also by social enterprise standards, where we have been successful at making a community impact,” says Pirron.

Founded in 2006, Impact Makers is a management and technology consulting company, providing Management and IT Consulting, Program and Project Management, Digital Services, Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) and Healthcare Solutions.

See Impact Makers’ Inc. 500 profile: http://www.inc.com/profile/impact-makers.

To see the complete Inc. 5000, visit: http://www.inc.com/inc5000/index.html.

About Impact Makers

Impact Makers is a management and technology consulting company based in Richmond, Virginia. We provide Management and IT Consulting, Program and Project Management, Digital Services, Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) and Healthcare Solutions. We are a for profit company whose corporate charter requires us to contribute 100% our net profits to local nonprofits. For more information, visit www.impactmakers.com.

About Inc.

Founded in 1979 and acquired in 2005 by Mansueto Ventures, Inc. is the only major brand dedicated exclusively to owners and managers of growing private companies, with the aim to deliver real solutions for today’s innovative company builders. Total monthly audience reach for the brand has grown significantly from 2,000,000 in 2010 to over 6,000,000 today. For more information, visit www.inc.com.

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Bridge 2014: High Tech Entrepreneurship in Iran: Opportunities and Challenges

[Berkeley, CA] — For the first time, seasoned entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley and Iran will convene to explore the opportunities and challenges of high tech entrepreneurship in Iran and its impact on the country’s ongoing economic development. Bridge 2014 [www.bridge2014.org] will raise awareness about the critical need to build educational bridges and promote the culture of “Entrepreneurs without Borders”.

The Bridge 2014 conference (September 6, 2014 at the UC Berkeley Wheeler Auditorium) is predicated on the notion that the promotion of entrepreneurship and innovation is the indispensable key to sustainable growth. This gathering will be part of a global effort to draw attention to “High Tech Entrepreneurship in Iran: Opportunities and Challenges.” This tagline represents the Bridge 2014 vision of calling upon change makers and thought leaders both in Silicon Valley and Iran. According to Kamran Elahian, Chairman and Co-Founder of Global Catalyst Partners, “We believe Silicon Valley and Iran’s thought leaders can empower aspiring young entrepreneurs that are striving to make a difference in this world.” “We envision this conference to be a precursor to future international events where highly accomplished executives will coach/mentor their aspiring counterparts from Iran.”

Conference participants will educate each other about the issues impacting high tech entrepreneurship in Iran, the prevailing conditions in the country that deviate from the “global innovation model,” and the steps that should be taken to reduce this gap. Bridge 2014 complies with sanctions and corresponding laws. According to Kamran Elahian, “During this gathering, these key influencers with diverse backgrounds will share their vision, experiences, and perspectives for creating a better world through the power of innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit. This conference explores the role of high tech in economic development: “where change is the catalyst and choice is unlimited”.

The issues that will be explored in this educational conference include: the attraction of venture capital, cultural attitudes towards entrepreneurs’ failure, existence of innovation clusters, the ease of starting businesses, and the availability and accessibility of mentors and role models. According to Dariush Zahedi, Director of the Berkeley Program on Entrepreneurship and Development in the Middle East, “We will examine the circumstances under which high tech entrepreneurship and innovation can emerge as engines of inclusive growth, reducing the country’s dependence on extractive industries, expanding the size of its middle class, reversing the flight of capital, and promoting the circulation of the brain-drain.”

