Applebaum Family Philanthropy and Guests Guide +Impact Studio Founders and Applebaum Design Fellows During Special Visit

On Friday, December 9, 2022, representatives from Applebaum Family Philanthropy, Applebaum Ventures, and three expert advisors came to the +Impact Studio to provide feedback and advice to UM students in the +Impact Studio Founders and Applebaum Impact Design Fellows programs. Applebaum Family Philanthropy was represented by Pamela Applebaum (CEO & President of Applebaum Ventures and Applebaum Family Philanthropy), Andrew Echt (Chief Operating Officer of Applebaum Ventures and Director of Applebaum Family Philanthropy), Gabe Scharg (Director of Investments for Applebaum Ventures), and Julia Bleznak (Director of Applebaum Fellows and Community Development for Applebaum Family Philanthropy). Their guests included Veronika Scott (Founder and CEO of the Empowerment Plan), Kiana Wenzell (Co-Executive Director of Design Core Detroit), and Josh Sklar (Senior Product Manager at StockX).

Students Jarrad Henderson and Alex Perez-Garcia share ideas with Kiana Wenzell and Pamela Applebaum.

Students and professionals, and Business+Impact staffers began the day at 10 am with a hearty breakfast and mingling. This was followed by welcoming remarks from Business+Impact Faculty Director Jerry Davis, Managing Director Cat Johnson, and +Impact Studio Program Manager Loren Townes Jr., who facilitated introductions and descriptions of the student-led venture teams. Then student teams  met with Applebaum Family Philanthropy reps and guests in a round-robin series of breakouts. Students described where their ventures are, where they hope to go, and the challenges/goals through which they are working. Applebaum Family Philanthropy reps and their guests offered guidance, experience, and support. The event concluded around noon with final remarks and info-sharing.

This was all part of a special Community Coworking Friday called “Idea Day.”  These Coworking Fridays are designed to incubate and nurture innovative ideas and projects related to social impact — from taking ideas from concept to prototype to scale. Each week, student founders meet in the +Impact Studio to work on their ventures; collaborate on ideas; consult with Applebaum Impact Design fellows, faculty, staff, and special guests; and support one another. These Community Coworking Friday sessions have been extremely beneficial to the +Impact Studio entrepreneurial teams, positively impacting their social venture journey and even helping them unlock new insights.  Many students also say the sessions have assisted them in overcoming the unique challenges that solo entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial teams can face.

Current student ventures include:

Pop Up Docs aims to democratize visual storytelling by centering and educating diverse creators while building a capable community of talented, experienced, and influential storytellers. Founder: Jarrad Henderson (2023 Knight Wallace Fellow); Applebaum Impact Design Fellow: Alex Perez-Garcia (MBA/MPP 2024)

PILs Ventures seeks to cultivate generational health-and-wealth for one million people in the Black, Latinx, and other historically overlooked communities across STEM fields by 2033. Founder: George Okpamen (MBA 2023);  Applebaum Impact Design Fellow: Grace Sanders (BBA 2023)

Bubble! Learn Science looks to improve the scientific  literacy skills of low-resource high school students and empower them to succeed in STEM careers. Founder: Rafee Mirza (LSA 2025); Applebaum Impact Design Fellow: Kelsey Hewett (MBA 2023)

Lifeboat is currently facilitating easier, safer, and more affordable gender-affirming medical procedures in the U.S. and abroad. Lifeboat believes that by building the infrastructure needed to facilitate domestic medical tourism, providers across the U.S. will be forced into cost competition, leading to better, higher quality, more affordable medical care for all Americans. Founder: Sasha Kolodkin (MSI/MBA 2024); Applebaum Impact Design Fellow: Carly Fink (MBA 2023)

Students George Okpamen and Grace Sanders share their plans with Gabe Scharg and Josh Sklar.

La Onda looks to create and foster community for Latinx individuals and reduce barriers to accessing mental health resources. Founder: Christian Ilarraza Colón (MBA/MPP 2023); Applebaum Impact Design Fellow: Alejandra Fuentes (MPP 2023)

G2G: Grow Together eases the financial and emotional burden of individuals experiencing major life hardships (divorce, infertility, caregiving, life-threatening ailment) by offering an app-based platform with 1:1 financial coaching, financial education modules that uses story-telling & behavior change principles, and a community support forum.  Founder: Yasmin Abdulhadi (MBA 2023) Applebaum Impact Design Fellow: Bridgit Jung (IS 2025)

CliMates goal is to have ten million people invested into climate action through time, energy and money by 2030. Co-Founders: Akhila Kosaraju (M.Des 2023), Isha Goel (MS Corporate Sustainability 2022) & Chris Okumura (BS, Electronics 2022);  Applebaum Impact Design Fellow: Grace Sanders (BBA 2023)



Paths of Protest: Histories of Student Activism on Campus

Paths of Protest poster

When the university fails, who steps up? Join the students of History 294/Amcult 301 for a historical campus walking tour about UMich student activism on Tuesday, December 6th at 1:00PM on the front steps of the Michigan Union. “Paths of Protest” disrupts university narratives of progress and instead centers students as the agents of change on campus. This hour-long tour includes stops at ten different historical campus sites, and free hot chocolate will be served afterwards.

Registration link

Can we fix business education to build equitable enterprises?

Business is by far the most popular college major in America. But are business schools training young people to build and lead more equitable enterprises, or churning out apparatchiks whose main function is to serve shareholders? An alarming recent study from the National Bureau of Economic Research reports that business school-educated executives do not improve corporate performance — but they do lower wages. Is business education inherently anti-labor and pro-investor? And how should business education change to meet the aspirations of Gen Z, which is more diverse, better educated, and far more progressive than prior generations?

This question has a new urgency today, as the basic structure of business is being fundamentally transformed by new technologies that have disrupted how companies raise capital, recruit and deploy labor, manage supply chains, and get products to customers.

