2012 UNC Social Business Competing Teams

Appalachian State University                                              

Aquaseng Aquaponics (Download pdf)     

Commercial fishing and agriculture pose a number of threats to the environment; an average salmon farm produces as much waste as a town of 65,000, much of which ends up in waterways.  Traditional agriculture has environmental problems as well, accounting for 80% of water consumption in the U.S. at a time when over one billion people lack access to clean drinking water worldwide. Students at ASU propose the creation of an aquaponic greenhouse system in Boone NC where fish and plants could grow together in one integrated system, with fish waste acting as plant food. Students hope to raise tilapia and Ginseng, a cash crop that retails for almost $1500 per lb. Students hope that they will be able to generate $150,000 a year on the Ginseng operation alone by year three while simultaneously providing fresh and environmentally friendly seafood to the people of Boone. 

Boone Social Bike (Download pdf)

Obesity and global warming are some of the most serious problems facing North Carolina and the country at large.  Both could be ameliorated by substituting fossil fuel based transportation for pedal power. Boone Social Bike seeks to streamline the bike rental and return process in Boone NC by incorporating GPS and a web interface into the traditional bike rental model, increasing ridership and reducing carbon emissions and obesity. 

East Carolina University

Mattamuskeet Hospitality Institute (Download pdf)

This Hospitality Institute, planned as part vocational school and part hotel business, would provide free job training to North Carolina residents. Mattamuskeet Lodge would function as a viable hotel business operation that incorporated key sustainability initiatives into its operation. Through the operation of the hotel and subsequent training to disadvantaged community members, the Mattamuskeet team hopes to expand employment and environmental awareness in the community.  

Elizabeth City State University

Wimax Wireless Internet for Northeastern NC (Download pdf)

Northeastern North Carolina (NENC) is suffering due to the current economic crisis and the lack of economic development.  A recent survey shows that there are 69,443 people in poverty, 75,967 high school dropouts, and 18,951 citizens unemployed in the region. Students at ECSU propose the implementation of WIMAX technology to provide the area's residents the opportunity to earn certifications online that can help them to increase monthly income and/or expand any small business s/he might own through e-commerce and payback the loan.  Using Input-Output Economic Modeling (IMPLAN) to estimate the economic impact of the project on the local economy of NENC and found that there could be a total 30 million dollars of impact on local economy if CEED can provide WiMAX service to all 16 counties of NENC. 

Northeastern NC Microloans (Download pdf)

Northeastern North Carolina suffers disproportionately from poverty and unemployment. Students at ECSU propose creating jobs and mobilizing entrepreneurial capabilities for single parents in NENC by providing micro financing opportunities to them to start their own small businesses in in-demand areas such as organic farming, and home laundry, baking and sewing. If successful, the student hope to bring 50% of the 20 initial participant families out of welfare to workforce. 

Fayetteville State University

BioWaste Energy Inc. (Download pdf)

North Carolina, the second largest hog producing state in the United States, suffers substantial environmental pollution from hog waste lagoons. Residents living near hog farms suffer disproportionately from upper respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms than do those living in non-livestock farming areas. Students at Fayetteville State University plan to address this problem by assisting farmers with the implementation of methane sequestration systems for hog waste lagoons that will turn toxic waste into a potent source of energy. By year 2, the students hope to be able to help implement methane capture systems on 10 farms, employing 15 people and capturing energy worth nearly $1,000,000,000. 

Fresh Starts Green Grocery (Download pdf)

Fayetteville State University proposes a social business that will address three social problems affecting their community: First, the surrounding community is an economically disadvantaged area characterized by high rates of incarceration, limited opportunities for employment and a “food desert” in the South Murchison area where residents do not live in close proximity to affordable and healthy food retailers. To address these problems, FSU students hope to launch Fresh Starts Green Grocery, a grocery store that will work in tandem with existing non-profits and government agencies to hire and train ex-offenders while provide the surrounding community with fresh, local produce. 

