Doing good business and doing good in the community should go hand-in-hand. Inspired by businesses like York Project and Humble Design, we wanted to help a business that, like us, puts the community at the heart and soul of everything they do. In an effort to help Michigan communities thrive and to give small businesses a boost, we offered the Social Entrepreneurial Scholarship for the first time.
In the past, we’ve offered scholarships for high school seniors to put toward their education costs. However, we recognize that adults sometimes need financial help to continue their education, advance in their careers, or to kick off a business idea. The Social Entrepreneurial Scholarship was created to help individuals who had an idea or who were already running a business that is making a positive impact on the community.
After presenting their ideas and sharing their stories, we chose the following three individuals to receive a $2,000 Social Entrepreneurial Scholarship to use for continuing education or business-related activities.
Barbara: Momentum Center
“I believe social entrepreneurship is about finding creative business models in which to perform community service,” says Barbara, founder of The Momentum Center and Extended Grace.
Barbara’s model of social entrepreneurship guides her work at The Momentum Center, where people with disabilities, addictions, and mental illnesses can find a safe space for positive human connection and interaction. This organization offers social and recreational programs so individuals can get the socialization and support they need to lead healthy, successful lives. The Center is also home to Just Goods Gifts and Café where fair-trade food and products are available for sale. The café also invites the public to interact with the folks who are part of the programs at the Momentum Center.
Barbara hopes her scholarship funds can help Extended Grace expand their programs to other communities and provide more resources for teenagers. To help her do that, our members and the community also selected Barbara for a People’s Choice Award through an online vote. She is receiving an additional $1,000 from the Lake Trust Foundation.