Read full post

Meet the +Impact Studio’s Newest Founders & Applebaum Impact Design Fellows!

The +Impact Studio kicks off an exciting academic year and welcomes its newest cohort of Founders and Applebaum Impact Design Fellows! Having selected eight tremendous Applebaum Impact Design Fellows to support eight unique student-led ventures (Founders), we are excited to see the fresh faces in addition to our one returning Founder. Hailing from eight different degree programs across campus, this dynamic group of social innovators is the largest, with the broadest range of skills, backgrounds, and experiences to come! While the Studio seeks to advance all facets of impact, this year’s efforts prioritize advancing ideas that address climate action and/or diversity, equity, inclusion & racial justice (DEIRJ).

Read the full story on Medium

MBC Workshop: Defining Your Problem

Open to all students interested in Michigan Business Challenge.  As part of the Michigan Business Challenge – Seigle Impact Track program for 2022-23, students will have a chance to learn more about Problem Definition and Root Cause as they plan their enterprises and compete in the challenge. Students will have an opportunity to dig into the challenge their venture addresses, including defining the stakeholders and diving deeper into their “why”. 

This session will be taught by Professor Sue Ann Savas and is open to students outside of the Michigan Business Challenge too.

Please RSVP Here

Four MBAs Receive 2022-23 Skip and Carrie Gordon Scholarships

ANN ARBOR – Oct. 12, 2022 – Business+Impact (B+I) is pleased to announce that Summer Abiad (MBA ’23), Connor Donnelly (MBA/MS ’23), Harshita Pilla (MBA/MURP ’23), and Joss Woodhead (MBA ’23) are the recipients of the 2022-23 Skip and Carrie Gordon Scholarships for outstanding commitment to solving complex social challenges. The award comes with $7,500 for each recipient. Gordon Scholars serve as B+I Student Ambassadors for the 2022-23 academic year.

Summer Abiad, MBA ‘23

Summer went to Davidson College for undergrad, and had the opportunity to do a pro-bono project for an NGO client working to improve sexual and reproductive health outcomes for women and girls. Afterward, in Chicago she joined her company’s Women’s ERG and healthcare/life science DEI leadership teams; and created an Intersectional Leadership Toolkit, drove annual benchmarking surveys, and facilitated design thinking workshops that led to a Women’s Advocacy Playbook. She also signed up for periodic days of service at her company with food pantries, emergency relief package packing, and cleaning up parks. She wanted to do something more consistently so she also signed up to be a mentor with HFS Chicago Scholars. 

Upon arrival at Michigan Ross, Summer worked on three pro-bono projects for local nonprofits (Detroit Food Academy, Birth Detroit, and the Alliance for Jewish Renewal) through the Community Consulting Case and Detroit R&B clubs. She took advantage of MAP to do a 2-month project with High Scope Educational Research Foundation, a nonprofit in Ypsilanti looking to renovate an abandoned church into a community center.

This past summer started with the Open Road program, where her team went around the Midwest working with Black-owned social enterprises. Her summer continued with an internship with the Forté Foundation, where she used business tools towards a mission of achieving gender equity in MBA programs and business management. Finally, Summer has taken advantage of the social impact classes at UM, such as Business & Society Equity Analytics, and Grant Writing & Fundraising to gain theoretical and practical tools for a career in impact. Post-graduation she plans to work in social impact, potentially through social impact consulting, and as an active member of the community where she lives. She wants to be a better and active ally no matter what space she is in and continue to be civically engaged.

Connor Donnelly, MBA/MS Environment ‘23

During his undergrad at Cornell University, Connor majored in Economics and minored in Inequality Studies to tackle the climate crisis and broader social inequities. Upon graduation in 2017, he became an AmeriCorps Member for City Year Los Angeles. At the same, he was a Team Leader for a youth engagement group that became an AmeriCorps program the following year: Changeist. After completing a year of service with AmeriCorps, Connor became a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural Uganda as a 5th grade Math, Science, and English teacher. Upon coming to Michigan Ross, Connor has been part of Net Impact, the DEI team of the Erb Student Advisory Board, the JEDI team for the Ross Energy Club, and the Nonprofit Board Fellowship through Business + Impact.

After serving as a Board Fellow, the board at the Salvation Army asked him to continue his project through the summer as an internship before it was ultimately picked up by two people the following year. After a yearlong Nonprofit Board Fellowship experience, he became a Senior Board Fellow for this year’s incoming cohort, as well. As an MBA/MS Environmental Justice candidate, Connor has taken sustainability- and equity-focused courses like Social Vulnerability and Adaptation, Energy Justice, a Masters Project on food waste, and a MAP course involving an energy poverty startup in Brazil. His two summer internships were both in the nonprofit sector — with Salvation Army and the Environmental Defense Fund. He was recently selected as a GreenBiz 2022 BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Person Of Color) Emerging Leader because of his efforts in larger impact and his obvious intentions to address environmental justice within the business sector moving forward. His long-term goal is to start his own social enterprise surrounding climate inequity, primarily for his fellow Latinos.

Harshita Pilla, MBA/MURP ‘23

Harshita’s undergraduate experience at UC Berkeley exposed her to the systemic injustice that disadvantaged communities face and introduced her to the ways in which the built environment intensifies these conditions. After college, she decided to take a role consulting for FivePoint on a mixed-use development aimed at revitalizing Bayview and Hunter’s Point, historically low-income and predominantly African American neighborhoods in San Francisco. As a result of voicing her concerns about diversity while at We Work, she was elected to take part in the regional We of Color committee, for underrepresented communities of color to engage with each other both on a local and company-wide level.

