Tag Archive for Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship

Youth, Business, Healthcare Discussed at Africa Innovation Summit

Wesleyan's African Students Association hosted an Africa Innovation Summit Nov. 7 in Daniel Family Commons.

Wesleyan’s African Students Association hosted an Africa Innovation Summit Nov. 7 in Daniel Family Commons.

Hirut Mcleod ’00, a management consultant at The World Bank, delivered the keynote address. Mcleod has experience coaching leaders at all levels in Africam Asian and the Balkan region. She served as elected alumna trustee of the Wesleyan Board of Trustees from 2012-2014.

Hirut Mcleod ’00, a management consultant at The World Bank, delivered the keynote address. Mcleod has experience coaching leaders at all levels in Africam Asian and the Balkan region. She served as elected alumna trustee of the Wesleyan Board of Trustees from 2012-2014.

Patricelli Seed Grant Winners Share Project Progress

Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship Seed Grant recipients Oladoyin Oladapo '14 and Kwaku Akoi ’14 are spending the summer in New York running a social venture called JooMah, a web and SMS platform that helps African employers find talent and connects job seekers with opportunities. The recent alumni, and other members of the JooMah team have been conducting market research, building connections, honing their own business-related skills and are currently launching their service in Ghana. Oladapo '14 is JooMah's chief operations officer and Akoi is the chief executive officer.

Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship Seed Grant recipients Oladoyin Oladapo ’14 and Kwaku Akoi ’14 are spending the summer in New York running a social venture called JooMah, a web and SMS platform that helps African employers find talent and connects job seekers with opportunities. The recent alumni, and other members of the JooMah team have been conducting market research, building connections, honing their own business-related skills and are currently launching their service in Ghana. Oladapo ’14 is JooMah’s chief operations officer and Akoi is the chief executive officer.

In March, the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship awarded three student-led social ventures with a Seed Grant. Student representatives from each group received $5,000 in unrestricted startup funds as well as trainings, advising, mentoring, incubator workspace, and other resources from the Patricelli Center.

This summer, the students are putting their grants to good use.

Students Receive Patricelli Center Grants, Priebatsch Summer Internship

This month, five Wesleyan students received Summer Experience Grants, supported by the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship. The honor comes with a $4,000 stipend to supplement costs associated with a summer internship experience.

The grants are available for Wesleyan sophomores and juniors currently receiving need-based financial aid who plan to do socially innovative or socially responsible work during summer break.

The recipients include Theodora Messalas ’15, Dara Mysliwiec ’16, Keren Reichler ’16, Geneva Jonathan ’15 and Jared Geilich ’15. In addition, film major Aaron Kalischer-Coggins ’15 received a Priebatsch Internship Grant. All grantees report on their experiences on the Patricelli Center’s ENGAGE blog.

Theodora Messalas

Theodora Messalas ’15

Sociology major Theodora Messalas is working with a food pantry, soup kitchen and women’s homeless shelter called Crossroads Community Services in New York City, exploring ways to implement successful social services in which the needs and preferences of the end-users are paramount.

“I am interested in finding out exactly how Crossroads is run in the hopes of one day spearheading my own similar organization,” Messalas said. “I want to see firsthand how they have translated the desire to provide food and shelter to underserved New Yorkers into a running operation that can actually get these services to people. I want to see all their successes, and I want to get to know the roadblocks that they meet.”

Biology and earth and environmental studies major Dara Mysliwiec is addressing food sovereignty in Lamas, Peru, using sustainable – and previously lost – indigenous farming techniques

Patricelli Center Awards 3 Student-Led Social Ventures

BUKO founder Joaquin Benares '15 explains BUKO components to teachers in the Philippines.

BUKO founder Joaquin Benares ’15 explains BUKO components to teachers in the Philippines. Benares recently received a Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship Seed Grant.

Three student-led social ventures are the winners of the 2014 Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship Seed Grant Competition. Student representatives from each group will each receive $5,000 in unrestricted startup funds as well as trainings, advising, mentoring, incubator workspace, and other resources from the Patricelli Center.