Bridge 2014’s activities are hosted and sponsored by UC Berkeley. More than thirty companies, non-profit organizations and community leaders have provided support and donations for this event. For the list of sponsors, please see: www.bridge2014.org/donation

About Bridge 2014

Bridge 2014 – “High Tech Entrepreneurship in Iran: Opportunities and Challenges” conference and additional activities, including subsequent conferences, research and publications are under the supervision/auspices of the UC Berkeley Program on Entrepreneurship and Development in the Middle East: bped.berkeley.edu

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C. Wonder, Fashion Project and Look Good Feel Better Partner to Make Fashion a Force for Good and Benefit Women with Cancer

C. Wonder offers customers an opportunity to donate gently used clothing items through Fashion Project, with proceeds from the resale going to help improve the self-esteem and quality of life of women undergoing cancer treatment

(Boston, MA) – August 20, 2014 – C. Wonder today announced a partnership with Fashion Project, the leading online clothing donation and resale destination, to raise awareness and funds for Look Good Feel Better, a public service program dedicated to helping women living with cancer manage the appearance side effects of treatment and thereby improve their self-esteem. The promotion runs through Thursday, September 18, at eleven C. Wonder stores nationwide and online at www.fashionproject.com/cwonder.

Donate to Help Women Look Good and Feel Better

Here’s how consumers can get involved and join us in making fashion a force for good:

  • During the four-week clothing drive, consumers are encouraged to donate gently used clothing, shoes, and accessories at participating C. Wonder locations or online at www.fashionproject.com/cwonder.
  • Customers who participate by donating items will receive 20% off a C. Wonder purchase of $100 or more.
  • The donated items will then be sold online by Fashion Project. Fifty-five percent of the proceeds from each online sale will be donated to Look Good Feel Better.

“Giving back and bringing happiness to every corner of life is not only an integral part of our brand DNA; it is also very meaningful to our customers. The opportunity to partner with Fashion Project and Look Good Feel Better to help women dealing with the challenging appearance side effects of cancer treatment regain confidence, hope and a sense of self is a win/win for everyone,” remarked Harlan Kent, CEO of C. Wonder.

To celebrate the partnership, C. Wonder will host events at each of the eleven participating locations on Wednesday, August 27 from 6:00-8:00 PM featuring light bites, sips and styling tips. Ten percent of the sales at participating C. Wonder stores that evening will be donated to Look Good Feel Better. Additionally, any guest attending will receive 20% off their purchase during the event. Participating locations include:

  • The Summit, Birmingham, AL
  • Easton Town Center, Columbus, OH
  • SoHo, New York, NY
  • The Shops at Columbus Circle, New York, NY
  • Lenox Square, Atlanta, GA
  • King of Prussia Mall, King of Prussia, PA
  • The Gate at Manhasset, Manhasset, NY
  • Roosevelt Field, Garden City, NY
  • Walt Whitman Shops, Huntington Station, NY
  • The Fashion Mall at Keystone, Indianapolis, IN
  • Fashion Valley, San Diego, CA

“C. Wonder is a brand that understands a huge part of looking good and feeling good is giving back,” says Anna Palmer, CEO of Fashion Project. “We couldn’t be happier to bring these two organizations together to make a difference in the lives of people in need.”

The appearance changes women undergo while coping with cancer treatment – like beauty itself – are far more than skin deep. These changes can impact a woman’s self-esteem, sense of confidence and hope at a time when she needs them the most. Look Good Feel Better offers free workshops and other educational resources that teach beauty and styling techniques to women who are undergoing cancer treatment to help them manage the appearance side effects, including hair loss and skin changes.

“We are thrilled to team up with C. Wonder and Fashion Project to raise awareness and funds for Look Good Feel Better,” says Louanne Roark, Executive Director of the Personal Care Products Council Foundation, the originator, and one of three national collaborators that work together to make Look Good Feel Better available nationwide. “We are proud to offer our beauty and styling resources to women going through cancer treatment entirely free of charge and it is through support from consumers, the cosmetic industry, beauty professionals, and generous corporate partners such as C. Wonder and Fashion Project, that make that possible.”

To learn more or donate, visit: www.fashionproject.com/cwonder.