It was Harshita’s exposure to the realities of community displacement and housing inaccessibility that motivated her to pursue graduate education in Urban Planning and Business at the University of Michigan.  Even before arriving in Ann Arbor, she tapped into the community, launching “MBA Students Care,” a fundraising campaign in response to the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. Since arriving here, Harshita’s commitment to building an inclusive community at Ross is displayed beyond her section president responsibilities and spans into many spaces, from her role as the VP of Student Life in the Ross DEI Committee to her involvement in the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management. Engaging with the impact curriculum at Ross has led Harshita to the two most formative experiences she’s had in graduate school: The Social Venture Fund (SVF) and the Business+Impact’s Board Fellows program. Now she serves as director of culture and recruitment for SVF, and this year is seated as a senior board fellow in the Board Fellows program. Harshita’s long term career goal is to apply the lessons learned from both her previous work experience and her MBA coursework to start her own venture focused on developing creative solutions for affordable housing for the historically excluded.

Joss Woodhead, MBA ‘23

Not long after graduating from the University of Southampton, Joss took 12 months out of his career to volunteer, fundraise, and travel across Asia, Africa, the US, and Europe — and lived through a deadly earthquake in Indonesia.  In response, he distributed food, gave blood and raised money for the host family he stayed with. In South Africa, Joss undertook wildlife conservation work on a private game reserve and also volunteered at a children’s orphanage. Later,  he completed a professional certification that focused on how environmental and social factors can best be integrated within the investment and finance industry.  

Immediately upon arriving at Michigan Ross, Joss participated in B+I’s Board Fellows program, working with Neighborhood Legal Services Michigan, and was asked by the chairman of the board to return as a full board member. He  joined the Net Impact club, and was a prize winner for a national case competition that focused on improving the sustainability and social impact practices of a major retailer. Joss’ six-week MAP project involved creating and implementing a deforestation/social impact policy for the largest food distributor in the US. Following this, he was admitted to Ross Open Road, where he and three team members drove across the US (Columbus, Nashville, St Louis, and Detroit), working with black- and women-owned businesses and nonprofits. At the beginning of his second year at Ross, he was chosen as the VP for Professional Development for Net Impact Club and VP for Recruitment for Ross Open Road. Joss is currently leading an initiative at Ross that aims to integrate more ethics, social impact, and environmental sustainability topics within the core curriculum.

Joss’ ultimate personal aim is to set up and run his own foundation/nonprofit, focusing on bringing individuals situated at the base of the economic pyramid out of poverty through developing areas such as sanitation, education, and women’s rights.

Business+Impact is proud of all three winners, their aspirations, and all that they have already accomplished!

Reproductive Freedom For All: a WeListen Staff Discussion

WeListen Reproductive Freedom

WeListen Reproductive FreedomJoin us for a thoughtful discussion about Michigan’s Reproductive Freedom For All ballot measure as we discuss the details and possible outcomes of the ballot measure. This WeListen session is open to all UM staff members across the political spectrum.
All voices and views are welcome and the Zoom link for this event will be shared once you’ve RSVP’d.

RSVP here:

Our aim is to bring liberals, conservatives, libertarians- everyone across the political spectrum- together for constructive conversation. The goal of WeListen discussions is not to debate or argue, but to understand the views and values of others and to learn from their perspectives. The session will begin with a brief content presentation to provide a basic understanding of the topic. No specific level of knowledge is required to participate in WeListen discussions.

By participating in WeListen sessions, staff members will:
– Expand understanding of a prominent political topic
– Practice discussing difficult topics with others,
– Gain openness to new ideas and perspectives,
– Learn to productively challenge an idea, and
– Form a sense of community among fellow staff members.

Questions? Email us at

Fifth Annual Business+Impact Showcase Features 35 Impact Organizations

Ann Arbor, September 8, 2022 – Once again, as part of Business+Impact’s mission to make students aware of all the impact opportunities across the University of Michigan campus, B+I welcomed incoming and returning students to its fifth annual Business+Impact Showcase on Thurs, Sept. 8 from Noon – 2 pm at Michigan Ross. New and returning students from across campus met with 35 exhibiting organizations from U-M in areas of interest like social justice, diversity,  sustainability, social entrepreneurship and economic development.

Students visited booths for student clubs, Ross centers, and U-M-wide initiatives. A complete list of exhibitors appears at the end of this article. Ross’ new dean Sharon Matusik opened the event with a video announcement, and B+I Faculty Director, Jerry Davis thanked the exhibitors for presenting a cross section of the many opportunities to engage in social impact and sustainability across campus.

The event also promoted the Impact Gateway (, basically the online version of this event, available 24-7 throughout the school year.  This gateway lists clubs, colleagues, current events, courses,  and more for all student changemakers across the University of Michigan.

At the event, attendees enjoyed finger foods and mocktails, and participated in live raffles and a special networking area.

The Business+Impact initiative hosts this event annually in order to provide new students with a roadmap for work in sustainability, social issues, poverty, economic development, human rights, and other important causes. Michigan Ross, as the home of the Erb Institute, the Center for Positive Organizations and the William Davidson Institute,  and others, has already established itself as a school teaching that business can be a force for good in the world; Business+Impact institutionalizes these goals with research, practicum and partnerships.

Complete list of Exhibitors (click tiles for more info)

The +Impact Studio at the Ross School of Business is a campus hub for impact creators and innovators. Launched within the Business+Impact Initiative in 2019, our mission is to bring impactful ideas to life using business knowledge, design tools, and research expertise. The +Impact Studio encompasses a collaboration space, an interdisciplinary graduate course, a design lab for impact-focused ventures and projects, and workshops and events. Our model activates the vast expertise and research insights from across campus to support the development and launch of powerful, impactful concepts.

180 Degrees Consulting is the world’s largest consultancy focusing on social enterprises, nonprofits, and international focused Fortune 500 companies. We provide organizations around the world with high quality and affordable consulting services. 180DC works with organizations to develop innovative, practical, and sustainable solutions for the challenges they face.

At the 180DC Michigan branch, we are driven by a passion to help these organizations solve unique challenges so they can make the greatest social impact in their respective communities. Our members share a common goal of taking part in consulting work that is not only challenging, but meaningful and rewarding. Finally, more than a student organization, we are a family that spends time together through a variety of social events throughout the year.

