The American Heart Association to Offer Financial Awards to Innovative Business Solutions for Urban Community Health Issues Through Competition

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EmPOWERED to Serve™ Urban Business Storytelling Competition: Enter Now Thru September 5

The American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, is seeking startup companies, teams, individuals and nonprofit organizations to compete in the EmPOWERED To Serve™ urban business storytelling competition. The goal of the competition is to identify fresh ideas and innovative, yet practical solutions that can be activated in communities to remove barriers to improved health and wellbeing. Winning submissions will receive financial awards for the purpose of activating the ideas and solutions.
According to the Association, individual behaviors aren’t the only factors that affect health. Community environments play a determining role in health outcomes. People living just five miles apart can have a difference in life expectancy of more than 20 years. That’s why the Association is working from within communities and joining with partners to address key factors that impact health: economic stability, education, societal influences, neighborhoods and healthcare.  The EmPOWERED To Serve urban business storytelling competition is an opportunity for companies, organizations and individuals to help influence and drive community change. 
“As an Association, we know that to affect meaningful change in the communities we serve, we must tap into and value their knowledge and experiences. We know that innovation is fueled by diversity and inclusion. We are looking to learn from and collaborate with organizations with innovative and creative solutions to address the social determinants of health. This is an important strategy for developing solutions to ensure that everyone has the same opportunity, regardless of circumstances, to be healthy and well,” says Tanya M. Odom, Ed.M., Global Diversity and Inclusion, education consultant, and chair of the American Heart Association’s Diversity Leadership Committee.
Through the competition websiteapplicants must submit a business model before 11:59 P.M. (EST) Tuesday, September 5. The entry must address a social factor that impacts a community’s ability to achieve equitable health and wellbeing.
To be considered for the competition, business models must target the needs of a specific community listed on the competition website, or entrants may identify a different community.
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The top 10 entries will receive an opportunity to display and present their business models at the Association’s EmPOWERED To Serve Summit on Tuesday, October 17 at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. In preparation for the presentation, competitors will receive business storytelling training through Entre-SLAM.  A panel of judges will choose the top three entries, who will win money to activate their plans:
• First place: $30,000
• Second place: $20,000
• Third place: $10,000
The three winners will also have the opportunity to partner with a local American Heart Association office, based on the community focus of their plans, for assistance in implementing their concept.
The EmPOWERED To Serve urban business storytelling competition is a part of the Association’s EmPOWERED To Serve movement, which improves the health and wellbeing of multicultural communities. Competitors may join the competition here. For more information about EmPOWERED To Serve, visit empoweredtoserve.org.
Contact: Stephanie M. Brown (214) 706-1857, stephanie.brown@heart.org
SOURCE: The Bellamy Group
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