About C. Wonder

C. Wonder offers women’s clothing, footwear, jewelry and accessories; housewares and home decor, great gifts, and delightful surprises at every turn. Our design teams create a wide-ranging assortment of beautiful, versatile and spirited products for all areas of our customer’s life. C. Wonder is one of several lifestyle and consumer products brands being developed by J. Christopher Burch, founder and CEO of Burch Creative Capital, an entrepreneur and active investor across a wide range of industries for nearly thirty years. Mr. Burch has been a strategic investor in multiple technology and luxury brands, including Aliph (Jawbone), NextJump, PowerMat, Voss Water and Tory Burch. C. Wonder currently operates 30 stores across the country and three stores in the Middle East, in addition to a full-service e-commerce boutique. Additional stores will open across the country and internationally in 2014 and beyond. For more information or to shop online, please visit: www.cwonder.com.

About Fashion Project

Fashion Project is the industry leader in online clothing donation. Since its founding in 2012, Fashion Project has worked with over 300 non-profit partners and powered donation programs for the Council of Fashion Designers of America, Joie, Milly, Helmut Lang, and more. By focusing on maximizing the value of every item donated, Fashion Project can raise up to 100x than an average thrift store. For more information on Fashion Project, visit www.fashionproject.com.

About Look Good Feel Better

The U.S. Look Good Feel Better program is a collaboration of the Personal Care Products Council Foundation, a charitable organization established by the Personal Care Products Council, the leading national trade association representing the global cosmetic and personal care products industry; the American Cancer Society, the nation’s largest voluntary health organization dedicated to saving lives from cancer; and the Professional Beauty Association, the largest organization of salon professionals with members representing salons/spas, distributors, manufacturers and beauty professionals. For more information about Look Good Feel Better free workshops and other services available across the country, visit www.lookgoodfeelbetter.org.

Look Good Feel Better® is a registered trademark of the Personal Care Products Council Foundation.

Donations from special promotions mentioned herein will go to the Personal Care Products Council Foundation to benefit the Look Good Feel Better program.

The Personal Care Products Council Foundation, the American Cancer Society, Inc. and the Professional Beauty Association do not endorse any specific products and/or services.

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LIVESTRONG Foundation Gift to Dell Medical School Allows UT Austin to Surpass $3 Billion Campaign Goal

AUSTIN, Texas — With a $50 million gift from the LIVESTRONG Foundation to the Dell Medical School, The University of Texas at Austin has exceeded its goal of raising $3 billion during the eight-year Campaign for Texas.

This gift will be used to establish the LIVESTRONG Cancer Institutes, an innovative enterprise designed in collaboration with cancer patients and survivors to break new ground in patient-centered care by developing and promoting innovative teaching practices and research.

“The LIVESTRONG Cancer Institutes will bring to the Dell Medical School the cause of patient-centered care that has been at the heart of the foundation’s work since its beginning 17 years ago. I am so thankful to LIVESTRONG and so excited about the groundwork this lays within the Dell Medical School,” said University of Texas at Austin President Bill Powers. “Revolutionary advances will flow from this partnership. Lives will be saved, and lives will be made far better because of the LIVESTRONG Foundation’s generosity and strategic vision.”

Building upon the years-long effort to bring a world-class medical school to Central Texas, this landmark contribution from the LIVESTRONG Foundation demonstrates the innovative advancements that underscore the mission of the Dell Medical School. The school was launched after Travis County voters elected in 2012 to increase their property taxes, in part to support the medical school and make Austin a center for comprehensive cancer care. The Dell Medical School will enroll its first class of students in the summer of 2016.

“Our partnership with The University of Texas’ Dell Medical School will allow the LIVESTRONG Cancer Institutes to reach more patients, not just here in Texas but around the world, as we create a replicable and scalable model of care that’s centered on the needs and lives of patients,” said Doug Ulman, LIVESTRONG Foundation president and CEO. “This is not about new buildings, but rather about radically shifting a culture of care to be more inclusive, providing care for all who need it. The Institutes are a game-changer for us and a game-changer for the cancer community.”

The Campaign for Texas has enabled The University of Texas at Austin to foster student success and build on the university’s standing as one of the best public research universities in the nation.

