UVU’s Social Summit Conference Assists Entrepreneurs
August 20, 2012
For Immediate Release
University Marketing & Communications: Mike Rigert (801) 863-6807
Written by: Cheryl Kamenski (801) 863-6351
Nearly 200 nonprofit leaders and aspiring social entrepreneurs attended Utah Valley University’s inaugural Social Summit conference Aug. 16, at the downtown Provo Marriott Hotel to gain information from a variety of speakers and workshops on grant writing, nonprofit management, social entrepreneurship and fundraising.
“This is part of our effort to give back to the community and engage with the social sector which does so much to serve Utah,” said Luke Peterson, UVU’s director of corporate and community partnerships. “We offer many services to those who serve our community and we are looking to do even more.”
The conference highlighted UVU resources available to nonprofits and social enterprises including interns, service-learning courses and specialized training through the UVU Business Resource Center.
The summit also included the Social Innovation Contest with which a dozen aspiring social entrepreneurs received intensive training through UVU’s Social Innovation Fellowship program, vying for the chance to win a $5,000 seed grant along with institutional resources and office space in UVU’s Business Resource Center.
“These social entrepreneurs benefit the community in a host of ways from arts programs that engaging the elderly to assisting homeless in developing professional and life skills,” Peterson said.
The contest included two weeks of training on business plan development, marketing, performance management, fundraising and social innovation. Upon completion of the workshops, finalists pitched their refined business plan to a panel of experienced funders and entrepreneurs at the Social Summit conference.
The judges selected Saeko Logsdon of Teens ACT, a nonprofit that mentors high-risk high school students and prepares them for college, to receive the contest’s prize.
“I am so grateful for the funding, and I plan to put it to good use in helping expand and improve our curriculum in addition to assisting our fundraising efforts so more teens can benefit,” Logsdon said. “The training we received will also help me review our organization and improve our strategy. I learned so much from the expertise of the speakers and by interacting with the other contestants. This event is a great benefit to nonprofit organizations.”
Utah Valley University is located in Orem, Utah, and is home to more than 33,000 students. UVU began as a vocational school during World War II, and in the seven decades since has evolved into a technical school, community college, state college and, finally, a comprehensive regional teaching university. UVU is one of Utah’s largest institutions of higher learning and offers programs ranging from career training to high-demand master degrees, with emphasis on undergraduate education.