We accept applicants at the beginning of both Fall and Winter semesters. To learn more about joining, please visit our website!

BLUElab is a student organization composed of four active project teams that are united through a sustainable, socially engaged design process. We believe that design is about people, and that the best designs are sustainable, taking into account all social, economic, and environmental impacts. For these reasons, our project teams are multidisciplinary and emphasize collaboration with local and international stakeholders to ensure that identified needs (typically in the areas of agriculture, education, energy, resource management, and water) are appropriately addressed. We offer students the opportunity to hone their interpersonal skills, engage in social responsibility, participate in an interactive design experience, and develop as servant leaders.

Check out our website for more info, as well as the interest form and Instagram to stay in the loop with recruitment!

 Blueprints For Pangaea is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing sustainable solutions to inefficient health care resource distribution. With the support of our supplier and distributor partners, we reallocate excess, unused medical supplies from U.S. hospitals to those overseas in need.

Through this sustainable, scalable model, we redistribute precious resources from areas of great surplus to areas of great need, minimizing domestic inefficiency while mobilizing accessible health care in emerging communities.

We accept applicants at the beginning of the Fall and Winter semesters. To learn more about joining, visit us at or reach out at contact@b4pglobal.orgAccordion Content

Michigan Ross seeks to build a better world through business. Business+Impact is the central hub for these efforts, providing ideas and solutions to address the global challenges of our generation. We aim to embed impact deeply into every core activity of Ross, including teaching, research, and outreach. As such, impact is not a silo, but an integral part of the DNA of our business school. 

Ross already has a strong reputation for impact, with centers and institutes focused on worldwide challenges, and one fifth of incoming students expressing an interest in impact careers. But as we go forward, in addition to our existing programs and Impact Gateway, we will pursue the creation of a new +Impact Studio for coworking, a social innovation series to disseminate impact research, and deeper engagement with Detroit.

Business+Tech is building a stronger and more connected tech community at U-M and beyond. We generate innovative context to expand tech literacy and curate action-based learning opportunities to advance tech competency. Open to students from all schools/colleges, our programs incorporate competitions, panels, speakers, and networking events that support those looking to pivot into tech or start a career at a tech company. Interested in learning more? Email Emilee Studley, Business+Tech Program Manager at

The Center for Positive Organizations is the leading global center for the science of designing and sustaining thriving organizations. Located in the Ross School of Business, we are the launchpad for those looking to build thriving organizations and careers. We offer world-class curriculum, learning experiences, and programs that lead to work filled with meaning and positive contributions. Our students gain the knowledge, tools, and resources to change the business world for the better. We are a Center of visionaries and revolutionaries.

To learn more about our student programs, visit the Students section on our website by selecting “Students” from the “Learn” dropdown menu.

Socially Engaged Design is human(ity) centered – not just user centered.   We consider broad contexts through an equity-centered lens that impact the practice of engineering, including social, cultural, political, economic, and environmental factors that can completely change the design of solutions.  Further, we push designers to analyze how their own identities and cultural context shape their approach. The Center for Socially Engaged Design provides students the necessary space and tools to think more critically about design. Whether you’re currently in a course, working solo, or on a co-curricular team — or you have an idea you’d like to explore, C-SED can help.

We are the UM student chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby. CCL is a nonprofit, grassroots, international organization. Its mission is to create the political will to pass a federal climate action policy, Carbon Fee and Dividend, which we see as the best first-step to solving climate change.

The goal of our student chapter is to create the political will on campus for this climate change solution. We will accomplish this through grassroots outreach, education, partnerships, media, and lobbying. Our approach to advocacy centers around nonpartisanship, respect, and pragmatism.

Ultimately, we use these advocacy efforts to build positive relationships with our elected officials so that we can move the needle on climate action at the federal level.

So please, join us! As a member of this student group, you can be part of the solution to climate change.

Formerly Community Consulting Club, CCC provides pro-bono business experience to local non-profits through a case competition. Teams of 5-7 students will work through a 10-week engagement for their nonprofit partner. Their projects will culminate in a case competition in December judged by a panel of Strategy& consultants, with the winning team’s nonprofit receiving a monetary donation.


In addition to the consulting engagement, our club works to increase participants’ exposure to consulting firms that complete impact driven work. This year we will be bringing in a variety of firms for small group sessions with our members.


We believe in a work hard, play hard mentality! After the case competition is finished, we will hold a gala for our members at the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA)

Launched by Ross School of Business MBA students in 2010, the Detroit Initiative at Ross connects University of Michigan students with Detroit’s vibrant and evolving business landscape. Through on- and off-campus events, an annual Impact Conference, student-run consulting projects, and a mentoring program, DIR promotes the city’s assets and encourages University of Michigan students to experience, engage with, and commit to the revitalization of the Motor City.

The Detroit Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Project is a program of the Ford School of Public Policy’s Center on Finance, Law & Policy. DNEP brings together neighborhood-based Detroit businesses with University of Michigan faculty-supervised student teams from Ross, Law, Stamps, and Information to provide a learning experience for students and solve business’ legal, financial, marketing, operational, design, and technology challenges.Through semester-long courses, an internship program, and year-round programs, we are supporting minority-owned businesses in changing Detroit neighborhoods.

The Erb Institute is a partnership between the Ross School of Business and the School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) at the University of Michigan. The institute’s mission is to create a socially and environmentally sustainable world through the power of business. We do that through research, teaching and business engagement—all focused on preparing and supporting bold business leaders who can adeptly transform companies, industries and entire economies for systemic sustainability.


The institute was founded 25 years ago as a dual-degree program in which graduate students receive their MBA from Ross and their MS from SEAS. In 2020, the institute expanded its educational programming to undergraduate students with the creation of the Erb Undergraduate Fellows program. Today, the institute has grown to include scholarly and applied research on business sustainability, as well as direct business engagement to turn ideas into action through on-the-ground projects with companies, social enterprises and nonprofits committed to business sustainability.

