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Ohio State summit encourages entrepreneurship to combat poverty

More than 1,300 attendees are expected to explore the issue of poverty at Ohio State with speakers experienced in working with global poverty.
The Alleviating Poverty Through Entrepreneurship Summit, hosted by the Business Builders Club, is scheduled to take place Saturday in the Mershon Auditorium in the Wexner Center for the Arts.
The summit, which is in its fifth year at Ohio State, will be divided into four parts: the business plan competition, a speaker series, the innovation marketplace and a four-week workshop series following the summit.
“We believe in taking a different approach (to poverty). Instead of throwing donations and aid at people, we feel the need to empower them and to create opportunities for themselves and for the people around them to pull themselves out of poverty,” said Danielle Short, a fourth-year in international business who is in charge of community outreach marketing for APTE.
The summit is sponsored by several local and national businesses including Global Brigades, a student-led global health organization, the Wexner Medical Center, Undergraduate Student Government and the Tony R. Wells Foundation. It is a free event has more than 1,300 registered participants Wednesday evening.
The APTE summit will have a broad focus on rethinking poverty and changing the way people approach this social issue, said Patrick Westerlund, a co-organizer for the event and a fourth-year in finance.
“(It’s about) showing people that you can use business to have a positive impact and to change people’s lives,” Short said. “It’s also about being action oriented, which is why we have the business plan before.”
The poverty-support business plan competition is under way, and the top three finalists will present at the summit. The winner will receive a $5,000 prize from Global Brigades to put toward his or her plan.
There will be 10 volunteer speakers at the summit from all over the world starting at 9 a.m., including a presentation by former prisoners from the Marion Correctional Institution in Marion, Ohio, led by Jo Dee Davis, the director of the WinWin Institute for Response-Able ReEntry at Marion Correctional Institution.
“I think it’s going to change a lot of people’s minds on prisons,” said Westerlund, who recently visited the institution. “I’m looking forward to sharing that experience with the thousand attendees we hope to have at that point of the day.”
Aeliya Mohsin, another co-organizer for APTE and a fourth-year in marketing, said she is looking forward to speaker Tiago Dalvi’s presentation on fair trade business and “being around (1,300) other people that want to change the world just like you do.”
The innovation marketplace is a networking event that will be held immediately after the speaker series ends at 4 p.m.
“It’s the interactive portion of the event where attendees can continue learning,” said Aiden Carrillo, a fourth-year in logistics management who is organizing the marketplace portion of the summit.
The innovation marketplace will allow attendees to network, learn about possible internship opportunities and talk to the speakers and presenters on a more personal level, Short said.
The four-week workshop series following the summit will allow attendees to “channel their buzz” and ideas into tangible solutions, Mohsin said.
“We’re very action-oriented, we want everyone to get involved. With the APTE community, people tend to get involved. It’s not something you just come to, it usually grabs your attention and you find a way to get involved,” Short said.

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