The more than $3 billion that the university has received in gifts, pledges and donations is the most ever by a higher education institution in Texas and among the largest amounts raised by a public university in the U.S. in a single campaign. The campaign ends Aug. 31.

Collectively, 260,000 students, alumni, faculty members, staffers and friends and more than 12,000 organizations have contributed to this milestone, making gifts both large and small to support the university’s teaching and research missions in every area from the sciences and engineering to medicine and health care, education and leadership, business and the economy, policy and law, and the arts and humanities.

This $50 million gift epitomizes many of the values behind the Campaign for Texas, empowering the university to conduct world-changing research, pioneer new areas of educational excellence and transform the lives of thousands of individuals. UT Austin and LIVESTRONG will advance the treatment and quality of life for cancer patients and survivors in ways that will make a difference in Central Texas and that can be replicated all over the world.

Created in 1997, the LIVESTRONG Foundation is known for providing free cancer support services and advocating for policies that improve access to care and quality of life. The foundation has served 2.8 million people affected by cancer and raised more than $580 million to support cancer survivors.

“We have an enormous opportunity to design the Dell Medical School from the ground up around the challenges and opportunities of 21st century health care. The innovations that start here truly will change our community and the world,” said Dr. Clay Johnston, dean of the Dell Medical School. “The LIVESTRONG Cancer Institutes show how innovative and important our work can be. We can do more than heal — we can improve the process of healing. This important gift will help us do just that.”

President Powers will announce the gift at a news conference on Tuesday, Aug. 19 at 10 a.m. in The Lee Hage Jamail Academic Room (Main 212) in UT Austin’s Main Building. The announcement will be broadcast live on the Web, with video streaming at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/utaustin.

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Introducing unitedteach.com to Make Classrooms More Engaging

Boston, Massachusetts – Aug 4, 2014  – United Teach (http://unitedteach.com) is a platform where virtual volunteers join K-12 classrooms and help teachers inspire kids to learn. Student engagement is the single most important success factor in learning, and guest speakers are a proven way to increase engagement in the classroom.

Volunteer without leaving your desk.

United Teach makes volunteering easy. Volunteers specify the maximum amount of time they’re willing to volunteer (the minimum is one hour per year), their favorite subjects (hundreds of topics to choose from range from simply reading books to astronomy, for rocket scientists). Once registered, the volunteer is displayed to teachers looking for a speaker with their expertise. Teachers email volunteers to discuss their needs, and assuming a good fit, schedule time for the volunteer to join the class via video chat.

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United Teach is the second platform for startup educational technology company CrowdWorks, Inc. CEO David Bebko, a former Google marketing executive, explains, “when a class is learning about marine biology, online learning resources such as videos, articles, and games are fantastic. Nothing though beats a live dialog with a marine biologist. We’re launching United Teach to amplify the ability for these human connections to occur more often.”

Registration opens today, special offer for early volunteers.

Volunteer registration opens today, and the first 10,000 volunteers will receive an exclusive invitation to nominate their favorite school to receive the service free of charge for the entire 2014-2015 school year. Normally, the annual subscription for the service is $12 per class. Depending on the number of teachers, your registration could be a gift worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars to a school.

Registration for teachers is currently invite-only, and will open to all schools on September 15. “We have a chicken and egg challenge with these types of platforms” explains Bebko. “If teachers register and there are no volunteers, they may not come back. We have a number of teachers who will be testing the sessions over the next 45 days, but the platform will be fully operating after September 15.”

About CrowdWorks, Inc.

CrowdWorks is a pioneer in crowdlearning – applying the rapidly growing crowdsourcing model to education. CrowdWorks was founded in 2013 by a group of education and technology experts who recognize the continued importance of human-to-human interaction in the learning process. The company’s first platform, www.fluentlee.com, is used today by language learners in more than 110 countries. The company is headquartered in Boston, with an office in Singapore.