Ross is known for its collaborative culture and engagement in social impact. No other initiative exemplifies this better than the student-led Give-A-Day Fund. Launched in 2012, the Fund is a first-of-its-kind initiative among U.S. business schools. The Give-A-Day Fund engages Ross MBAs with the social impact community by providing financial assistance to students interning with impact organizations, which often provide interns with little to no salary. As its name implies, MBA students are asked to donate a day of their summer internship salary to make this support possible.

Since 2006, the Graham Sustainability Institute has worked to mobilize the passion of scholars, partners, and decision-makers, bringing world-class research to real-world sustainability challenges. Today, with a focus on climate change and water resources, we continue to facilitate engaged research, develop sustainability leaders, and inform policy and practice. Our emphasis on interdisciplinary, cross-sector partnerships leads to well-informed solutions that are practical, measurable, and widely applicable.

Graham’s Dow Distinguished Awards Competition provides student research funding of up to $30,000 over one calendar year for interdisciplinary graduate student teams to pursue applied solutions to sustainability challenges at the local, national, or global level.

The Graham Sustainability Scholars Program is a competitive sustainability leadership development program open to U-M undergraduates. Graham Scholars learn to incorporate sustainability into the campus, their lifestyle, their discipline, and the broader community through rich co-curricular experiences that include managing an interdisciplinary sustainability project with a local organization, honing leadership, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills, and completing a sustainability-focused summer field experience.

Graham will be accepting applications for both programs soon! Please contact for details.

The Impact Investing Group is a 501(c)3 nonprofit and student-led organization at the University of Michigan providing financial & consulting services to local Ann Arbor and Detroit microbusinesses to empower entrepreneurs, aid in community revitalization, and foster inclusive and sustainable financing.

The Michigan Impact Investing Symposium provides Ross School of Business, School of Public Policy, Program in the Environment, and all other interested undergraduate students at the University of Michigan a space to learn about impact investing and the career opportunities that exist within it. For the past 2 years, we have put on a symposium featuring industry leaders to speak on panels, hold coffee chats, and provide other networking opportunities throughout the event. This year, in addition to the symposium, we aim to hold biweekly educational meetings to inform and empower our general members during the Winter semester.

MESA strives to promote student development and empower the campus community around issues of diversity and social justice through the lens of race and ethnicity.

Fun: We hope to weave celebration, laughter, and joy into our environment.

Collective Community: We build relationships with and beyond our circles so that we can work collaboratively to positively impact our environment, wherever that may be.

Trust: We trust individual and collective narratives and experiences. Some narratives sit in complement and other in contrast. Each engagement is an opportunity to extend and preserve trust by actively listening and demonstrating empathy and compassion.

Integrity: We will be honest, authentic and transparent; our decisions, actions and words will match what and who we say we are.

Intersectionality: While race/ethnicity is our foundation, we recognize that identities coexist to create a multi-dimensional person.

Transformation: We believe social change starts with the individual. We are committed to creating experiences and spaces that grow knowledge and take us to our learning edge.

Net Impact @ Ross is a professional club and community for Ross students committed to driving social change. We are part of a broader international network of business leaders committed to responsible business models, policies and practices. Net Impact members seek to integrate this commitment into the mission, values, strategy and operations of organizations in which they are involved.

Net Impact Undergrad a collaborative, engaging club of diverse undergraduate students passionate about the intersection of business with social impact and sustainability. We hold weekly educational, professional development, and community-building events for our members and host university-wide symposiums and panels. Net Impact is a community of over 150 chapters and 30,000 changemakers, who are using their jobs and skills to tackle the world’s toughest problems. We are the University of Michigan’s Undergraduate Chapter, housed in the Ross School of Business, but open to all undergraduate students. Our aim is to put our education to work throughout every sector, showing the world that it is possible to make an impact that benefits not just the bottom line, but the people and the planet too. Using business as our vehicle, we’re pretty excited to change the world.


Open Road is an established action-based social entrepreneurship program developed by Ross students and powered by Business+Impact and the Ford Motor Company. The aim of the program is to give small business owners extra hands in solving complex challenges and to help students gain real experience understanding the various issues social ventures face. Over the course of five weeks, students drive from state to state meeting socially-driven entrepreneurs. Students spend one week on-site in each location, working closely with the entrepreneur, to provide a solution or recommendation to a business problem they are facing. At the end of each week, students pack up the car and hit the road again to meet with the next entrepreneur!

optiMize is a student-led community that offers workshops, mentorship, and funding for students to work on projects that make a positive impact. optiMize is open to all U-M students, regardless of college or campus. Get involved at!

Planet Blue – In the lab, on campus, and in partnership with communities near and far, the University of Michigan is developing just solutions to society’s most pressing environmental challenges. Sustainability is a mindset and framework for ensuring that current and future generations have equitable access to the resources for a full and vibrant life without the exploitation of people, society or the environment.

Poverty SolutionsUniversity of Michigan Poverty Solutions logo. Image is of the University of Michigan big block letter M in yellow and the words Poverty Solutions below. is a university-wide presidential initiative at the University of Michigan that partners with communities and policymakers to find new ways to prevent and alleviate poverty through action-based research. In confronting the challenges of poverty, we know scholars don’t have all the answers. Yet we have an important role to play. We can bring data, evidence, and analysis to identify critical issues and evidence-based solutions. Working in partnership, we can inform concrete action that empowers families to live healthy and productive lives.

The Program in the Environment (PitE) offers both a broad liberal arts education in environmental topics and the opportunity for students to pursue various lines of individual interest in considerable depth.  Broadly speaking, PitE’s curriculum focuses on the complex interactions of human beings and their environment.  To understand these interactions and learn how to create more rational and equitable forms of human habitation on this planet, PitE students develop a multidisciplinary perspective integrating the methods and approaches of the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities.

