Wright State University’s Social Entrepreneurship Fund (SEF) is calling on all innovators who seek to make a transformative impact on the community.
With the goal of supporting innovative ideas regarding large-scale solutions to social problems that affect the greater Dayton area, the country and the world, the SEF is now accepting project proposals.
Projects selected through a committee review process should show promise for providing an innovative, large-scale and sustainable solution to a significant social problem. For two years, the SEF will fund the winning project.
“We want projects that will have a long-term impact,” said Kimberly Barrett, Ph.D., vice president for multicultural affairs and community engagement at Wright State. “The SEF provides funds to people who have innovative projects that address a longstanding social problem within the community at large.”
The feature that sets the Social Entrepreneurship Fund apart from similar programs is that all the money donated to the fund goes directly to the implementation of a specific project.
The SEF provides many other benefits in addition to the impact of providing financial backing for projects that aim to rectify pressing social issues, Barrett said.
“The SEF will offer support from experts connected to Wright State who can contribute their counsel, consultation and a deep knowledge in the area that the project is addressing,” she said. “From those in the fields of business, finance and program evaluation, to those involved in health care, urban planning and service learning—these people can help individuals implement and sustain the proposed project.”
The SEF acts as a vehicle for enhanced community engagement on the part of Wright State with the community and increased collaboration among community agencies and organizations working to improve the social condition of the community at large, as well as provide additional experiential-learning opportunities for students involving activities like service-learning, undergraduate research, internships and volunteerism.
“A broad range of people have expressed interest in our support, and we welcome all of them,” said Barrett. “Submitted projects in the past have focused on risk-prone youth in the community, others targeted environmental issues such as offering relief to areas struck by natural disasters, while other projects offered preventative health care to those who otherwise wouldn’t have it. The options are limitless.”
“When you look at the needs of the public and consider the common good, your goal should naturally be to address those issues,” said Barrett. “Create what you believe to be positive social change. Find sustainable solutions by partnering with community members.”
The SEF funded its first two projects last year. Recipients were Thomas Hangartner, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Biomedical, Industrial and Human Factors Engineering, who worked with students to construct low-cost medical equipment for developing countries; and Govind Bharwani, Ph.D., co-director of ergonomics and Alzheimer’s care in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, who designed customized therapies for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.
To learn about Wright State University’s Social Entrepreneurship Fund, contact Kimberly Barrett at (937) 775-5240 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To support Wright State’s Social Entrepreneurship Fund, contact Rebecca Cole at (937) 775-2852 or email@example.com.