The University of North Carolina system is holding its fourth annual Social Entrepreneurship Conference February 16 on the campus of North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro.
The competition, sponsored by JPMorgan Chase & Co., asks teams of students from each UNC campus to assess unmet needs in their local communities, and then work collaboratively to develop new or improved ways of addressing those needs. Faculty and staff advisors, as well as representatives from campus-based offices of UNC’s Small Business and Technology Development Center, help provide context and insights into team business plans.The emphasis is on field research, written and oral communication, teamwork and creativity.
A record 46 teams—27 undergraduate, 15 graduate, and four competing in a special financial literacy category—will pitch their business ideas to a blue-ribbon panel of entrepreneurs, philanthropists, venture capitalists, business owners, journalists and nonprofit leaders in North Carolina.
The Social Entrepreneurship Conference is the largest event UNC General Administration organizes each year, and the only state-wide competition focused on social entrepreneurship.
Participating teams conduct research and develop their business plans in the months before the conference. During preliminary rounds, teams have four minutes to present their ideas a panel of judges, followed by another four-minute question session. In the afternoon, finalists in each category present to a second group of judges.
Attendees will also hear from speakers Colleen Briggs, executive director within the Office of Corporate Responsibility and Global Philanthropy at JPMorgan Chase & Co; Harold L. Martin, chancellor of NC A&T; Rodney Hood, relationship manager at JP Morgan Chase and UNC Board of Governors member; and Mikki Sager, vice president and director of Resources Communities at The Conservation Fund.