Recipients were selected from a strong pool of finalists who submitted written business plans and pitched to a panel of expert judges comprised of alumni, students, faculty, and staff. Applicants were assessed on their project design, leadership qualities and potential for social impact.

”We are thrilled to support the early development of these three breakthrough projects, led by extraordinary emerging social entrepreneurs,” said PCSE co-chair Lara Galinsky ’96. “Their ideas will address education in the Philippines, job access in Africa, and environmental sustainability in the United States. [The projects] have considerable promise and potential for impact.”

BUKO-300x99The 2014 PCSE Seed Grant finalists are:

Patricelli Center’s Seed Grant Finalists Announced; Final Pitch Feb. 28

Wesleyan’s Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship announced the finalists for its 2014 PCSE Seed Grant Competition.

These $5,000 awards are intended to fund the launch or early stage growth of a Wesleyan-connected social enterprise, project, program or venture. Last year’s winners used the seed funding to launch a grant-funded community supported agriculture effort in Middletown, work with incarcerated youth in Chicago, advocate for farmers’ working conditions in Bali, and scale up the MINDS Foundation and Maji Safi Group, two Wesleyan-borne social enterprises.

This year’s finalists will pitch their projects at a public event from noon to 1 p.m. Feb. 28 in Exley Science Center Room 121. All members of the Wesleyan community are invited to attend.

BUKO-300x99The 2014 PCSE Seed Grant finalists are:

BOUNDLESS UPDATED KNOWLEDGE OFFLINE by Joaquin Benares ’15.
Boundless Updated Knowledge Offline (BUKO) aims to bring the video lectures, e-textbooks, and other online education tools to those who need them most.

FILMMAKERS TO CHANGEMAKERS by Victor Goh Jin Chieh ’16, Mia Deng ’17, Jacob Sussman ’17 and Hans How ’17.
Social enterprises maximize their social impact by publicizing their cause to increase awareness and attract donations and volunteers. Video marketing is a powerful tool that entrepreneurs, activists, and institutions should utilize; however, video production services are highly cost-prohibitive. We are a student-run film production company that seeks to address this problem by matching student filmmakers with clients that want to use video in their cause marketing strategy at an affordable rate.

Patricelli Center Awards 22 Grants, Offers 36 Events in 2012-13

Two years after its founding in May 2011, Wesleyan University’s Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship (PCSE) is becoming a hub of activity by supporting students and alumni interested in creating and sustaining programs, businesses, and organizations that advance the public good.

During the 2012-13 academic year, the PCSE offered 36 events featuring 30 alumni and five students, awarded 22 grants to 44 applicants, provided bi-weekly student counseling hours to dozens of  undergraduates, and added more than 30 alumni volunteers to its growing network.

2012/2013 highlights include:

  • Five $5,000 Seed Grants were awarded to individual students or student teams with plans for a new venture or a scaling up of an existing enterprise.
    • Evan Okun ’13 will launch a new program with Circles and Ciphers, a leadership development organization in Chicago that fuses restorative justice practices with hip-hop culture to empower and support predominantly young African-American and Latino males.
    • Hailey Sowden ’15 and Kate Enright ’15 will launch The Middletown Food Project, a subsidized, low-cost, community-supported agriculture (CSA) program for low-income families in Middletown, Connecticut.

Newman’s Own Foundation Supports Patricelli Internships

The Newman’s Own Foundation awarded Wesleyan’s Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship a $30,000 grant on June 17. The award will fund grants for students doing unpaid internships or other extra-curricular experiences in social justice, corporate responsibility, international development, and related fields.

13 Students Awarded Patricelli Center Seed Grants

The Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship is pleased to announce its 2013 Seed Grant and Internship Grant recipients.

The PCSE Seed Grant program was launched this spring.  Individuals and teams of students competed for $5,000 prizes intended to provide capital to help Wesleyan students launch their socially-oriented project or idea and/or build capacity of their existing social enterprise. The winners are:

Circles and Ciphers

Evan Okun '13

Evan Okun ’13

Project Leader: Evan Okun ’13
Description: This grant will fund a project in Chicago with a leadership development organization that fuses restorative justice practices with hip-hop culture to empower and support predominantly African-American and Latino males, ages 14-23.

