ST. LOUIS • Former President Bill Clinton on Friday returned to one of the places that launched his national political life — Washington University — to press students from around the world to improve society.

“Thank you … for rekindling the memory of the last time I was here,” Clinton told Washington University Chancellor Mark Wrighton, who introduced him to some 1,200 frenzied students gathered for the sixth annual Clinton Global Initiative University.

The last time Clinton was here, in 1992, was to debate then-President George Bush and Texas billionaire Ross Perot, in the first of two White House campaigns he would win.

Clinton noted Friday the debate used a new format — now common — allowing regular people to pose questions to candidates.

“It was the first time that ordinary citizens asked all the questions and they were all unscripted,” Clinton told the packed auditorium.

He drew a comparison to his CGI University project, which encourages students to better the human condition through ideas, invention, entrepreneurship and organization. “We trust you to shape the future of the world,” he said.

The former president founded the Clinton Global Initiative in 2005 to bring political and business leaders and others together to look for ways to address problems in areas such as the environment, energy and health.

CGI and its spinoffs, including CGI University, use what organizers call “commitments to action” to address these issues. These are specific plans by the participating person or entity, generally including possible sources for funding.

CGI University was founded in 2007. It uses the same model as CGI, but is geared specifically toward college students. It meets for one weekend annually, at a different campus each year.

The opening event started with a presentation by former first daughter Chelsea Clinton. But beyond that, the Clinton political legacy, and partisan politics in general, appears to have been painstakingly kept separate from the event. There was no mention of former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is considered a likely 2016 presidential candidate.

At one point, an audience member interrupted Clinton by yelling, “Hillary for president!” Clinton didn’t acknowledge the outburst. The rest of the audience, following his cue, ignored it.

Clinton, wearing reading glasses, led a group discussion with a handful of business and social innovators, including St. Louis native and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey.

Clinton drew a big laugh from the crowd by crediting Dorsey with creating “an unprecedented way of talking to each other that is sometimes embarrassing for all who participate.”

Dorsey told the story of the creation of Twitter in terms of making immediate communications accessible around the world. He defended Twitter’s much-maligned 140-character limit on messages, saying: “I believe constraint inspires creativity.”

The CGI University program continues today, with sessions on topics such as, “Using social media to market your cause,” “A better world for girls and women,” and “How do we end human trafficking?”

The event highlight is a joint appearance Saturday night with Clinton and comedian Stephen Colbert.

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POTSDAM – Businessman and Waddington Town Supervisor Mark Scott will be honored with the Entrepreneur of the Year award at the third annual Entrepreneur Recognition Dinner, hosted by Clarkson University’s Reh Center for Entrepreneurship Friday, April 19.

North Country small business owners and interested community members are invited to attend the event, which will recognize four individuals for their commitment to and support of entrepreneurship.

Mark Scott, founder of Artworks Creperie in Waddington, will receive the Entrepreneur of the Year award, which recognizes a practicing entrepreneur who demonstrates an unwavering commitment to building a small business and supporting the community. As town supervisor, Scott has been instrumental in community development and engagement in Waddington.

Also to be honored are:

• Marc Compeau, instructor for Clarkson University’s School of Business, receiving the Entrepreneur’s Hero Award, given annually to an individual or group that provides resources resulting in increasing the viability of multiple entrepreneurs in the communities served by the Reh Center. Compeau is the founding director of the Reh Center and his collaboration with practicing entrepreneurs through the My Small Business 101 series and individual consultation has resulted in increased survival and profit for hundreds of small businesses in the North Country.

• Jeff Taylor, director of the Career Center at Clarkson, with the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award, given annually to a student, faculty, staff member, office or organization at Clarkson University that through the creation of a new program, organization or value added offering, demonstrates a deep commitment to the Clarkson community and demonstrates each of the key characteristics of successful entrepreneurs. The award announcement says that Taylor’s energy and dedication to creating unique programs and customized services has resulted in increased employer recruiting on campus and an employer fair specifically for regional employers.

• Randy Roth, chief executive officer of ViTEX, Mooresville, N.C., will be inducted into the Clarkson Alumni Entrepreneur Hall of Fame. Hall of Fame inductees are entrepreneurs who have consistently demonstrated an unwavering drive, dedication, determination and commitment to pursuing entrepreneurship. They have risen to the highest level of entrepreneurial achievement, having achieved national recognition as a leader in their field. Inductees must have graduated from Clarkson University and founded a firm.