North Carolina A&T State University

Seeing the World through Service (Download pdf)

Participation rates in study aboard programs have remained stagnant for over a decade with white participation dominating (79%). Of the remaining 21%, only 5% are African Americans. In Guilford County, a minority/majority school district, these numbers indicate an even smaller global outreach footprint. Students at NCA&T seek to change that by developing trips abroad that not only teach the students about various cultures and the geographies abroad and their particular needs, but also reaches out through service to help these areas and meet their needs. By expanding access to students from all backgrounds, NCA&T students hope to increase global awareness in their community. 

North Carolina Triad Connects (Download pdf)

Low income adults often lack basic financial skills necessary to establish themselves in the middle class. Students at NCA&T hope to address this by teaching financial literacy to low-income individuals and families, with a goal to move these citizens towards financial stability. As parents become financially savvy, they will ideally pass down these values to the next generation, creating a virtuous cycle away from poverty. 

North Carolina Central University

Beelights Inc. (Download pdf)

Unemployment affects a disproportionate of Durham residents with low levels of traditional educational attainment. Beelights seeks to alleviate unemployment in Durham by providing the unemployed with technical training and education via the manufacture and sale of lampshades and other products. If successful, Beelkights hopes to create 90 jobs in Durham. 

TRADES Inc. (Download pdf)

Davidson County in North Carolina (NC) has a poverty rate of 14%, with 15% of the population requiring food assistance. 14% of the population has only a bachelor’s degree and 35% just a high-school diploma. To bridge the gap of education and trade skills, NCCU students propose creating a vocational/trade school geared towards targeted career paths that play a crucial role in a thriving community while offering  healthy affordable meal plans for its students on and off campus. NCCU students hope that by providing trade and vocational training, 200 students per year will be given the opportunity to work with top business leaders and learn skills to begin a targeted and successful career path.  

NC State University

EnteriVax (Download pdf)

The poultry industry in the US loses >$330 Million annually due to Salmonella contamination in egg and meat products. In addition to the financial costs, the CDC estimates that every year, these outbreaks cause 1.2 million human illnesses leading to 23,000 hospitalizations, and 450 deaths accounting to $400 Million in financial losses to the US. Students at NCSU propose the creation of a new Salmonella vaccine which is projected to be 30% more efficacious while requiring a fewer number of boosters. Also, the Hassan vaccine provides broad cross strain protection and can be delivered easily via feed, water, or spraying, reducing the devastating impact of Salmonella on farmers and the healthcare system.  

Pennies for Progress (Download pdf)

Corporate philanthropy requires time and energy that many companies do not have. Pennies for Progress (P4P) makes long term corporate philanthropy easy by adding one cent philanthropic donation from customers to the total of every transaction at their store. By enabling the everyday consumer to make a difference, P4P enables consumerism to drive social progress. For a large NC grocer such as Food Lion, the philanthropic impact of P4P is estimated at $1.8 for North Carolina alone.  

UNC Asheville

Mountain Harvest Produce Truck (Download pdf)

Hillcrest Apartments houses approximately 227 families considered low-income by Buncombe County standards. Although the nearest grocery store, which sells an array of natural and organic food, is less than 1.5 miles away, few residents have access to this food due to unaffordable prices, limited physical mobility, and/or unreliable transportation. In order to address this critical deficit in nutrition, we propose the creation of a mobile food market, which will provide local, healthy, and nutritious food to residents of the Hillcrest community as well as knowledge on how to use it. In an innovative adaptation, the market will be supplied by contracted backyard-gardeners in the Asheville area with supplementation from local food producers outside of town.

Friends of Western North Carolina Markets (Download pdf)

Farmers markets provide fresh and affordable foods to many Asheville residents; however, access to this food source is limited for many low-income families who lack the ability to get to farmers markets and who cannot use their Electronic Benefits Transfer cards to purchase market produce. Students at UNCA propose the creation of the Friends of WNC Markets program to fund the creation of EBT utilization at farmers markets.  The program will create relevant fee-based content and classes in farming and horticulture that will generate an estimated $25,000 to support EBT implementation across 5 markets. 

