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Contest Aims to Solve Social Problems With Capitalism

The Michigan Social Entrepreneurship Challenge will promote innovative ideas to address social problems within the state of Michigan

Michigan Corps, a nonprofit Detroit group, kicked off a contest today designed to encourage Michigan entrepreneurs using capitalism to try to solve social problems residents face such as unemployment, urban decay and malnutrition.

“How are we going to solve some of the big-time social problems throughout our state?” Michael Finney, the president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., asked at Tech Town Detroit. “At the end of the day, it’s about the ideas.”

The competition, dubbed the Michigan Social Entrepreneurship Challenge, will offer business training to winners and more than $60,00 in prizes. The deadlines are April 30 to register and May 30 to submit business plans for an idea or an existing venture.

The winners will be announced in June.

Individuals and groups apply. To be eligible they must be in Michigan, or plan to register in the state. Their business plan also must be sustainable through revenue that is earned and have less than $1 million in cumulative revenue already.

Applicants also will be eligible to take online classes, get tours and attend networking events.

The contest, which was launched last year, aims to use the market to create companies and nonprofit organizations to address problems.

Last year, nearly 300 projects were submitted.

Those interested in applying can go to for more information and to register.

Contact Frank Witsil: 313-222-5022 or

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