Center for Social Impact and UM-Flint to Collaborate on Flint Challenge

2017 Social Impact Challenge to Address Economic Development in Flint

ANN ARBOR, MI – JAN. 4, 2017 — The sixth annual Social Impact Challenge will take place in Flint, MI and is presented as a partnership between the Ross School of Business’ Center for Social Impact in Ann Arbor and UM-Flint’s Office of University Outreach. As Flint looks toward a post-water-crisis future, the 2017 Social Impact Challenge will look at how to advance entrepreneurship efforts in Flint to revive neighborhood centers and city corridors for economic development.

Business+Impact has hosted previous challenges in Detroit, partnering with civic, community and nonprofit organizations to tackle pressing strategic issues in the urban environment. In 2016, students tackled strategic and operational questions to help launch Detroit PAL‘s Kids At the Corner Campaign in partnership with the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy, which involved the redevelopment of the historic field.

In 2017, in addition to the partnership between the two University of Michigan campuses, teams will be working with community partners the City of Flint, the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce and Skypoint Ventures—a venture capital and real estate company with strong social impact ties.

“It exciting to move the challenge to Flint this year, where so much is going on, but where there is also so much potential,” says Glenn Bugala, Marketing Manager for Business+Impact.

Paula Nas, Interim Director of University Outreach at UM-Flint says, “The opportunity to partner with the Ann Arbor campus on meaningful social change in our city is very exciting. We look forward to having ongoing dialogue between the campuses on Flint’s future.”

Student teams will be presented with a case statement and will work together to find solutions that will be implemented on the ground in Flint through the partner organizations. In addition to being able to create interdisciplinary teams, this year students will be able to create teams from students at both campuses.  The winning team will receive $2,500 and the opportunity to put their plan into practice during the coming months.

There are a number of events between January and March. Students will meet with UM-Flint Outreach in Flint on January 18th and in Ann Arbor on January 24th to kick-off this exciting event. On Friday, January 27, all participants will have a site visit in Flint with key stakeholders and U-M. Students must register their teams for the Challenge by Tuesday, February 7th. On Wednesday, March 15th in Flint, the final pitches and the winning team will be presented. There will also be special speakers and events surrounding the Challenge on that day.

For further information on this event, check with Business+Impact online at or with UM-Flint Outreach at  Ongoing updates throughout the challenge will be available on Twitter with the hashtag #MSIC17.

About Business+Impact: Business+Impact provides students support and opportunities to design a pathway to become social impact leaders. Students in the Center’s programs collaborate with mission-driven organizations across sectors to develop innovative solutions to pressing social challenges.

About UM-Flint’s Office of University Outreach: University Outreach connects campus and community to support learning, collaboration and partnerships. The office is guided by justice and fairness, healthy relationships, community building, economic vitality, and service.