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DripDrop Secures $5.6 Million in Equity Financing To Accelerate Development and Continue to Drive Availability in Retailers and Hospitals

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (August 14, 2014) – Today, DripDrop, the first great tasting medical-grade rehydration solution, announced that it has closed a $5.6 million round of financing. Investors include funds affiliated with owners of the San Francisco 49ers, Seth Taube of Medley LLC, and legendary American rock musicians Sammy Hagar, Joe Satriani, and Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead.

“We are pleased to support DripDrop, a Bay Area company, in their efforts to speed the delivery of this unique product to multiple audiences,” said Brano Perkovich, Managing Director of Aurum Partners LLC, an investment arm of owners of the 49ers. “As owners and managers of a prominent sports franchise, we are able to quickly recognize the potential for this investment.”

The new financing will support DripDrop’s continued national rollout to retail pharmacies and hospitals, following DripDrop’s recent placement on the shelves of more than 100 H-E-B stores, the family-owned retailer with stores in Texas and Mexico. Further national retailers will be announced in the coming weeks, expected to bring DripDrop to the shelves of more than 15,000 retail locations nationwide.

“When Eduardo Dolhun first witnessed the transformative nature of Oral Rehydration Solutions (ORS) in immediately treating dehydration, even he did not recognize how many different communities could benefit from these solutions, ” said Doug Wolf, CEO, DripDrop. “Not only will this investment help accelerate DripDrop’s availability on retail shelves nationwide, but the funds will also speed delivery to hospitals as a simple and cost-effective replacement for IVs, which are currently in short supply.”

Dr. Eduardo Dolhun is a Mayo Clinic trained family physician that developed DripDrop after witnessing the efficacy of ORS during humanitarian efforts abroad. DripDrop is the first great tasting medical-grade rehydration product available to everyone over the counter — from those who want to maintain hydration levels ongoing, to those experiencing dehydration. Before DripDrop, medical-grade hydration solutions either tasted terrible, or required intravenous delivery. DripDrop’s precise ratio of ingredients meets the international health community’s standards to treat and prevent dehydration, while maintaining a taste profile similar to a sports drink. It has two to three times the electrolytes and half the calories of most sports drinks, and no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

About DripDrop

DripDrop is the first Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) to combine medical standards of rehydration therapy and excellent taste. Our patented scientific formula improves upon international ORS standards, conforming to proven ratios of salts, sugars, potassium, and other ingredients. DripDrop precisely combines all those ingredients to maximize both taste and efficacy; this golden ratio of ingredients means DripDrop absorbs faster and hydrates better than water and other hydration solutions. DripDrop’s innovative formula has been adopted early on by an elite group of users including Stanford University Medical Center, The Mayo Clinic, UCSF Medical Center, leading national pharmacies, US Special Forces, Olympians and top-flight athletes. To find a store location or for more information, visit www.dripdrop.com.

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Patxi’s Dedicates Learning Center at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging

Educational Programs to Expand, with New Camps, Scholarship Programs and Community Outreach Planned

(San Francisco, Calif.) Patxi’s Pizza, the Bay Area brand famous for its commitment to philanthropy, community outreach and causes benefiting children’s health, education and wellness, today announces the Patxi’s Pizza Learning Center at The Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato.

Patxi’s CEO and Buck Institute Advisory Council member Bill Freeman said, “Given our mission of supporting children’s education and welfare and the educational focus on the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) curriculum, the Buck Institute for Research on Aging was the perfect partner. Working towards a healthy life span for the children of today is a great way to ensure the world’s future. We’re very excited about the programming and opportunities the Patxi’s Pizza Learning Center will offer the Bay Area community and beyond.”

“We are thrilled that Patxi’s Pizza is making this commitment to children – to encourage their interest in science and to get involved in their own health,” said Brian Kennedy, PhD, President and CEO of the Buck Institute. “We love it when kids get an opportunity to interact with our scientists and we look forward to expanding our programs so we can reach more of them.”

