The five finalists have been selected for the 2015 Quinlan Social Enterprise Competition, and the following is a description of these businesses.
EarlyVention (Elizabeth Ames and Melissa Ames)
This social enterprise presents an affordable, one-step ordering process for effective tools that help a family start an early intervention program after their child is diagnosed with autism. The Chicago-based company offers monthly subscription activity boxes and a core system of therapy toolkits that are specifically designed for parents.
Love To Cook (Nadir Ali, Lora Avecillas, Vince Fattore, Anthony Milton and Melissa Warden)
This social enterprise is a fully-equipped shared commercial kitchen in Englewood that will provide services to entrepreneurs who need a place to prepare food for their businesses outside of their homes. In addition, personnel at this kitchen will assist individuals in the community who wish to start their own food-related businesses by providing them with business advice and other resources.
New Hope Ecotech (Thiago Pinto and Luciana Oliveira)
This social enterprise is a software company that leverages Brazil’s informal workforce of waste pickers to satisfy the upcoming regulatory recycling obligation of beverage manufacturers. The company aims to connect manufacturers with the waste pickers via tradable environmental securities and direct servicing, thereby improving the income of the waste pickers while allowing manufacturers to meet these new regulations.
Rebuilding Blocks (Vincenzo Esposito, Mitchell Goebel, Zach Houck, Daniela Nicula and Kevin Pray)
This social enterprise is a deconstruction and resale business which captures the value of reclaimed materials from buildings that are being demolished or renovated. These materials will be sold out of a warehouse in Woodlawn to others for their own renovation and construction projects.
SAFE Foundation (John Titilawo)
In light of the recent significant increase in childhood obesity and diabetes, this Carbondale-based foundation uses the power of soccer as a tool to educate, enlighten, empower and encourage children to be healthy and safe, while also enjoying and achieving in a physical activity. The foundation will also use a curriculum to educate young people about the dangers of unhealthy lifestyles.