August 2020 Newsletter

Engage with 30+ UM Impact Groups at the B+I Virtual Showcase

Thurs, Sept. 3 @ Noon – 1:30 pm
on Zoom

Welcome new and returning students! Come discover opportunities to make a difference in the places where you live and work, at the school, and around the world. As part of our mission to make students aware of impact opportunities across campus, we invite students to our third annual Business+Impact Showcase on Sept. 3 from Noon – 1:30 pm. This is a virtual tabled event hosted on Zoom, and students will have a chance to meet with over 30 organizations and map out their U-M impact journeys.


Nonprofit Board Fellowship Info Session and Application

Business+Impact’s Nonprofit Board Fellowship Program places top graduate students as non-voting members on boards of Southeast Michigan nonprofits. An application for the program is available on our website, and is due Fri, Sept. 11 at noon. Application instructions and a student information sheet are also available. A video of a mandatory info session will be on the B+I website by the first day of classes (8/31) With all the challenges that nonprofit organizations of various types face in the current times, with the COVID crisis, this promises to be an interesting and rewarding year for the program, and masters students across U-M are invited to apply.


+Impact Studio Supports Local Businesses and Impactful Prototypes


The +Impact Studio is a studio for impact creators and innovators that brings impactful ideas to life using business, design, and research expertise. This summer, Impact Design Fellows in the interdisciplinary +Impact Design Lab (Justin Wood (MSW/MBA), Elizabeth Sofranek (MBA), and Lucy Jiang (MSI) have been hard at work moving projects forward for long term impact. Their focus has been on nurturing a prototype from last year’s course, supporting a community of innovators across U-M, and sharing learnings on designing for impact on Medium.

This summer, the +Impact Studio also collaborated with the Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project (DNEP) of the UM Center on Finance, Law, & Policy and the Ford School of Public Policy to launch the Impact Studio for Local Business to help businesses in Southeast Michigan respond to and adapt to challenges caused by the pandemic. Led by Ross faculty Chris Mueller, 37 Ross and Ford school students worked with small businesses across the restaurant, retail, and personal services sectors to identify pain points and opportunity spaces to develop scalable solutions. These open source tools and guides are available here!

+Impact Studio Course: Designing for Resiliency Through the Pandemic

In the interdisciplinary studio course BA670, graduate students gain a mindset, process, and set of tools and experiences for developing impactful solutions to societal challenges, a toolkit that is also desired by top employers across industries. This fall, students in BA670 will engage local businesses and nonprofits to design solutions for tackling challenges and increasing resiliency through the pandemic. Students can still register to be part of this impactful experience.


Insights from the +Impact Studio Community

Part of our mission to bring impactful ideas to life includes reflecting and sharing our learning with others working to create impact. In order to share these ideas in a blog format and reach a wider audience we created a new Medium site!

Stories of Impact from Summer Impact Interns

In the summer of 2020, Business+Impact supported student internship opportunities with different types of organizations. Students from Ross and Ford created impact through virtual internships where they developed skills in business and policy that expanded their horizons exponentially. Read eight snapshots of student experiences from this summer and see testimonials of students who previously participated in Give-A-Day Fund internships.


Admissions: Ask Me Anything: Diversity at Ross
Thurs, Aug. 20
@ 7 pm EDT

Tauber: Spotlight! Showcase
Fri, Sept. 11 @ 8 am – 4 pm EDT

Watch for Business+Impact at the following events in September

Business+Impact is built on the foundational belief that diverse views and voices strengthen our ability to affect change. As such, we partner with businesses, nonprofits, social enterprises, and other academic units so our students have profound experiences and see tangible results. In the interest of sharing our opportunities with students, we will be taking part in a number of virtual programs across campus and speaking one-on-one with them virtually as they begin planning for the academic year. Below are places where we will be found:

BackPac App Connects Nonprofits and Activists

BackPac is a new app founded by Ross alums and developed through TechArb and Ross’ Living Business Leadership Experience. Backpac helps those who want to find connections with nonprofits, and is currently working with many nonprofits in Washtenaw and Wayne counties to source virtual and in-person volunteers and funds needed to adress the many challenges arising due to the current pandemic. In a recent SE Michigan Ross Alumni meeting, BackPac presented opportunities and demonstrated the online app. You can view opportunities around you for yourself at Two of BackPac’s co-founders are now working full time on the company. They have also scaled their development team from one to five full time developers, which has helped them accelerate progress. B+I is proud of what BackPac has accomplished already and where they are headed in the future.