The Patxi’s Pizza Learning Center is a 1400 square foot, fully-equipped, colorful, kid-friendly demonstration space for K-12 students, college students and life-long learners. State-of the art microscopes and cell culture allow students to do hands-on experiments that go well beyond typical school-based science classes. Learning Center activities are often tied to the science of healthy aging, encouraging children to be proactive in maintaining life-long health.

Patxi’s is working with the Buck Institute to develop special summer camps and scholarship programs to reach underserved children who would not generally have opportunities to be immersed in science. Plans are also being made for additional community outreach through Patxi’s restaurants.

There will be a private ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, August 12 at 12 Noon for the Patxi’s Learning Center at the Buck Institute. 

Currently, through their 52 Weeks of Giving program, Patxi’s donates a portion of its profits to local nonprofit organizations dedicated to education and children’s health and welfare – totaling over $450,000 in donations to date. With the additional donation to the Buck Institute and the programming that will soon follow, Patxi’s now has the opportunity to make a difference in even more children’s lives.

Patxi’s (pronounced pah-cheese. ‘t’ before ‘x’) began as a labor of love for old friends and now business partners William Freeman and Francisco “Patxi” Azpiroz. The brand recently celebrated its 10th Anniversary. From their first location in Palo Alto, which is still operational, the duo has built the business into a successful, growing brand with thirteen restaurants spanning three states. With nine locations in the Bay Area, a thriving three-store operation in Denver, and a newly opened Seattle outpost, Patxi’s is set up for even more giving in the years to come.

ABOUT PATXI’S PIZZA

Founded in 2004 by two longtime friends, entrepreneur Bill Freeman and pizzaiolo Francisco “Patxi” Azpiroz, Patxi’s Pizza offers authentic deep dish and thin crust pizza, featuring two distinct, handcrafted styles of dough, four types of mozzarella (including a vegan option) and over 30 different fresh meat and veggie toppings. Guests may choose from a number of Patxi’s signature pizzas or are invited to “Create Your Own Perfect Pizza,” made with ingredients sourced locally whenever possible.

Patxi’s Pizza is privately owned and operated with a total of 12 locations: 9 in the San Francisco Bay Area, 3 in Denver, CO, and 3 new location openings planned for 2014, including expansion to Seattle and Santa Barbara. Patxi’s Pizza was ranked #6 in the Food & Beverage Industry by Inc. Magazine’s Top 100 Hire Power Companies of 2013. Esquire Magazine named Patxi’s among the Top 10 “Most Life-Changing Pizzas” of 2012, and Westword deemed Patxi’s the Best Deep Dish Pizza in Denver in 2014. www.patxispizza.com.

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Starving Artists No More

SDSU is launching a Music Entrepreneurship and Business Program unlike anything else in the country.

The new program will provide SDSU’s music students with a strong foundation that will allow them to thrive as entrepreneurs.

By Beth Downing Chee

This fall, San Diego State University is launching a Music Entrepreneurship and Business Program that is believed to be the first of its kind in the country.

Open to students in all music disciplines, from classical voice to jazz and composition, the Music Entrepreneurship and Business Program is a professional bachelor of music degree with a specialization in entrepreneurship.

Developed as a partnership between SDSU’s College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts and the College of Business Administration, the program embeds 15 units of entrepreneurship classes ranging from the Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship to Creativity and Innovation, Social Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurial Finance, in addition to business course electives.

Empowering musicians

“Most students come into the music program wanting to be a performer, but the reality is that it’s a highly competitive field that may not fully support their ambitions from a career standpoint,” said Donna Conaty, associate dean of SDSU’s College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts.

“This program will empower these music majors to be leaders and have the confidence — and practical skills — to be successful entrepreneurs, opening more doors to them as they pursue their love of music.”

Several universities across the country offer programs combining music entrepreneurship and business, but they are geared for musicians in more specialized areas such as commercial music. SDSU’s Music Entrepreneurship Program is the only one available to any artistically qualified student, said Conaty, allowing students to meld their passion and purpose with significant experiences that enable their future development into cultural entrepreneurs and leaders.

