Mekong Blue, Thistle Farms, Triple Thread Discuss Business as Social Catalyst Today at Owen

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A movement is afoot across the globe to turn our consumer appetites into a force for social progress, using the wallet as a weapon. How local and international businesses can effect social change — attacking ills such as poverty, unemployment and inequality — is the subject of today's free panel discussion at Vanderbilt's Owen Graduate School of Management.

Headlining the discussion is Nguon Chantha, the Cambodian entrepreneur and former nurse who co-founded the Stung Treng Women's Development Center. Through the manufacture of Mekong Blue Scarves, which provide an industry for women artisans in Cambodia's Stung Treng province, the non-profit center advances causes such as literacy programs and vocational training.

She'll be joined by representatives of two Nashville companies working similar projects locally: Holli Anglin, executive director of Thistle Farms, which produces and sells bath and body products as part of its social mission for women survivors of prostitution, addiction and violence; and Kyle McCollom, co-founder of Triple Thread Apparel, the screen-printing enterprise that provides employment and job training for former offenders to society.

A reception begins at 5:30 p.m. this evening at Owen's Averbuch Auditorium, 401 21st Ave. S., with discussion to follow at 6. Owen Professor Jim Schorr, a board member of Nashville’s Social Enterprise Alliance, will moderate.

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