Conference on Friday Will Focus on Social Entrepreneurship

March 17, 2009 — Several student-run organizations at the University of Virginia concerned with international development are joining forces for a conference on Friday focusing on social entrepreneurship.

The conference, titled "The Power of Social Entrepreneurship and International Development: How You Can Make a Difference in the Global Community," starts at 10 a.m. in Old Cabell Hall Auditorium and is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be available.

The Global Development Organization, Student Entrepreneurs for Economic Development (SEED) and Engineering Students Without Borders teamed up with the Arts & Sciences Council and University Programs Council to hold the conference.

"Our aim is to educate and excite the University and Charlottesville communities about social entrepreneurship and sustainable development work," said SEED internal vice president Cheryl Kong, a fourth-year student at the McIntire School of Commerce. SEED was started in 2008 by McIntire students.

The conference will feature three social entrepreneurship professionals: Meg Lundsager, U.S. executive director at the International Monetary Fund; Katharine McKee, senior adviser for policy, outreach and aid effectiveness at the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor; and Blair Miller, talent manager at the Acumen Fund, a nonprofit that addresses global poverty with entrepreneurial solutions.

"We're thrilled to be able to share the ideas and experiences of three leaders in the field of social entrepreneurship," Kong said.

Following the speakers' presentations, a poster-board session in the Old Cabell foyer will showcase student research and student-led projects in global development from across the University. Beginning at 12:30 p.m., selected students will give 10-minute presentations on their development work. The conference runs until 2 p.m.

The first 1,000 conference attendees will receive a copy of "The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between the Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World" by Jacqueline Novogratz, founder and CEO of the Acumen Fund.

For information, contact Molly Tansey at mpt7s@virginia.edu.