The event will feature an address by Mark Dzwonczyk, a Clarkson University trustee and the CEO of Nicholville Telephone Company, who has been building and re-building businesses in California’s Silicon Valley for the past 20 years.

The dinner is at 5 p.m. Friday, April 19, at Clarkson’s Cheel Campus Center.

Social hour, sponsored by the Fresh Sound Foundation, will begin at 5 p.m. Dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m., and awards will follow.

The cost of the event will be $20 per person, which includes dinner, drinks and dessert. Those interested in attending should call the Reh Center for Entrepreneurship at 268-3995 or 268-4650.

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Rockefeller And Tony Elumelu Foundation Launch African Impact Fund

Nigerian businessman and philanthropist Tony O. Elumelu

The Rockefeller Foundation and the Tony Elumelu Foundation , founded by Nigerian philanthropist Tony Elumelu, have launched an impact investment fund for Africa.

The fund, called the Impact Economy Innovation Fund (IEIF) was officially launched on Friday at an Impact Investment Forum in Cape Town, South Africa . The forum, which was attended by many leading African entrepreneurs, was jointly hosted by The Rockefeller Foundation, The Tony Elumelu Foundation and the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation Entrepreneurship at the University of Cape Town (UCT) Graduate School of Business with the aim of introducing Africa’s business leaders to the concept and practice of impact investing.

Impact investing, a relatively new concept in African investment circles, typically refers to investments that aim to solve pertinent social and economic challenges while generating a financial return. The impact investing industry channels capital to market-based solutions in areas such as affordable housing, clean technology, financial services for the poor, sustainable agriculture and other related sectors while targeting returns ranging from below market to market rate.

Speaking on the new fund, Dr. Wiebe Boer, CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation said, “Impact Investing is a critical tool in driving our agenda of promoting entrepreneurship for lasting economic and social development in Africa. We want to see more deals of this nature and our commitment to support this new fund is just the beginning.”

The IEIF will be managed by The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) in close collaboration with the Tony Elumelu Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation.

While the Rockefeller Foundation and the Tony Elumelu Foundation refused to divulge the exact size of the fund, the IEIF will support approximately 7-8 proposals with a preference for projects that seek to enable capital solutions, foster entrepreneurial ecosystems and promote impact investing industry infrastructure – ultimately aimed at improving the lives of poor or vulnerable people throughout Africa. The maximum grant amount is US$100,000 and organizations may participate in more than one grant proposal. Interested organizations can find more information on how to access the fund here .

The Tony Elumelu Foundation, founded and funded by wealthy Nigerian banker Tony Elumelu, is an influential non-profit that aims to promote excellence in business leadership and entrepreneurship across Africa. The Rockefeller Foundation is one of  America’s oldest private foundations; it addresses the emerging challenges facing humankind in areas such as health, international relations and agriculture.

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Students will investment for business ideas

Northampton University Park Campus

THREE social entrepreneurs who have received support and funding from the University of Northampton’s Enterprise Club have won further investment for their business ideas.

The trio pitched their business concepts to a panel of judges at the Social Investment Conference last month at the Icon Centre in Daventry.

Winners were Kurt Perryman of Adventure Ways, Heather Wilson of Rural Enterprises and Wayne Manyika of Project Entertainment. All three have been recipients of funding from the Big Ideas Bonanza scheme, an initiative focused on generating new and developing existing socially innovative ideas, managed by the University of Northampton’s Enterprise Club.

Bill Toyer, International Development and Enterprise Coordinator at the University of Northampton and one of the judges for the Social Investment Catwalk, said: “It was excellent to see such a high level of interaction from all in attendance. It was especially pleasing to see some of our local talent being rewarded for their hard work, drive and determination in providing socially impactful solutions to a variety of social problems.”

Wayne Manyika won the Young Entrepreneur category and is currently studying for the BA in Business Entrepreneurship at Northampton Business School.

He said: “Through the Enterprise Club, I have had training and now understand what I can do to maximise chances of making sure Project Entertainment remains sustainable.”

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