UNC-Chapel Hill

MEDScheme (Download pdf)

When Medical materials are donated, much of the material is shipped overseas by organizations to hospitals in various areas of the world. This raises two problems: 1) transport of medical equipment is expensive and financially burdensome for the NGO or organizing mediator, and 2) donated equipment may not be fully utilized if a different brand or model is used locally, and the area lacks trained technicians to oversee the operation. Students at UNC-CH propose the creation of an online platform where capital could be raised from donated medical devices in the United States to purchase locally-familiar models and brands of medical equipment (often for less money) in developing countries. 

Sanitation Creations (Download pdf)

2.6 billion people lack adequate access to sanitation globally. The absence of clean drinking water, sanitation and hygiene has been estimated by the WHO to cause 88 percent of all cases of diarrhea, and more than 1.5 million deaths annually. Students at UNC-CH are developing a portable toilet that will safely capture excrement for use as an energy source at regional bio-digestion and gasification sites.  Through the adoption of their portable toilet in markets around the world, Sanitation Creations hopes to be part of the world sanitation solution worth an estimated $660 billion in healthcare savings. 

UNC Charlotte

Seeing You Forward (Download pdf)

There are approximately 7,000 people without a safe or consistent place to sleep in Mecklenburg County. This number has risen with declining economic trends, making homelessness one of Charlotte’s most pressing community issues. Students at UNCC propose building a network (Sonlution Insight) of shared information that connects homeless citizens to resources for overcoming their needs. Solution InSight’s service for homeless persons includes individualized strategic plans complete with tactical steps to improve the individual’s situation and lifestyle based on needs and personal history. By selling this custom reporting software, students hope to be able to help local non-profits and government agencies more effectively and sustainably address the causes of homelessness. 

UNC Greensboro

Fisher Park Lifestyle VillAGE (Download pdf)

The care for the baby boomer generation is one of the largest financial and social issues facing the United States. Students at UNCG propose the creation of a financially self-sustaining, intergenerational “VillAGE” community that provides lifestyle supportive services not only to older adults, but also to other individuals and families that could benefit from community programs and services.  According to Kaiser Health News, Village communities “are cost-effective…the median monthly cost for nursing home care in 2009 was $5,243--more than five times that for seniors living at home.” Implementing this type of community would thus increase the quality of life for residents of the Fisher Park Neighborhood and generate savings for families and the healthcare systems. 

Artifacts (Download pdf)

The Interactive Resource Center (IRC) in Greensboro North Carolina serves approximately 200 people daily who are homeless, recently homeless or facing homelessness. Students at UNCG propose providing microloans to empower IRC clients with artistic talent to display and sell their works of art to customers in the community as a means to bring the homeless community closer to self-sufficiency. UNCG students hope that the collaboration between the IRC clients, students, and community volunteers will be a model for grassroots community response to poverty and homelessness nationally.  

UNC Pembroke

Green Lights of Roberson County (Download pdf)

In 2010, 31.5 percent of Robeson County citizens were living below the poverty line. In order to alleviate the financial burden on this demographic and to reduce emissions from power plants, students at UNCP propose replacing incandescent light bulbs with free CFL light bulbs for low income residents. 

Braves2Teens Clothing Exchange (Download pdf)

In 2010, 31.5 percent of Robeson county citizens were living below the poverty line and 43.9 percent of youth under the age of 18 lived below the poverty line. Students at UUNCP propose starting Braves2Teens, a 2nd hand clothing store that will provide teens with an option for purchasing gently used clothing donated by University students, faculty, and staff.  Students can purchase clothing from the store two ways. The first is to use cash, which will fund mentoring efforts for at-risk youth and the second is “BraveBucks” which are distributed through school counselors who will give them to at risk youth within the school based on good behavior. Students hope that the combination of mentorship and the incentives provided through this program will enable more at-risk primary and secondary education students to remain in school.  

