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Turning Passion into Purpose: Becoming Social Entrepreneurs

- CDT
Hopin 119

Joe Baz
gener8tor, Director, gBETA Social Impact Madison

Joe comes to gener8tor after previously serving as the chief technology officer at an energy-efficiency startup. He has supported numerous startups across Wisconsin and is passionate about innovation, entrepreneurship, and social impact. He loves helping founders formulate their businesses, develop their products, and make a positive impact in their local and global communities. Joe has a background in software development, product design, anthropology, and Chinese Language and a bachelor’s degree from Lawrence University in Appleton, WI. When he’s not working with startups, he is kept busy by his two corgis.

Lauren Usher
gener8tor, Managing Director, gBETA Social Impact

Lauren came to gener8tor after a decade of working in research and advocacy for people with developmental disabilities. In this work, she learned how to communicate with a multitude of audiences and how to balance multiple projects at the same time. As Managing Director of gBETA Social Impact, Lauren thrives on building relationships, problem-solving, and doing research on a wide variety of topics. A native of Florida, Lauren got her BA in English and Psychology at Florida State University and her PhD in Developmental Psychology from the University of Miami. She moved to Madison in 2016.

Mfoniso Ekong
gener8tor, Director, gBETA Social Impact Milwaukee

Mfoniso comes to gener8tor with a background in research and community engagement. Prior, he worked as a clinical researcher and in a myriad of other roles in the medical field. Mfoniso also completed a service year with AmeriCorps where he worked collaboratively with local corporations, academic institutions and non-profits to provide STEM learning to several hundred K-12 students in various programs that he developed for underserved and underrepresented communities. This work helped to foster his passion for entrepreneurship with a focus on social impact. A native of Illinois, Mfoniso graduated with a BS in Health Science and Chemistry from Benedictine University. He moved to Milwaukee in 2016.


In this interactive seminar, we will dive into a few myths around what a social enterprise is and empower anyone who’s been considering launching a social enterprise to get started! We’ll talk about measuring social impact and why return on community is important. We’ll also identify some of the hurdles to starting a social enterprise and offer guidance on how to strategically navigate them. Participants will leave with a roadmap to success.