News & Notes




At the University:


Community Engagement Online Mini-Course

Developed by an interdisciplinary team of content experts from U-M, the Community Engagement: Collaborating for Change massive open online course (MOOC) is designed to help both novices and seasoned practitioners of community engagement work more effectively with communities and organizations, both domestically and abroad.

More Info



Enroll Any Time for these Teach-outs

Michigan Online offers a variety of learning experiences from individual courses to fully online degrees. Included in these offerings are short online learning ‘teach-outs’ on important topics facing society. Learn more about the items below and other items, and start learning now!




Fastest Path to Zero Summit II

Tues, Sept. 15 @ Noon – 1:30 pm

Join the University of Michigan and Third Way, a public policy think tank based in Washington, DC, for the second annual Fastest Path to Zero Summit. This year, to protect the health of all those involved, the summit will be a virtual series. The summit will bring together leading climate advocates, philanthropists, labor leaders, elected officials, academics, and media from across the Midwest and the nation.

More Info



Women of Color on the Rise

Tues, Sept. 15 @ 4 pm

Join Ford School professor Celeste Watkins-Hayes. for a discussion with Cecilia Muñoz about her new book, More than Ready: Be Strong and Be You . . . and Other Lessons for Women of Color on the Rise.

More Info

In the Impact Community:

Impact Foundry Webinars

Offering comprehensive resources, from a professionally-staffed library, access to a grant funder database, from fundraising workshops to management networking, the Impact Foundry enables new and existing nonprofits to improve management, operations, fund development, marketing & public relations, board development and more.

Full Calendar of Events

Council of Michigan Foundations

Thurs, Aug. 20 @ 1 – 3:30 pm EDT

Join the Council of Michigan Foundations, Michigan Nonprofit Association, Michigan Community Resources and Co.act Detroit as they explore how nonprofit boards in these exceptional times can demonstrate leadership, serve as a valued partner and support team culture. A panel of nonprofit executives will discuss the role of boards in preparing for the long-term implications of COVID-19 and how to engage in their organization’s racial justice work while considering the larger question of how governance structures can promote equity, or reinforce inequity. 

Information and Registration

Wege Prize

Applications Start Tues, Aug. 25
Apply by Mon, Nov. 9

Wege Prize 2021 will again be open to undergraduate and graduate students from anywhere in the world, and will again be focused on the circular economy. When does it start? Well, right now! The Team Application period has been open since August, but final deliverables and team names are due next month.

Application Information

The Color of Law, The Color of Money – Restorative Solutions to Redress the Racial Wealth Gap

Thurs, Aug. 27 @ 2:30 – 3:30 pm EDT
Skills Workshop @ 3:30 – 4:30 pm EDT

Net Impact will explore a few innovative ideas and solutions for building capital in Black communities and closing the wealth gap, which include Path to 15-55 and “baby bonds” as discussed by guest Tynesia Boyea-Robinson and Derrick Hamilton. At the end of the first hour, you are invited to join a second hour for a skills-building workshop led by Tynesia. This interactive session will expand on the themes and specific examples discussed in Part 1, and provide attendees a broader framework that can help them understand how to leverage the tools of capitalism for social outcomes.

Event Info

Nonprofit Management Institute 2020

Sept. 22-24

Focused in particular on the way Covid-19 is reshaping the social sector, this online conference through the Stanford Social Innovation Review will feature numerous speakers from inside and around the nonprofit sector who are at the top of their game, who will discuss everything from in-person board meetings to philanthropy and collective action.

Info and Registration

Epic Social Ventures

Apply now

The Social Ventures Foundation mission is to facilitate sustainable market creation at the Bottom of the Pyramid by identifying, promoting and facilitating the investment in social ventures that employ the poor to lift the livelihoods of the poor. The End Poverty Innovation Challenge is at the heart of the Foundation’s mission, EPIC facilitates a pipeline to facilitate the identification, recognition, promotion and investment in the most impactful and of outstanding   sustainable social ventures that can scale and make a difference to millions of the world’s poor. 

Application Information

What Happens If You Get Caught With a Fake ID at a Bar?