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U-M, Nonprofit Collaborate on Social Impact Challenge
Michigan Ag Connection - 01/12/2018

The seventh annual Social Impact Challenge will see U-M students focus on pop-ups that encourage neighborhood revitalization and small business development in Detroit.

The challenge is a partnership among the Stephen M. Ross School of Business' Center for Social Impact, the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, and the Detroit Economic Growth Corp.

The Center for Social Impact has hosted five previous challenges in Detroit, partnering with civic, community and nonprofit organizations to tackle pressing strategic issues in the urban environment.

In 2016, U-M students tackled strategic and operational questions to help launch Detroit PAL's Kids At the Corner Campaign in partnership with the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy, which involved the redevelopment of the historic field. In 2017, SIC worked with UM-Flint on entrepreneurship efforts in Flint, Michigan.

"It's great to be back in Detroit for this year's challenge, and pop-ups are a unique, cutting edge niche with great possibilities for the city," says Glenn Bugala, marketing manager for the Center for Social Impact.

"The opportunity to partner with my alma mater on meaningful social change in Detroit is very exciting," says Lily Hamburger, small business development manager at the Detroit Economic Growth Corp. and a U-M graduate. "We look forward to this partnership, and we trust that it will be mutually beneficial to DEGC, the city, and the students."

At the 2018 SIC Kickoff on Jan. 17, multidisciplinary student teams from across campus will be presented with a case statement and then will work together to find solutions that will be implemented on the ground in Detroit through key partners.

The winning team will receive $3,000 and the opportunity to put its plan into practice during the coming months. Second- and third-place prizes also will be awarded. Prizes this year are sponsored in part by U-M alumnus S. Scott Stewart, managing partner at Capitol Seniors Housing.

The SIC Kickoff will be at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 17 in Room 1210 of the Ross School. Students must register their teams by 9 a.m. that day. The SIC Finals are at 5 p.m. Feb. 6 in Ross R0220, and the final pitches and awards presentation is open to the public.

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