AU Co-hosts The Asbury Project Conference – Asbury University
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October 8, 2015

student Alison Mason
Asbury University senior Alison Mason won the grand prize in last year’s student business plan competition.

WILMORE, Ky. — The Asbury Project, a free conference exploring the interactions of business, mission and social entrepreneurship, will return to Wilmore, Ky., Nov. 5-6, hosted by Asbury University’s Howard Dayton School of Business and Asbury Theological Seminary’s Office of Faith, Work and Economics. Click here for the full schedule and event locations. 

The Asbury Project will feature keynote speakers addressing topics of faith, business and social entrepreneurship. Additionally, The Asbury Project will feature breakout sessions, video discussions and the recognition of this year’s student business plan competition winners.

Speakers at The Asbury Conference will include Jenna Lee Nardella, co-founder of Blood:Water, an organization that has brought clean water to more than a million people in Africa; Dr. Stephen Garber, the principal of The Washington Institute for Faith, Vocation & Culture; and Robert E. Armstrong, district judge of Dallas Country, Ala. 

The student business plan competition will award a total of $10,000 to five winning business plans for social entrepreneurship — $3,000 for one overall winner, $2,000 for two first-place winners and $1,500 for two second-place winners (one each from Asbury University and Asbury Theological Seminary).  Submissions for the competition will be accepted until Oct. 12. Students from Asbury University and Asbury Theological Seminary are encouraged to enter, and students from other institutions can submit plans in partnership with current Asbury University or Asbury Theological Seminary students. Click here for entry guidelines.

Asbury University senior Alison Mason won the grand prize in last year’s student business plan competition with a business plan featuring a plant-based, bio-degradable ground cover that can be used to replace plastic sheeting in landscapes.

Mason says The Asbury Project is more than just a networking opportunity or a resume point — it’s also a challenge to think about human implications of business.

“The Asbury Project really highlights the social impact of business,” Mason said. “Other conferences and competitions are all about beating your competition and making sure you stand out, but The Asbury Project encourages you to think through how your plan will affect communities and how employees will be treated with respect. Businesses do affect people, and if you’re going start one, you have to think about the impact it will have.”

Kevin Brown, a professor in Asbury University’s Howard Dayton School of Business, says The Asbury Project models a commitment to spirituality and service — in Wesleyan terms, “piety coupled with knowledge.” 

“We’re using tried and true business practices and principles and applying those in such a way as to help us achieve these outcomes that are consistent with faith values,” Brown said. “We hope The Asbury Project helps participants recognize the link between business activity, entrepreneurship and our faith values, and that we can use social entrepreneurship to enact the positive social change that is driven by faith.”

To register for The Asbury Project, visit: asburyproject.org

Learn more about Asbury University’s Howard Dayton School of Business at: asbury.edu/business