 UNC Wilmington

UNCW Student Credit Services (Download pdf)

The expenses associated with post-secondary education have risen more rapidly than the rate of inflation, placing many students in a precarious financial situation. Students at UNCW propose the creation of a credit union that would offer relatively short-term, modest-sized loans for emergency purposes for UNCW students, as well as free credit counseling services for UNCW students. These students hope that these services will encourage more students to finish college and become financially responsible adults. 

Urban Harvest (Download pdf)

Food insecurity is a critical social problem in Wilmington, NC (New Hanover County).  Despite the significant wealth in the county, Wilmington has 8 USDA designated food deserts. The eight food deserts in Wilmington, NC include 16,260 people - 83% have low access to healthy foods and 41.1% are considered low income residents.  Students at UNCW seek to address food insecurity through an LLC whereby food desert residents work to grow and sell food through an urban farm and on site market. The farm is projected to consist of two useable acres of land, containing 12 hoop houses on one acre and 1 acre of open crops, employing 7 people and generate $116,000 in revenue, which will be used to implement EBT systems and expand operations to increase food security in other areas.  

UNC School of the Arts

The Pluck Project (Download pdf)

Children of low-income families are at a greater risk for becoming involved with gang and criminal activity, teenage pregnancy and domestic violence issues. UNCSA proposes addressing these issues by providing after school dance programs for children from ages 10-15. Through providing affordable dance instruction to low income students, NCSA students hope to increase outcomes for at-risk youth and uplift the Winston Salem community. 

Western Carolina University

WCU Green Energy Art Park (Download pdf)

The Jackson County Green Art Park (JCGEP) provides studios and equipment for Jackson County Artists while utilizing state-of-the energy and environmental practices. Students at WCU hope to develop formal student collaboration with the JCGEP that will develop into an ongoing and sustaining Artist Business Incubator.   Through the provision of scholarships, students will have access to studio space at JCGEP, and will contribute to the areas art and tourism economy. 

Cullowhee Community Center (Download pdf)

Culliowhee, the unincorporated township surrowunding WCU is one of the fastest growing areas in Jackson County yet does not have its own governing body and lacks  a community center. Tudents at WCU propose establishing a multi-purpose community center will help economic growth by giving residents of the area a social nexus and providing residents amenities such as a year round farmers market, a locally sourced restaurant and office space for industry, non-profits and government. If successful, students hope that the community will provide Cullowhee with a stronger sense of community, cultural and economic identity.  

 Winston-Salem State University

Neighbors Helping Neighbors (Download pdf)

This 5.59 square mile community which surrounds the WSSU campus is home to approximately 6.800 residents who are unemployed and lack health insurance. Students at WSSU propose the creation of a mobile health clinic to promote wellness and disease prevention services, improving the quality of life for residents and reducing the burden on emergency rooms as primary health care providers for this segment. Students hope that the implementation of their concept will improve the quality of life and health for local residents while simultaneously generating healthcare savings for their community. 

CATALYST Business Links (Download pdf)

Small businesses face a host of challenges in their infancy including high overhead and labor costs. Students at WSSU students at WSSU support the creation of a platform of support that combines a barter exchange program with a business incubator/nursery for small businesses in the Winston-Salem area. By maintaining a fee-based barter network, these students hope to be able support cash-strapped and help the develop into the economic drivers of the area.

North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

Camp Aubergine (Download pdf)

1 in 4 of all children ages 12-18 years old and 1 in 5 of children ages 5-11 years old are considered obese in North Carolina. Crunch the numbers—that means that 1,177,018 children in our State are afflicted by health problems associated with obesity and lack of nutrition. Students at NCSSM hope to remedy this by setting up a summer camp where campers will learn and live healthy eating habits while at camp that will remain with them into the future.  

The VGV Group (Download pdf)

 Many unemployed workers in Durham face unemployment due to a skills gap between the training of the tobacco and textiles jobs of years past and the needs of today's workforce. Students at NCSSM propose collaborating with simulation manufacturers to produce games to train specific jobs, such as administrative assistant positions, automotive mechanics, and lab technicians. Students hope that the use of these simulators will expand access to retraining and career oppurtunities for Durham's unemployed, increasing quality of life and reducing the cost to transfer programs.