Hiram College students and prospective students put their ideas into action at the College’s first annual Changemaker Weekend from Feb. 27-March 1, 2015.
Tigress, a social enterprise accelerator for young women based out of the Cleveland/Akron area, hosted the workshop, which was aimed at empowering women to make a change in the world. Hiram’s Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship and Office of Campus Involvement co-sponsored the event.
The three-day workshop included personal discovery activities, discussions about social issues and problems, idea generation and product presentation. The young women split into groups to work on social enterprise business concepts. A social enterprise is a business, such as TOMS Shoes, that makes a social impact, but uses a business model to keep it sustainable, rather than relying on charitable donations.
Workshop participants’ ideas included enterprises that would improve event communication on college campuses, raise mental health awareness, raise domestic violence awareness and combat police brutality. After spending time researching and discussing amongst themselves, the young women presented concepts to the group, and many left with the desire and intent to continue pursuing their social enterprise in the real world.
Alison Tanker, founding director of Tigress, led the workshop. She regularly hosts Changemaker workshops for middle school, high school and college-aged women. Kay Molkentin, director of the Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship, said workshop participants gained a lot of insight about themselves, entrepreneurship and the world, and that many of the students’ ideas have the potential to come to fruition.
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