Social Entrepreneur Veronika Scott to Speak at TLU

As part of the 2013 Krost Academic Symposium, Cultivating Innovation, TLU welcomes Veronika Scott on Nov. 6, 2013, at 7:30 p.m. in Jackson Auditorium.

What began as a college design project to make coats that convert into sleeping bags for homeless people has turned into a social movement. Scott, 23, founded the Empowerment Plan—a humanitarian organization based in Detroit whose goal is to help individuals caught in the cycle of homelessness by employing women from shelters as full-time seamstresses. The women make coats that are given to the homeless free of charge.

According to her website,, one in 42 people in Detroit are homeless. Scott started the business in December 2011 and was told over and over again it would not succeed. Not because she was young and inexperienced in business, but that the homeless women she hired would not even report to work. This year, they will make and distribute 4,000 coats.

"Everyday I enjoy proving all of those people wrong,” Scott said. “The homeless women I hire are powerful, driven, and I am privileged to be a part of their lives."

Scott’s success as a social entrepreneur has been profiled on CNN, NPR and the Discovery Channel and featured in Forbes, The New York Times and The London Daily Mail. She is a recipient of the 2012 John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award—an award honoring individuals under 40 who inspire a new generation of public servants. Carhartt, General Motors, Spanx, the Sarah Blakely Foundation, Forbes and many other organizations support the Empowerment Plan.