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Stages of Social Innovation Growth

  • Tuesday, February 11, 2014
  • 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Worcester State, Student Center, Blue Lounge


  • Advance registration please.
    College/University ID required at check-in.
  • Advance registration please.
    College/University ID required at check-in.

Registration is closed

Four CEOs, four companies, four approaches to successful social entrepreneurship.

The Venture Forum meeting, on February 11, will be hosted by Worcester State University's Center for Social Innovation, will feature four CEOs from companies that are challenging the paradigms of entrepreneurship. These corporate leaders demonstrate how unorthodox approaches can support a business model that not only generates revenue, but also enhances the daily lives of individuals around the world.  Come hear their stories of inspiration, struggle and persistence that brought them to where they are today.

Don’t just come to listen – engage in a conversation about social entrepreneurship and the pursuit of innovative solutions to social problems. There will be Q&A sessions after each speaker’s brief presentation.

This meeting will be held in the Blue Lounge of the Student Center at Worcester State University on Chandler Street in Worcester.  See the WSU Campus Map.


Ted Barber is co-founder of Prosperity Candle L3C, a social enterprise launched in 2010 to help women in places like Haiti and Iraq rebuild their lives through entrepreneurship and economic opportunity.

For the past decade, his focus has been how businesses can better complement the work of governments and nonprofits to alleviate poverty. From 2001 to 2009, Ted worked on enterprise development projects in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Haiti funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development. Prior, he founded and managed for over a decade an import and trade consulting company sourcing consumer products from 6 countries for major U.S. and Canadian retailers.

Kate Emery Kate Emery is founder and CEO of The Walker Group, a technology services firm she started over 20 years ago and now one of the largest of its kind in New England. In 2007 Kate restructured Walker to a Social Enterprise, changing its mission from maximizing shareholder profits to maximizing social contribution. Among other restrictions and commitments, any profits distributed by Walker must be split equally between employees, the community, and shareholders.

Kate is also the founder of reSET, the Social Enterprise Trust whose mission is to promote, preserve, and protect Social Enterprise. She has also started an investment fund to provide seed capital to new and expanding social enterprise. Kate Emery is a graduate of UCONN’s business school where she graduated Magna Cum Laude and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where she earned her Master’s Degree in Management Information Systems. Kate serves on the Board of reSET, the Connecticut Technology Council, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Hartford.

Jodi Rosenbaum is the Founder and Executive Director of More Than Words. More Than Words (MTW) is a nonprofit, social enterprise that empowers youth who are in the foster care system, court involved, homeless, or out of school to take charge of their lives by taking charge of a business. Jodi has more than 15 years’ experience working with youth in the juvenile justice system, public schools and youth development field, including with Teach For America.  Jodi has a political science degree from Emory University with a focus on juvenile justice policy and a master’s in education in risk and prevention from Harvard and has taken supplemental coursework in Business and Social Enterprise at Harvard and MIT.  She has served as a guest speaker at numerous universities and conferences.  She serves on boards of both the Arlington Area and Massachusetts State Department of Children and Families as well as the Mass. Chapter of the Social Enterprise Alliance (SEA).  She received the 2009 “Next Generation” award from the Social Enterprise Alliance, the 2010 Advocate of the Year from The Providers’ Council, and the 2010 “Rising Star” Award from Germaine Lawrence.  MTW received the People’s Choice Award at the 2007 SEA Conference and was selected as a Social Innovator in 2009 by the Social Innovation Forum. MTW was also recently selected for the 2012 Innovation award by the Smaller Business Association of New England (SBANE) out of more than 250 nominations. 

Nathan Rothstein, is one of the co-founders at Project Repat. Repat is creating jobs in the USA by turning your favorite t-shirts into t-shirt quilts. Since starting in July 2012, Repat has prevented over 350,000 t-shirts from getting dumped in landfills and created 30,000 hours of fair wage work in the USA. Project Repat has been featured in the Boston Globe, Fast Company, Entrepreneur Magazine and the Huffington Post.


The Venture Forum -- 306 Main Street, #400 -- Worcester, MA 01608 innovation@theventureforum.org

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