It is our 20th Anniversary this year! Keep an eye out for special event announcements from us.

Propel’s mission is to educate students at the University of Michigan on the intersection between positive business and social impact; and to work alongside local organizations, developing initiatives to maximuze their impact.

The Career Development Office (CDO) at Michigan Ross is charged with delivering world-best career services to its students. CDO partners with recruiters, academic programs, alumni, and clubs to help Ross students prepare for recruiting, develop connections, and leverage the power of the Michigan alumni network. Dedicated CDO Career Coaches are available to support students explore careers with impact and help them navigate and strategize for the internship and job search.

The Student Sustainability Coalition (SSC) promotes a sustainable campus culture at the University of Michigan by bringing people together to achieve social and environmental change. SSC is not a club or member organization—rather, we are a small group of students who work closely with the Graham Sustainability Institute, the Office of Campus Sustainability, Student Life, and the many student organizations across campus to advance sustainability. We are here to build connections, foster new partnerships, and amplify initiatives.

The Detroit Partnership seeks to connect the students at the University of Michigan with Detroit-based community partners by facilitating service-learning opportunities and on-campus events.  Beginning in 2018, The Detroit Partnership is now a student organization sponsored by the Ginsberg Center at the University of Michigan. Additionally, The Detroit Partnership is a government registered 501(c)(3) organization.

Our organization has two main service parts, our weekly programs and our major events. For weekly programs, we organize transportation for students to travel to Detroit once per week. Programs can range from tutoring children to teaching squash to helping adults get identification to apply to jobs! We have a program for everyone’s interests and aim to foster sustainable, educational relationships with our community partners. Our fall programs are now open!

For major events, we organize the largest single day of service at the University of Michigan. Detroit Partnership Day, also known as “DP Day,” occurs in late March or early April in second semester and brings hundreds of students and their respective clubs to Detroit to volunteer for a day. Additionally, we help put on “One Stop Shop” where we hold fundraisers to purchase toys and winter clothing for families in Detroit. While a member of the community shops, we help hold bags and guide them through the many sections of the store created inside of a Brightmoor church. Our internal planning team also participates in RCDC Day where we work on community revitalization projects such as weeding and gardening for one day.

The Law School launched the Problem Solving Initiative (PSI) in Winter 2017 to bring together students and faculty from law and other disciplines to actively apply creative problem solving, collaboration, and design thinking skills to complex, pressing challenges in a classroom setting.

Since 2017, students and faculty from a range of U-M units, including Nursing, the Campus Farm, Engineering, History of Art, Information, Sociology, SEAS, Medicine, and Business, have worked on a wide array of challenges as part of the Problem Solving Initiative.

PSI classes allow students to learn about topics such as sustainable food systems, connected and automated vehicles, human trafficking, “fake news,” firearm violence, and new music business models. At the same time, these classes allow students to learn about and apply tools, such as problem reframing, practicing empathy, prototyping, and more, that they will continue to apply in other classes, collaborative efforts, and the workplace.

The University of Michigan Solar Car Team is an entirely student-run organization that designs and builds solar electric vehicles. The team races both nationally and internationally. Since its establishment in 1989, the team has built 16 vehicles, won the American Solar Challenge nine times, placed in the top three in the World Solar Challenge seven times, and won one international competition. The team is recognized as the most successful team in North America, and one of the most successful teams in the world. The Business Division is responsible for fundraising, budgeting, and sourcing. Business division members work to develop and maintain sponsor relations with corporations around the world, large and small. The Communications division handles marketing, public relations, and produces media dedicated to generating interest in our team, solar racing, and renewable energy technologies.

Housed within the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, the Weiser Center for Real Estate connects the next generation of real estate professionals with the tools necessary to make a positive and equitable impact on built environments.  The Center serves as a hub for all things real estate at the University of Michigan, providing students with educational and professional development opportunities, supporting applied research responsive to the needs of industry and policy makers, and serving as a catalyst for interdisciplinary collaboration at the University and beyond.

At the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan, unlocking the power of business to provide lasting economic and social prosperity in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is in our DNA. We gather the data, develop new models, test concepts and collaborate with partners to find real solutions that lead to new opportunities. This is what we mean by Solving for Business—our calling since the Institute was first founded as an independent nonprofit educational organization in 1992. We believe societies that empower individuals with the tools and skills to excel in business, in turn generate both economic growth and social freedom—or the agency necessary for people to thrive.

Women Who Launch (WWL) is dedicated to creating a gender equal entrepreneurial ecosystem. Through hands-on workshops, speaker events, and networking opportunities we empower women to engage with entrepreneurship, whether as founders, funders, or team members. WWL hosts year-round educational and social programming that addresses topics significant to women in investing and entrepreneurship. Programming includes events such as a monthly speaker series,

industry-focused small group dinners, and a gender-focused investment research program.

The Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at Michigan Ross advances the knowledge and practice of entrepreneurship and innovation through academics, competitions, symposium, and global community outreach. The Zell Lurie Institute is the foremost resource for students as they pursue entrepreneurial endeavors and private equity careers.   

September 2022 Newsletter

The Business Impact showcase

Meet with 30+ U-M Impact Groups at the B+I Showcase

Thurs, Sept. 8 @ Noon – 2 pm
Tauber Colloquium
Ross School of Business

Welcome new and returning students! We hope your summer was invigorating, because we have a lot of opportunities coming up for you. As part of our mission to make students aware of impact opportunities across campus, we welcome all U-M students to our fifth annual Business+Impact Showcase on Thurs, Sept. 8 from Noon – 2 pm at Ross’s sixth floor Tauber Colloquium. Students will have a chance to meet with over 30 organizations and map out their U-M impact journeys. The event will also feature a “Mission & Mocktails Room,” a raffle, and lunchtime food.