Evan says, “Programs that seek to reengage system involved youth are often punitive and paternalistic. Ciphers (a circle of rappers) dismantle traditional power dynamics by setting all participants on an equal playing field. From there, compassionate and progressive discourse can arise. It is an honor to get to work with Circles & Ciphers, a profoundly effective and forward-thinking program.”

The Middletown Food Project
Project Leaders: Hailey Sowden ’15 and Kate Enright ’15
Description: This grant will support the creation of a subsidized, low-cost, community-supported agriculture (CSA) program for 20 low-income families in Middletown using Long Lane Farm on Wesleyan’s campus.

The MINDS Foundation

Rehan Mehta ’14

Rehan Mehta ’14

Shyam Desai ’15

Shyam Desai ’15

Project Leaders: Shyam Desai ’15 and Rehan Mehta ’14
Description: This grant will support The MINDS Foundation, which was founded at Wesleyan by Raghu Appasani ’12, and works to increase access to mental health care and education and reduce economic stress and social stigma around mental illness in rural India

Rehan’s and Shyam are both from India and are passionate about mental health issues. They say that “working with The MINDS Foundation has been the perfect opportunity to combine these two parts of our identities and to have a huge impact on our community. The MINDS Foundation has already sponsored the treatment of over a hundred mentally ill patients in the second phase of our program, and the Patricelli Seed Grant is going to allow us to begin our next phase, which will provide vocational training to some of those patients who have made progress, allowing them to gain employment and help support their families.”

Sustainable Social Metrics for Big Tree Farm
Project Leaders: Nina Gerona ’15
Description: This grant will fund a data collection project for Big Tree Farms, a supply-chain farming company in Bali, which will assess and improve living standard for Big Tree farmers.

Kingsley to Direct Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship

Makaela Kingsley

Makaela Kingsley

Makaela Kingsley will become director of the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship.

Makaela (Steinberg) Kingsley graduated from Wesleyan in 1998 with a degree in neuroscience and behavior. After a brief stint doing public relations for the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, she returned to Wesleyan in 2000 to join the alumni and parent relations team in University Relations.

During the past 13 years, she has collaborated with colleagues in U.R. and across campus, as well as students and alumni. For the past two months, she has been serving as interim director of the Patricelli Center.

Her short-term goal is to expand Patricelli’s existing services and offer top-notch, high-impact workshops and trainings, networking and advising services, and grant administration. Looking to the future, Kingsley will explore additional ways to support students, in particular through faculty and academic engagement and research.

“My personal commitment to social innovation and human rights combined with my experience as a Wesleyan student, alumna, and staff member drew me to the Patricelli Center,” Kingsley said. “I am thrilled to have this opportunity to support Wesleyan students and alumni interested in creating and sustaining programs, businesses, and organizations that advance the public good. Through our workshops, networking, and grants, the Patricelli Center will cultivate and strengthen the spirit of social entrepreneurship and civic engagement that is already deeply ingrained in the Wesleyan culture.”

McCarthy ’75 Leads Social Entrepreneurship Boot Camp

 Stephen McCarthy ’75 speaks in the Patricelli Center on March 28.

Stephen McCarthy ’75 speaks in the Patricelli Center on March 28.

“Being called a salesperson is not a perjorative term,” said Stephen McCarthy ’75. McCarthy, senior vice president of KCG Capital Advisors and co-founder of Wesleyan Alumni in Philanthropy and Public Service, led 10 students in a “Social Entrepreneurship Boot Camp” March 28 at the Patricelli Center.

The session on “business plan essentials” covered what it takes to sell an idea, get funding and launch a project. McCarthy stressed the importance of knowing your audience when pitching ideas, leveraging funding to attract new investors, lining up advisors and measuring success.

He also sampled and critiqued proposals he is currently reviewing for the N.Y.U. Stern School of Business $200K grant competition, and encouraged aspiring Wesleyan entrepreneurs to study that type of competition to learn what funders are looking for in start-ups.

