Experienced mentor helps nonprofits “Ascend to Greatness”

By Kayla Sosa Monique Salinas is no stranger to the nonprofit world; she has founded two nonprofits in the course of two decades. For 16 years, she directed Girls Choral Academy - a choir program for girls - and then…

Rende Progress Capital: Creating equity in lending and investments

By Kayla Sosa A community organization in Grand Rapids is making it easier for entrepreneurs and small business owners who can’t obtain a bank loan through racial bias and inequity, to acquire funds. Rende Progress Capital was co-founded by Eric…

Teams place, win cash prizes in teen entrepreneur competition

  By Kayla Sosa Three teams of teen entrepreneurs took home cash prizes in the final pitch and showcase for the TESA program. TESA, the Teen Entrepreneur Summer Academy is hosted by the Grand Valley State University Center for Entrepreneurship…

Born Blessing: Supporting women during their path to and through motherhood

By Kayla Sosa A local woman is one of the recent winners of the Michigan Veteran Entrepreneur-Lab Showcase and Pitch Competition at Grand Valley State University. Ellie Dragstra wanted to become a doula - or maternal support practitioner - for…

Shining light on inner and outer beauty with Life’s Beautiful Diamonds

By Kayla Sosa In an effort to spread self love to all women, Shawnda Louise Michael Jackson has started a transformational coaching service called Life’s Beautiful Diamonds. “I transform women’s lives from coal to beautiful diamonds,” Jackson said. “Those who…

Nursing students, faculty win GVSU Laker Effect Challenge with disaster-preparedness event

By Kayla Sosa Nursing students and faculty won all the available prize money at Grand Valley State University’s Laker Effect Challenge, a pitch competition where students and staff team up with community partners to do something good for the community.…

CEO of DTE Energy speaks on campus

By Kayla Sosa The top executive at Michigan-based energy company, DTE Energy, spoke to a group of Grand Valley State University students, staff and local business professionals. The topic of the talk was about the “soft skills” in business being…

Teens pitch business ideas in new Junior Achievement competition

By Kayla Sosa The Junior Achievement of Michigan Great Lakes is a nonprofit founded in 1919 and is a partnership between business, education and volunteers in a common goal to help young people dream big and reach their potential. Through…

Q&A with Draper Grand Prize Winner Katarina Samardzija

By Kayla Sosa Grand Valley State University’s own Katarina Samardzija recently took home the grand prize award of $25,000 at the Draper Competition for Collegiate Women Entrepreneurs. The competition was held at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts on April 5.…

Annual pitch competition inspires social justice work in the community

By Kayla Sosa An unique pitch competition allows participants to compete for money with a goal of  helping others, not just themselves. Four teams will compete for $5,000 in funding at the upcoming Grand Valley State University Laker Effect Challenge.…