Traverse City Record-Eagle

February 3, 2013

Business in Brief: 02/03/2013


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Social entrepreneurship

ANN ARBOR — The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Michigan Corps and Great Lakes Entrepreneur's Quest are launching the Pure Michigan Social Entrepreneurship Challenge, the nation's first statewide social entrepreneurship competition.

The Challenge invites individuals and teams to submit plans for an emerging entrepreneurial idea or replicable model from an existing organization for sustainable social change in a wide range of areas including, but not limited to, urban revitalization, environment, health and education.

Participants in the new Challenge track offered through will benefit from financial support, including more than $50,000 in potential cash prizes, access to impact investors and consideration for special program opportunities including cash awards for Community Ventures-eligible companies. Participants will also have access to mentorship, networking and resources tailored to social entrepreneurs.

Beginning Feb. 4, social entrepreneurs are invited to complete an application at to begin their participation in the Challenge. Applicants will then have immediate access to coaches and special events to support the preparation of their submission before the May 20, 2013 deadline. A Social Entrepreneurship Showcase and Pitch event will take place on June 18 at GLEQ's Entrepreneur Connect event in Lansing.

To learn more, visit

For more information, contact Michigan Corps Director Elizabeth Garlow at

Reservations open

MACKINAC ISLAND — Mackinac Island hotels are now accepting reservations for the 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference, taking place May 29-31.

The 2013 conference will feature national experts who will challenge influential decision-makers to work collaboratively in order to create a globally competitive, financially attractive business environment in Michigan. Speakers and sessions will spur a comprehensive dialogue on culture, education and the 21st century global market. Among this year's speakers are: Michelle Rhee, founder and CEO of StudentsFirst and Former Chancellor, District of Columbia Public Schools; Joe Scarborough, host, MSNBC's "Morning Joe"; and former U.S. Congressman Mika Brzezinski, co-cost, MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

A conference registration confirmation is required to reserve a room at the island hotels.

For more information, visit

Growing business

PETOSKEY — The Northern Lakes Economic Alliance is introducing a Service Provider Program to provide businesses with financial assistance for a variety of projects aimed at helping them grow.

Funding is available to assist businesses with capacity-building projects such as website development, accounting system setup, legal entity issues, software development and marketing programs. These services can be provided at a fraction of the normal cost because of the relationship NLEA has with service providers, who agree to supply a particular service at a reduced cost.

Funding is available because of grants from the Community Endowment Fund and the Maude and Gorton Milliken Fund of the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation and the Charlevoix County Community Foundation (CCCF). Both community foundations have provided significant support to NLEA's Entrepreneurial program in the past.

Here is an example of how the Service Provider Program works: A business needs $2,000 to create a website. A $1,000 discount is agreed to by a service provider, bringing the cost down to $1,000.

Half of the remaining balance is paid by the business, with NLEA paying the rest with foundation funds.

NLEA is a regional public/private economic development organization serving Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan and Emmet counties. For more information, contact Entrepreneurship Director Tom Erhart at 582-6482 or

Job fairs slated

TRAVERSE CITY — Several regional organizations are partnering to provide area employers and job seekers an opportunity to network, explore career and educational opportunities and showcase new technology.

Auto & Diesel Technicians Night is set for Tuesday, Feb. 5, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Northwestern Michigan College Aero Park Campus, Parsons-Stulen Building. For more information, visit

The Career-Tech Center College & Career Fair is Tuesday, March 5, from 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at 800 Parsons.

Call 922-6278 for more details.

The NMC Career & Employment Fair is set for 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday, March 7, at the Hagerty Conference Center, 715 E. Front.

More details are at

An IT Career & Job Fair is Tuesday, April 9, from 3-5 p.m. For more information, call 929-5046.

On Tuesday, April 23, a Hiring our Heroes Veterans Event will run from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Hagerty Conference Center. More information is available at

Participating organizations include NMC, Northwest Michigan Works!, Northwest Michigan Council of Governments, Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District and Ferris State University.