The entrepreneurship track will be an addition to the 72 units of music coursework required for a music degree and will be tailored to meet the individual needs of each student.

Entrepreneurial campus

“San Diego State University prides itself on the entrepreneurial spirit that can be found across campus and it is so exciting for us to be able to bring this experience to music students,” said Alex DeNoble, executive director of SDSU’s Lavin Entrepreneurship Center, who has been working with Conaty to design the Music Entrepreneurship and Business program.

“More than just a curricular experience, the program will also provide co-curricular activities such as internships, mentorships, competitions and community outreach that will take this experience beyond the classroom into something so much more valuable,” DeNoble continued.

Only the beginning

Since many SDSU graduates stay in the region, Conaty believes graduates of the music entrepreneurship and business program will bring highly desirable skills into the community, whether forming their own enterprise, working as arts organization leaders, teaching music, working for non-profits and finding unique ways to use their musical and entrepreneurial talent.

The first cohort of music entrepreneurship students will meet when school begins August 25.

“I am curious to see which students are drawn to this program,” DeNoble said. “It will be exciting to find out who they are, why they joined and what we can do to help them succeed.”

This is only the beginning, said DeNoble, who envisions that this program may inspire other departments across campus such as design, theater and film to embrace entrepreneurship, strengthening career opportunities for students who are passionate for areas outside of business.

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First Lady Michelle Obama and Former First Lady Laura Bush Host Symposium with Spouses on Advancements for Women and Girls in Africa

On August 6, 2014, the Office of First Lady Michelle Obama, the George W. Bush Institute, and the U.S. Department of State will host Investing in Our Future at the U.S. – Africa Leaders Summit.

The day-long symposium will bring together First Lady Michelle Obama, Mrs. Laura Bush, African first spouses from nearly 30 countries, leaders from non-governmental and non-profit organizations, private sector partners, and other leading experts.

The symposium will highlight the important role first spouses play and will focus on the impact of investments in education, health, and economic development through public-private partnerships. This collaboration builds on the Bush Institute’s 2013 African First Ladies Summit, Investing in Women: Strengthening Africa, held in Tanzania.

Coinciding with President Obama’s U.S. – Africa Leaders Summit, the symposium will feature the following panels and U.S. speakers:

  • Welcome remarks by First Lady Michelle Obama;
  • A conversation between Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Laura Bush moderated by Cokie Roberts;
  • Remarks by President George W. Bush announcing the expansion of the Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon® initiative and the important role of national leadership, including that of a first spouse, in galvanizing a country to fight against women’s cancers;
  • Remarks by Dr. Jill Biden introducing a presentation and panel discussion focusing on the transformative benefits of investing in girls’ education;
  • A second panel discussion highlighting how key stakeholders – including the private, public, and non-profit sectors in technology, agriculture, and health – are improving the lives of women through entrepreneurship to advance Africa’s development.

The pooled press portions of the program will be livestreamed at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/us-africa-leaders-summit and http://www.bushcenter.org/live.

In addition, throughout the day, organizations will announce commitments to new initiatives and partnerships dedicated to empowering and benefitting women in Africa.

Anthony Hamilton and the Soul Children of Chicago will provide musical performances.

The day-long symposium will conclude with a marketplace and networking reception to showcase a select group of organizations and companies supporting women and girls in Africa.

Additional program participants include: Ambassador Cathy Russell, U.S. Department of State; Shelly Esque, Intel Foundation; Ann Cotton, Camfed International; Dr. Sara Ruto, Uwezo; Reeta Roy, The MasterCard Foundation; Madame Aicha Bah Diallo, Foundation for African Women Educationalists (FAWE); Isha Sesay, CNN International; Noa Gimelli, ExxonMobil; Neha Misra, Solar Sister; Kay Kuenker, DowAgroSciences; Damaris Achieng Odeny, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT); Deb Elam, GE Foundation; Bernard Olayo, M.D., Center for Public Health and Development; and Maggie Sans, Walmart Foundation.

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