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Entrepreneurship 21 Feb 2020

Global BBVA Momentum 2019 event: solutions to the challenges of diversity, education, and health from the U.S.

The three 2019 BBVA Momentum winning social enterprises in the United States will attend the global event marking the close of this iteration of the program (to be held in Madrid on March 3rd) where they will share the full force of their business models. The three companies will participate in the premier social entrepreneurial event showcasing their initiatives, which seek to foster diversity, education, and access to healthcare in the communities they serve.

In the final phase of the U.S. round of BBVA Momentum 2019, the BBVA program that supports social entrepreneurs, the six finalists who had passed the first elimination round, defended their projects in front of a jury of experts. The objective: to win one of the three cash prizes provided by the program in the U.S. to help fund the social initiatives. The decision wasn’t an easy one, but ultimately the panel of judges awarded 2019’s first place prize of $100,000 to Gifts for Good, followed by Magic City Woodworks with $50,000; and The PIC Place, with a $25,000 prize.

As finalists, the three social companies will attend the 2019 BBVA Momentum event, endorsed by the success they have achieved in their home country. Each is eager to share their unique solutions — their responses to global problems — and demonstrate why their ventures are deserving of the recognition they have received. Here are their credentials.

Gifts for Good

The newest first-prize winner of BBVA Momentum 2019 U.S. is reinventing the industry of corporate gifts, transforming it into a source of social impact. “We are like a B2B marketplace. We sell products that change lives, that are made by more than 40 non-profit organizations and social enterprises. We sell them to companies that come to us looking for gifts for employees and customers,” explains its CEO and co-founder, Laura Hertz, who has recently been included in the influential 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs for 2020 released by ‘Forbes’ magazine. “Our platform helps companies give more meaningful gifts, while supporting these organizations that need to sustain themselves and broaden their reach and impact.”

This social enterprise, located in Los Angeles, connects charitable organizations with an extensive network of companies interested in making bulk corporate orders. “Our products correspond to six categories of causes: childhood, economic development, the environment, health, the homeless, and at-risk women.”

Hertz places a lot of value on her BBVA Momentum experience and greatly appreciates the opportunities it provides. “This program has been fundamental in helping Gifts for Good move forward,” she says. “The skills I acquired from the training, together with the invaluable mentoring, has had a real impact on the business.”

Gifts for Good is the first-prize winner of BBVA Momentum 2019 U.S.

Magic City Woodworks

Magic City Woodworks has a mission to change the lives of unemployed youth in Birmingham (Alabama), giving them the opportunity to learn a trade, and supporting them as they enter the job market. “We have a carpentry and metalworking business as well as a dynamic curriculum to develop life-skills in which everyone participates,” says its founder Lawrence Sheffield. “We use our product manufacturing process as the training platform and demonstrate our mission to the community when we sell our products.”

Young people receive a salary while they are training in the workshop, in addition to learning life-skills like financial education. “The trainees spend between 6 and 24 months in our program. We help them gain meaningful, full-time work, whether in our company or in other companies in the city”

This social enterprise has developed a career path full of purpose and passion, with which its seeks to inspire the participants at the event in Madrid. “We have built a wide range of furniture and other goods with workers who had never before stepped foot in a workshop. We have broken new ground by creating a healthy culture among highly-committed professionals.”

Magic City Woodworks_BBVA Momentum 2019

Magic City Woodworks has a mission to change the lives of unemployed youth in Birmingham (Alabama), giving them the opportunity to learn a trade.

The PIC Place

The PIC Place is an integrated health care clinic situated in Montrose (Colorado), which aims to provide medical care to those who face financial barriers. Thanks to its efforts, patients receive the care they need to maintain their health in the areas of dental, vision, behavioral health, and physical therapy. “There is an emphasis on patient empowerment through education and decision-making skills, which translates into viable behavior change that results in better health outcomes,” explains its executive director, Melanie Hall.

Their 8,000 patients live in a rural area of the state where health care services are limited. “These patients, who often have language and cultural barriers, suffer from the consequences of living in poverty.” Each patient receives personalized care “through open communication, the promotion of cultural skills, high-quality services, and fostering long-term relationships between the patient and the medical center.”

During an inspiring day of activities, full of learning and networking opportunities, the PIC Place will showcase their commitment to improving the lives of those in its communities, helping people “reach their greatest potential of well-being.”

The pic place_BBVA Momentum 2019

The PIC Place is an integrated health care clinic which aims to provide medical care to those who face financial barriers.

If you would like to attend the BBVA Momentum 2019 global event and get to know these companies, the rest of the BBVA Momentum 2019 finalists, along with leading experts in the social entrepreneurial ecosystem, click here.

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