NEWPORT, R.I. – Salve Regina University and the Newport office of Social Venture Partners RI (SVPRI) are teaming up to present a networking event featuring a panel of local entrepreneurs who will discuss strategies for achieving professional success in today’s “new economy.”
The event, “Shifting Perceptions: Creating a Restorative Economy,” is free and open to the public. It will be held on Monday, Feb. 13 from 6-8 p.m. in Ochre Court, Salve Regina’s main administration building at 100 Ochre Point Ave.
Keith Stokes, executive director of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, will be a special guest for the event. Panelists will include local entrepreneurs Margaret Wilcox from Swipe for a Cause, Brenda Brock from Farmaesthetics and Wayne Grover from You Are Not Alone.
The SVPRI event was coordinated with Salve Regina faculty members Myra Edelstein, chairperson of business studies and economic, and Nancy Gordon, chairperson of graduate counseling and director of holistic programs. Both are encouraging their graduate students to attend the event to help them understand the critical role of social enterprise to restore an economy that is sustainable and humane.
“Our students are learning to view current issues and social problems in a systemic and integrated way,” Gordon said. “They are taught to view current economic, political, social, environmental and cultural issues as multifaceted, interconnected and component parts of the work they will do professionally.”
Gordon said the forum presents a great opportunity to meet with real life entrepreneurial leaders who are leading by creating unique social ventures in response to the current economic situation. The panel is already actively pursuing new ideas, dreams and solutions that can help students understand how to accomplish this within their own interest areas, she said.
“Restoring the economy is highly interdisciplinary and also personal,” Gordon said. “We need leaders and counselors at every level of society who can embark upon social ventures, who can facilitate the dreams of those who want to embark on social ventures, and who can aid others in shifting old beliefs and assumptions in order to accomplish this. This is what Holistic students are here to learn.”
Edelstein believes the event can help students find new ways to help in the community or even get them started on a new career path.
“This is an important opportunity for our students to connect to local agencies and enterprises/organizations to bring worthwhile services to members of the community-at-large,” Edelstein said. “Our students will be able to use their skills to inform and help agencies develop critical pieces to make them more effective at what they do.”
For example, Edelstein said students may be able to help develop a marketing plan, a business plan or an operations plan by which an agency may gain additional funding to help members of the community.”
Sarah Atkins, SVPRI Newport Project director, said the “new economy” is a hot topic worldwide and strongly encourages the public to attend as many voices will add depth to the conversation and give the students more perspective.
“We are grateful to Salve Regina for making this discussion possible,” she said. “We all have an impact. Social entrepreneurs build companies that address challenges they see in their communities, taking the burden off the taxpayer, creating jobs, and keeping talented people here in Rhode Island. They are part of a movement which is directing the economy in a more humane and sustainable direction, but we all have our part. Our discussion will revolve around the opportunities before us, right now.”
For more information on the event, contact Sarah Atkins at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.socialenterpirseri.org, or http://www.facebook.com/events/334799013217000/.