2014 SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP CONFERENCE TO BE HELD AT A&T

Students from The University of North Carolina system campuses will converge at North Carolina A&T State University on Friday, Feb. 28, in the Alumni-Foundation Event Center to compete in the 2014 Social Entrepreneurship Conference.

The conference is a business plan competition sponsored by Wells Fargo.

“The conference and the competition is an initiative by the UNC system. The idea is to have student use their skills to develop (and) solve social and environmental problems in the local community,” said Thaddeus McEwen, professor in the department of management and coordinator of the entrepreneurship program.

In late 2013, 40 graduate and undergraduate teams from the UNC campuses were selected to participate in the conference. Undergraduate students were charged to create a business plan that will impact social objectives in North Carolina. Graduate students were assigned a non-profit organization in the state and were asked to develop a business plan that would create a new service or product or help the non-profit create a new revenue-generating product.

“Typically students see entrepreneurship from a profit perspective. What the conference and competition does is (it) provides students with (the) experience to creatively pursue opportunities in the social arena while providing valuable services to non-profits,” McEwen said.

Last year’s conference was held at North Carolina A&T and attracted more than 500 participants. Graduate student winners will receive $5,000, $3,000 and $1,000 for first second and third place while undergraduate winners will receive $3,000, $2,000 and $1,000. Prize money can be used towards creating a business or for education purposes. Co-founder and CEO of TerraCycle, Tom Szaky, will give the keynote address. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and winners will be announced by UNC President Tom Ross at 3 p.m.