Nonprofit Board Fellowship Info Sessions and Application

Business+Impact’s Nonprofit Board Fellowship Program develops cross-sector leadership skills by placing graduate students as ex officio members on boards at Southeast Michigan nonprofits.

The 2022-23 Student Application for the program is now available, along with student instructions, and is due Fri, Sept. 9 at noon.

If you haven’t yet, you must attend the info session below in order to participate in the program for 2022-23:

BF Info Session
Wed. Sept 7 @ 4 pm
Room 3240, Weill Hall

If you are unable to attend due to an academic or religious conflict, please email us to schedule an alternate time.


+Impact Studio Founders and Applebaum Impact Design Fellows Application

If you’re a current U-M student from any degree program who has a strong entrepreneurial spirit, and enthusiasm for interdisciplinary collaboration, we want you!  If you have a commitment to impact, and willingness to help take ideas from concept to prototype to scale, we want you!

The +Impact Studio Founders Program helps impact-driven creators and innovators bring impactful ideas to life that build a sustainable and just world for all! Using business knowledge, design tools, and research expertise, our experienced and interdisciplinary coaches and fellows roll up their sleeves and work alongside founders to accomplish great things.

Applebaum Impact Design Fellows are part of an interdisciplinary cohort working to support the +Impact Studio Founders Program & prototype studio concepts.




Ross Event Highlights:

Ross Admissions: Women’s Forte Forum
Thurs, Sept. 8 @ 11 am ET

CPO: What Inclusive Leaders Do Differently
Wed, Sept. 14 @ 2 pm ET

Photo of various ages and races of women facing the camera, wearing pastel colors.

Ross Admissions: Ross Women’s Weekend
Thurs-Sat, Oct 6-8
Ross School of Business

Crowd of diverse students with a Ross flag.

Ross Admissions: UpClose Diversity Weekend
Fri-Sun , Oct 7-9
Ross School of Business

MBA2 Gordon Impact Scholarship Application Due in September

Application due:
Mon, Sept. 26 @ Noon

Are you an MBA2 committed to addressing complex social challenges? This year the Skip and Carrie Gordon Scholarship Fund will award four $7,500 scholarships to MBA2s who demonstrate a dedication to impact. Applications are open now, and winners will be announced in late September.

J’Taime Lyons (MBA/MPP ’22), Nathan Alston (MBA ’22), and Elizabeth Wallace (MBA/MS ’22) were each chosen to receive Gordon Scholarships in 2021-22.


A Summer of Impact: Insights from B+I Summer Interns

This year, Business+ Impact’s Summer Fund financially supported the summer impact internships of 29 University of Michigan students. MBA funding came from the Give-A-Day Fund, a student-led MBA pay-it-forward fund, and from General Motors. Additionally, the Gordon Impact Entrepreneurship Fund provided support for BBA and MBA student internships with ventures or funders seeking to create societal impact. Students from Ross and Ford created impact through virtual or onsite internships, where they developed skills in business and policy that expanded their horizons exponentially and created value for numerous impact organizations. Read their stories below, and see photos from their experiences.


Impact News & Notes

OVPR anti-racism grants awarded to eight research teams

U-M students put skills to work through summer internship program, helping Detroit communities

New Research Explains What Triggers Corporate Action on Social Issues – featuring CPO’s Stephanie Creary

Facebook bans hate speech but still makes money from white supremacy ads – featuring Libby Hemphill

U-M study: Local renewable energy employment can fully replace U.S. coal jobs nationwide

Business schools get a bad rap – but a closer look shows they’re often a force for goodCollective Experimentation and Acts of Urbanism in Banglatown, Detroit

Compromises in Democrats’ climate bill will hit communities facing most pollution hardest, critics say – featuring Kyle Whyte

Helping youth harness the power of communication

A win-win: working together to increase the impact

Stakes are high for Detroit renters living in foreclosed homes

Poverty Solutions collaborates on Detroit Land Contract Buyer Guide

Rabe: Landmark U.S. climate bill addresses methane

U-M study finds discussing carbon dioxide removal does not limit climate policy support

Poverty Solutions: Washtenaw County should consider long-term impact, implementation of ARPA allocations


Bob Chapman in a suit.Bob Chapman (MBA ’68)

Bob Chapman (MBA ‘68) was recently named the #3 CEO in the world by Inc. and a Top Social Capital CEO by the International Business Times.  As Chairman and CEO of $3.5 billion global capital equipment and consulting firm Barry-Wehmiller, Chapman is showing what’s possible at the intersection of great business strategy and profound care for people.  It’s the message of his 2015 Wall Street Journal bestseller Everybody Matters, his “Truly Human Leadership” TEDxTalk and a Harvard Business School case study that is used by 70 universities around the world. We caught up with Bob around the end of August 2022 and asked him questions, not only about leadership, but navigating through tough times.



Image of Impact Gateway homepage.

A Searchable Platform for All Things Impact at Ross and Across Campus

The Business+Impact Gateway provides you with a single location for all things impact. Here you’ll find all of the activities, people and key partners working to use their learning to make a real impact in the world. 


At the University:


Climate Justice for Whom?

Fri, Sept. 9 @ 10 – 11 am
1040 Dana Building

What are the types of injustices associated with low-carbon transitions? Relatedly, in what ways do low-carbon transitions worsen social risks or vulnerabilities? Lastly, what policies might be deployed to make these transitions more just? Join SEAS and STPP for a talk with Dr. Benjamin K. Sovacool.

More Info


Entering, Engaging, and Exiting Communities

Wed, Sept. 14 @ Noon – 1:30 pm

Thurs, Sept 22 @ 4:30 – 6 pm

All students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to attend this community kick-off to the fall semester. Join the SEAS/PitE community and welcome both old and new faces to the start of the school year. Socialize, have fun and enjoy a bite to eat.

