Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation Competition kicks off with more than $100,000 in awards for social ventures

Cardinals Care director Timothy Hanser to speak on the importance of community outreach

The 2007 Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation Competition (SEIC) will kickoff its second year on Thursday, September 28 at 5:30 p.m. The celebration will take place on the Danforth Campus of Washington University in Uncas A. Whitaker Hall, and will feature a presentation by Timothy Hanser, vice-president of community outreach and director of Cardinals Care, the team’s community foundation.

The SEIC is helping people in St. Louis cause social change. It provides funding and education for social entrepreneurs who develop solutions that solve social issues. Awards totaling more than $100,000 are available to winners under a variety of categories.

In his presentation, Mr. Hanser will discuss the many ways that the Cardinals use their resources to help nonprofits increase social value for the community. He says the key is having sustainable programs that last. He will discuss several innovative and socially responsible programs that the Cardinal organization supports, including the “Doin’ it Right” program, grants through Cardinals Care, and the Redbird Rookies baseball league.

The Skandalaris Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and the YouthBridge Association partnered to create the SEIC, which was launched in September, 2005. The Incarnate Word Foundation joined the Skandalaris Center and YouthBridge as a supporter. In May, 2006, the competition awarded over $100,000 to four local nonprofit agencies. For more information about the winners of the 2005 competition go to the Center’s website at

Anyone in the region is eligible to participate in the competition. Teams will receive feedback on their project over the next six months from the area’s social investors and judges who are experts in social entrepreneurship and innovation. The YouthBridge Series of workshops is open to SEIC participants and all members of the community to assist them in developing plans that guide the venture.

The Skandalaris Center is located on Washington University in St. Louis’ Danforth Campus. It stimulates a campus-wide environment of collaboration, innovation, and entrepreneurial creativity. This expands learning, understanding and economic opportunities for students, faculty and the St. Louis community. The Center supports entrepreneurship in all academic disciplines and defines it as “the process of seeing novel opportunities, acting energetically, and using limited resources and collaboration to create new value for others.”

The YouthBridge Association is a 135-year-old organization that was previously known as the General Protestant Children’s Home. YouthBridge’s mission evolved to fund and support multiple innovative youth-focused social ventures, some of them located on its 19-acre Creve Coeur campus. YouthBridge has supported and funded ventures designed to operate as independent entities following the association’s initial support. YouthBridge’s goal is to support more ventures that can benefit from the organization’s initial support and then grow into self-sufficient entities.

The Incarnate Word Foundation, sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word-San Antonio, is a charitable foundation that partners with agencies and others to address the needs of the poor, especially women, children, and seniors. Since its founding in 1997, the foundation has given more than $9 million in grants to support this mission.