WOU: The Oregon Social Business Challenge

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Student Leadership and Activities

The Oregon Social Business Challenge

Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus, creator of the microcredit concept, will visit Portland on Oct. 1, 2012 for a special event in conjunction with the Oregon University System. Dr. Yunus will deliver a speech at the Portland Convention Center and will also judge an unusual competition, the Oregon Social Business Challenge.

This challenge will convene a broad conversation about higher education meeting the economic, social, and environmental needs of our state. University student teams from across Oregon have been challenged to develop business solutions to pressing local and state issues. As part of the Oregon University System's statewide economic development and partnership efforts, this event is an exciting opportunity to showcase the outstanding talent and innovation of Oregon students. The challenge will bring together economic development interests from all regions of the state to hear Yunus' social business concept of combining business know-how with the desire to improve quality of life. The students application of these ideas will be judged, and winners will be announced at the end of the day-long conference.

  • Registration for teams from Aug. 1 to Sept. 14, 2012
  • WOU to pay for the $10 registration fee for participants
  • Teams of up to 15 (but two to six is most likely)
  • Using the idea of social business and microcredit, solve a social challenge that exists in a community in Oregon. Using that social business solution with that idea and propose that concept in competition.
  • Teams will need to generate a two-page plan as well as a five-minute presentation with no more than 5 PowerPoint slides. The plan is due September 24.
  • October 1st at the Portland Convention Center - the plans will be presented between 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
  • We will work to find faculty partners with teams to develop the social business ideas.
  • All participants will receive copies of Muhummad Yunus' book, courtesy of the OUS System.
  • Work on it during the summer, teams can be from student organizations, classes, or just groups of students committed to solving issues in society.
  • Competition will be against other teams from other Oregon universities and colleges.
  • Participants will have a chance to hear Dr. Yunus speak, meet local and state dignitaries, network and more. It will be a great networking opportunity for students!
  • The potential exists that teams' ideas may actually get funded and teams will have the chance to actually have their proposals implemented!
  • Teams have 100% latitude on what issue to tackle and where to go with it.
  • Keep an eye on this website for more information relevant to WOU

Interested Western students can get more information regarding the competition by contacting Jon Tucker at 503-838-8063 or tuckerj@wou.edu. More information on the entire day's events can also be found at http://secure.ous.edu/socialbusiness.


Student Leadership and Activities 503-838-8261 | or e-mail: wucofc@wou.edu

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