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The Appalachian Social Enterprise Summit (ASES) a collaboration by Ohio University, Rural Action, Coalfield Development, and other regional partners will be the area’s largest gathering of social entrepreneurs this year! This event will attract entrepreneurs who are interested in the model of social entrepreneurship, as well as current practitioners and investors who are looking to network and expand. This is a great chance to engage and support some of the most creative and compassionate leaders in our region. 


October 10 | Farm to Table Dinner and Learning Journey

Explore innovative projects and businesses around the area and enjoy a farm to table dinner at a local favorite, Casa Nueva. 

1 p.m. Departure from OU Inn
1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Athens County Land Bank High Street in Glouster with Aaron Dye and Ric Wasserman
1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Dirty Girl Coffee in Glouster
2:45 – 3:15 p.m. True Town and True Pigments Tour with Michelle Shively MacIver
3:30 – 4 p.m. ACEnet on Columbus Road in Athens
4:15 – 5 p.m. Passion Works Studio in Athens
5:15 p.m. Casa Nueva/Cantina Happy Hour followed by Farm-to-Table Dinner


October 11 | Appalachian Social Enterprise Summit

9:00 a.m. Registration

9:30 - 10 a.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks

10 - 10:15 a.m. Social Enterprise in 15 Minutes: What is Social Enterprise & why is it important for Appalachia?

Morning Break – 30 minutes

10:45 a.m - 12 p.m. Pathways to Success
Breakout Session topics include: Supporting Employees in Social Enterprise, SROI (Social Return on Investment), Access to Capital (Beginner and Advanced tracks), Business Formation; Strategies & Structures, Succession Planning; Ensuring Smooth Transitions, Workforce needs; Meeting Workforce Needs as a Social Enterprise, Deepening Impact; Using Business to Create Social Change 

12 - 1 p.m. Lunch

1 - 2:15 p.m. Opportunity Sectors for Social Entrepreneurship
Breakout Sessions include sector focus discussions on Agriculture & Food Access, Ecological Restoration, Clean Energy, Light Manufacturing, Tourism & Hospitality, and Ecological Restoration.

Afternoon Break – 15 Minutes 

2:30 - 3:30 p.m. Pitch Competition 
Social Entrepreneurs will have an opportunity to present their concept to a panel of judges. Three cash prizes & no-fee expert business coaching and mentorship will be awarded to the top finalists. The top winner will also receive the honor of a year’s display of the White Water Rapids Pitch Competition Trophy. Contestants will be selected from across Appalachia. 

3:30 p.m. Pitch Competition Winners Announced 

4:30 p.m. Event Concludes

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