From emerging operations, to long-established businesses, a growing number of social enterprises are tackling some of society’s biggest challenges through innovative business models. The Metropreneur will once again celebrate local businesses’ socially-minded efforts at Aspire 2017 on Thursday, September 14, 2017 from 6:00 – 9 p.m. at The Roosevelt Coffeehouse, 300 E. Long St.

Connect with local social enterprise owners, as well as the community and resource providers that support them during networking time from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. Programming begins at 7:30 p.m. with a keynote interview discussing the importance of social impact investing with Bryce Butler, Managing Partner of Access Ventures. The Louisville-based investment firm works with organizations of all sizes, from startups to enterprises, to provide financial and human capital into companies, initiatives, and ideas that enable human flourishing. Locally, the firm has invested in Hot Chicken Takeover and was instrumental in bringing Kiva to Columbus.

Aspire 2017 will conclude with the fifth annual Social Enterprise of the Year Awards presented by The Metropreneur and SocialVentures (formerly the Center for Social Enterprise Development). This year’s awards will recognize social operations in three categories:

Emerging Social Enterprise of the Year: small, local for-profit businesses with a social mission operational for less than a yearSocial Enterprise of the Year: small, local for-profit businesses with a social mission operational for more than a yearNonprofit Sustainability Award: local, for-profit businesses of all sizes that support the operations of a non-profit

Three finalists will be announced in each category, with a panel of judges featuring past award winners and members of the business community selecting the winners based on an application that evaluates the business’ mission and social impact.

A cash coffee bar will be available from The Roosevelt Coffeehouse, a social enterprise that donates a portion of its profits to support efforts that provide clean water, fight hunger and combat human trafficking. Light appetizers will be provided, as well as desserts from Food for Good Thought, winner of the 2016 Social Enterprise of the Year Award.

Aspire is made possible with support from SocialVentures and the Columbus Chamber of Commerce.

Tickets are $10. For more information and to register for Aspire 2017, click here.