Register for 9/14    Register for 9/22


Social Change in Action: How to Be a Change Agent

Lecture: Wed, Sept. 14 @ 12:30 – 2 pm
Reception: @ 2 – 3 pm
Rogel Ballroom, Michigan Union

The Social Justice Changemaker Lecture series was established by a generous gift from Neil and Annmarie Hawkins. The second annual lecture features Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation. He will be joined by Dean Beth Angell as they explore ways to become a social justice change agent during challenging times.

More Info & RSVP


CEW+ Annual Advocacy Symposium

Wed, Sept. 21 @ 12 – 5:45 pm
Michigan League

The advocacy symposium features a keynote lecture from a nationally or internationally renowned advocate, the presentation of the Carol Hollenshead Inspire Award for Excellence in Promoting Equity and Social Change, a capstone presentation by the outgoing Twink Frey Visiting Social Activist, and the introduction of the next activist.

More info



Thurs, Sept. 22 @ 10 am – 2 pm
On the Diag

Earthfest celebrates sustainability initiatives across U-M and the surrounding communities, while providing an inclusive platform to educate and engage the campus community on opportunities to support sustainability and environmental justice on campus and in our daily lives. Come learn about sustainability on campus and particpate in fun engagement opportunities.

More Info


Social Policy Is Health Policy: Lessons from the Pandemic

Fri, Sept. 23 @ 4-5 pm
Room 1120, Weill Hall

Join Ford School Dean and founding director of the U-M Center for Racial Justice, Celeste Watkins-Hayes, along with and Paula Lantz the James B. Hudak Professor of Health Policy, as they discuss the devastating structural inequities exposed by the COVID pandemic—and why all policymakers must now be equipped with a toolkit for navigating pandemics.

More Info


DEI Summit 2022

Wed, Oct. 12 @ 10-11:30 am
Power Center

This year’s summit theme, DEI: Nurturing the Heart, Mind and Soul, explores the role of the arts in supporting our humanity (heart), mental health and wellness (mind), and religious/spiritual diversity (soul). Although distinct, these topics all address components of self-identity and influence how we show up in the world.

More Info

In the Impact Community:

Detroit Month of Design

Detroit, MI

The 12th annual Detroit Month of Design is here and runs through September 30! The citywide collaboration of creativity that gathers designers and the greater community to celebrate Detroit’s role as a national and global design capital. The theme this year is United By Design, and the intention with the 2022 festival is to bring unity to the forefront.

More Info

Rally Winter 2023 Cohort

Apply Now!

Come join Rally and get all of the tools you need to accelerate the success of your social enterprise! The mission of Rally’s social enterprise accelerator is to help local, national, and international entrepreneurs transform their early-stage work into sustainable ventures that create positive social change, with support from mentorship & 1-on-1 coaching.

More Info

Centering Justice

Wed, Sept. 21 @ Noon – 1:30 pm ET

Centering Justice offers the insight and guidance we need to realize our vision for the future. In these monthly virtual gatherings, you’ll hear the stories and live experience of inspiring leaders of color. You’ll witness passionate dialogue between nonprofit leaders, artists, activists, faith leaders, and others. Join us to hear their invitations and live into their calls to action.

Registration info

Women Leading Nonprofits

Wed, Sept. 28 @ 4:30 – 6:30 pm
614 First St NW, Grand Rapids

Michigan Nonprofit Association presents this year’s annual “Women Leading Nonprofits” event!. Guest Speakers will share lessons in leadership and how emotional intelligence can help you succeed, no matter what your role.  For student discount, contact Jen Fiandt at 

More info

FATE Program Mentoring

Apply by Fri, Sept. 30

Give Merit’s mentorship program, FATE, is looking for University of Michigan students to become mentors! Give Merit is a Detroit-based nonprofit serving high school students that seeks to enhance and extend educational opportunities to Detroit youth through innovative enrichment and mentorship activity. If you are interested in mentoring for the FATE Program during the 2022-2023 academic year, email Give Merit’s Program Success Director, Rachel Mazzaro, at for more information!

More info

Michigan Angel Summit

Mon, Oct. 10 @ 8:30 am – 4 pm
Sheraton Ann Arbor
3200 Boardwalk, Ann Arbor

The fifth annual Michigan Angel Summit is a great opportunity for individual investors to meet like-minded people from around the state and learn more about this exciting asset class.  Our keynote speaker is Peter Adams, Angel Capital Association board member and teacher of the ACA Angel University course on exits.

Registration info


Oct. 17-20
San Francisco

SOCAP convenes the largest and most diverse impact investing community in the world.  We are at a precipice in impact, and we need to urgently accelerate the boldest, brightest ideas to put capital to work solving the world’s biggest problems. It’s time to demand and create the changes our world requires to allow all people and the planet not just to survive but thrive.

More info

Pre-College and Youth Outreach Conference

Oct. 21 @ 8 am – 4:30 pm
Eberhard Center, Grand Rapids, MI

Each year PCC brings together 200+ professionals in the higher education space who focus on K-12 outreach and DEI initiatives. Other attendees are college admissions staff, first-year professionals, new to outreach, or high school administrators and college counselors. It’s a great community to share your insights and learn from others throughout the state of Michigan. 

More info


Diversity 101

We're better when we're united

We're better when we're unitedIn order to have meaningful, productive conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion, we must start with a common language. This session will provide an introduction to key terminology as well as the categories and labels we use to describe others and ourselves. We will also examine how our identities shape the way we enter the world and our interactions with each other. Emphasis will be placed on using our identities to help us understand the identities and experiences of others.

In this session, participants will:
Identify the benefits of inclusive environments
Review key terminology related to diversity, equity, and inclusion
Reflect on the origin of identities, their intersectionality, and their meanings
Use our own identities as a window to understanding the identities of others to build more authentic, empathic relationships

This session is open to all LSA employees. External guests may request to join as space allows.

For questions or requests for accommodation, please contact our office ( as soon as possible.

Registration link