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Announcing The Drive Flint Prize through the 2014 Social Entrepreneurship Challenge

Michigan Corps, in partnership with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, City of Flint, local business and philanthropic partners, today announced The Drive Flint Prize to support entrepreneurs contributing to Flint’s revitalization. The prize is being offered through the Michigan Social Entrepreneurship Challenge - the nation’s first statewide competition in social entrepreneurship.  
The Michigan Social Entrepreneurship Challenge was launched in 2013 by non-profit organization Michigan Corps as a new strategy to discover and support the best innovative minds to design sustainable solutions to the state’s pressing social challenges. In its first year, the Michigan Social Entrepreneurship Challenge attracted nearly 300 submissions and over $1million in committed investment for competition winners.
In its second year, ‘The Challenge’ invites individuals and teams to submit plans for an emerging idea or existing venture with a sustainable solution to a clearly defined social problem in areas including, but not limited to, chronic unemployment, health and nutrition, the environment, urban revitalization, and education.
The Drive Flint Prize represents Flint’s first entrepreneurial prize for social innovation, and will be awarded alongside $50,000 in additional prize tracks offered through the Michigan Social Entrepreneurship Challenge for social entrepreneurs across the state. The Drive Flint Prize will award a promising social entrepreneur from Flint & Genesee County with a cash grant and admission to Michigan Corps’ Impact Investment Fellowship, a four-month training institute to ready top social entrepreneurs for investment at and above the $50,000 level. 
“Flint is full of grassroots entrepreneurs seeking prosperity, civic and community change”, said the City of Flint Mayor Dayne Walling. “The creation of the Drive Flint Prize is truly groundbreaking as it gives all entrepreneurs who are passionate about Flint's future an opportunity to share their ideas, connect with support resources and a community of fellow innovators.”
Drive Flint has been led by local volunteers since inception. The group includes: Jason Caya, Director of the Flint Area Reinvestment Office; Heidi McAra, owner of The Paw Palace; Dean Keipert, partner at 3Sixty Interactive; and Kenyetta Dotson, founder of WOW Outreach. Each is leading fundraising for the effort and has donated their own resources. Additional contributions are still needed though and can be made online at
One contributor to the Drive Flint Prize is Edward Marshall, a Flint native who currently serves as Vice President at a Global Financial Services Firm, based in New York. “The Drive Flint Prize endeavors to better our community by harnessing untapped entrepreneurial talent.  As someone who grew up in Flint, I’m expecting this opportunity to yield some great ideas that benefit all of us”, commented Mr. Marshall at a press conference held on March 13 at the University of Michigan Flint.
Beginning March 13, social entrepreneurs from across Flint & Genesee County are invited to register for the competition and be considered for the Drive Flint Prize. Applicants will be eligible to attend online classes, neighborhood tours, and networking events to support the development of their submission before the May 30, 2014 deadline. A statewide Social Entrepreneurship Showcase & Summit Event will take place in June to announce winners and celebrate social innovation across Michigan.
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