Two of the main components of social entrepreneurship that the host gave at the event were “systems, not symptoms” and “social need”. Jen did this very well. Detroit Food Academy aims to affect multiple social issues. They teach healthy ways to eat and buy food. This is important because there is a huge lack of food security in this city. Then they teach the students how to prepare the food. On top of that, the students gain the skills to start their own triple-bottom line food business. These are great skills because these students have the ability to become social entrepreneurs themselves. I think the fact that DFA addresses these issues is why Jen and Detroit Food Academy won the People’s Choice Award.
This summer my project aims to give students the opportunity to actually start those food businesses. The students will make resumes and practice their business pitch. They will also be going out to the markets and selling the products they made themselves. This gives the students experience and confidence necessary to start their own food business. In addition, the students are addressing real life food issues by creating healthy, nutritious food options.
Why does any of this help the Detroit community? Personally, I think that if you invest in youth, you will see returns to your investment. You also get unseen potential from kids who have just been waiting for the right opportunities. These students are learning things that they can teach others, such as their families and their future families. Detroit Food Academy and the summer program create a sustainable system where they take a student and give them the means to be successful after they leave. The better the citizens are, the better Detroit will be. I think the more confident these students become, the more efficacy they will have in revitalizing Detroit.