The boot camp is the first in a series of sessions designed to foster social entrepreneurship sponsored by the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship, Wesleyan Alumni in Philanthropy and Public Service (WAPPS) and the Wesleyan Career Center. To learn more, follow the Engage blog at  http://engageduniversity.blogs.wesleyan.edu.

Fellow Pellegrino ’12 Encourages Wesleyan Community to Become Civically Engaged

Dana Pellegrino '12 is the Civic Engagement Fellow for the Center for Community Partnerships and the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

Dana Pellegrino ’12 is the Civic Engagement Fellow for the Center for Community Partnerships and the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship. (Photo by Olivia Drake)

Q: Dana, you’re Wesleyan’s first Civic Engagement Fellow. How do you describe your role?

A: As the Civic Engagement Fellow, I focus on promoting civic engagement throughout the entire university, with students, faculty and staff. While the focus may be broad, I mainly work with two specific centers: the Center for Community Partnerships, under Director Cathy Lechowicz, and the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship, under Director Paul Gagnon. At CCP, I’m primarily involved in informing students about the many opportunities for immediate impact here in Middletown, and in assisting student coordinators of the Office of Community Service’s programs. We’re also developing ideas for tapping into other networks and social media platforms to increase awareness and communication among CCP, students, and the Middletown community. With the Patricelli Center, I help students with more global-minded engagement, including opportunities for grants, workshops in entrepreneurial skills, and networking with alumni. Both offices offer an incredible amount of resources.

Q: What are some recent ways you’re helping Wesleyan students become “civically engaged?”

A: Just before Thanksgiving, my director, Cathy, and I rounded up students from all different groups on campus — fraternities, athletic teams, program houses — to assist in the Middletown Community Thanksgiving Project. Students came by throughout the day to help assemble Thanksgiving Dinner baskets for over 500 families in our community. Not only were Wesleyan students presented with the opportunity to civically engage in combatting food insecurity,

Galinsky ’96 Leads Workshop for Patricelli Center

Megan Cash ’14, center, and Hannah Lewis ’13, at right, enjoyed an opportunity to speak with Lara Galinsky ’96 after her seminar for the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship. "The workshop was such an amazing opportunity," Cash says. "I'm thrilled that I was able to meet other people passionate about entrepreneurship." (Photo by Cynthia Rockwell)

Lara Galinsky ’96, senior vice president of Echoing Green, a nonprofit social venture fund that supports emerging social entrepreneurs, was on campus April 20 to lead a workshop, conversation, and networking reception on concepts presented in her book, Work on Purpose. Guided questions helped participants—students, parents, and members of the community—identify potential fields. Galinsky’s goal is to help those in search of a meaningful career locate alignment between “head” (talents, education) and “heart” (passions)—a recipe that creates “hustle”—the energy and stamina to develop a program that effects change.

The evening offered participants opportunity to share ideas individually in front of the gathering as well as network in small groups. Raghu Appasani ’12, founder and CEO of the MINDS Foundation, which seeks to eliminate the stigma and provide resources for those suffering from mental illness in developing countries, found the evening to be beneficial as he prepares for life after graduation: “The new Patricelli Center really opens the doors for Wes alums from the nonprofit/social sector to get involved and bring their skills to the table. Lara’s Venn diagram activity was very useful (writing our head, heart, and merging into a purpose). It really got me in a state of detachment from the chaos and stress of the world and just thinking about what is really in my heart and head.”

Paul Gagnon, the internship and civic engagement coordinator with the Career Center, noted that this was the second guest speaker program with the Patricelli Center since its inception and the feedback he received was tremendously enthusiastic.

For her part, Galinsky was enthusiastic, as well. “It was extraordinary to be on campus; Wesleyan students and alums are among the most inspiring people I meet,” she said. “They encompass a rare combination of extreme smarts, boldness, entrepreneurial spirit and a strong moral compass.

“I left Wesleyan that evening with more hope for a better world—with their visions, passion, and drive, I know the world is in good hands.”

More information on Lara Galinksy’s book, Work on Purpose, is online