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Social Entrepreneurship Students Compete for $5,000 in Funding for Their Social Business Ideas

On Saturday, April 5, 15 students from the Social Enterprise Incubator (ESEC 699), the capstone course for the five-semester master's in Social Entrepreneurship and Change program (SEC), presented their business plans to a panel of 12 judges.Teams were required to make a business case for their social enterprise with the top two finishing teams each receiving $3,000 and $2,000, respectively, to implement their plans.

Each group had 20 minutes to set up, present, and answer questions from the judges. Students received both positive and negative feedback about the presentations before the winners were announced.

Judges included GSEP faculty and staff; SEC alumni; Dr. Susan Rice, secretary, Pepperdine University Board of Regents, and GSEP adjunct professor; and several leaders in the nonprofit industry including Katie Burnham Laverty, Founder and CEO of the Society for Nonprofits and Learning Institute. The competition was held at the West LA Graduate campus.

First place: Amy Bawden (team leader), Nicole Raden, Priscilla Perez
The Crossing is an employment agency that trains and places current and former foster youth ages 16 to 24 in part-time, temporary, and permanent jobs in the hospitality industry with the purpose of establishing long-term careers.

Second place: Mindi Aleme (team leader), Brittany Chin-Lee, Mark Tandiawan
The Streetlight Learning Center is a non-governmental organization offering cost-effective tutoring services to 50 in-school students and 50 out-of-school students in 6th and 7th grade living in the Jemmo Condominium neighborhood of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. The services are designed to help students return to school and pass their national exams.

Group 3: Erica Davis (team leader), Shannon Briggs, Rahniesha Lewis
Heroes to the Core: Discovering the Hero Within is a nonprofit that will be offering a Saturday empowerment program for high-school aged black male youth (ages 14-18).

Group 4: Tameeka Neblett (team leader), Cindy Munoz, Ganna Priadko
J J Mandy Outreach provides services to people who are living on the streets in Midtown, Manhattan. The goal is to provide personalized extended assistance for individuals who have been denied prior services for varying reasons.

Group 5: Juan Carrillo (team leader), Hollie Stenson, Preston Lindsay
Ambitious Ales, a microbrewery, aims to become a catalyst in community development by providing unique beer that brings people together and a tasting room that becomes a hub of community partnerships.