Dr. Candice L. Bledsoe is a well-known scholar, professor, and social entrepreneur. A strong advocate for innovation, leadership, and diversity, her unwavering efforts to combat social and economic gaps have earned her international recognition.
In 2020, the United Nations awarded Dr. Bledsoe with the UN Day Global Leadership Award, for Sustainable Goal 4: Quality Education, because of her tireless advocacy for increasing access to education and school enrollment rates, especially for young women.
Dr. Bledsoe joined the Hunt Institute’s Social Enterprise 2021 Cohort as an Intrapreneur in pursuit of her program’s success. The Young Social Innovators & Social Entrepreneurs Program aims to address issues of poverty in local communities by seeking to equip young individuals with the entrepreneurial skills they need to help close economic and social gaps.
With a focus on underrepresented and minority student education, the program is aiming to develop minority youth as change agents and successful social entrepreneurs through the promotion of personal development, academic excellence, and social change.
Dr. Bledsoe currently sits as the Executive Director of the Action Research Center in Dallas, Texas which is an organization that aims to enhance equity in local Dallas/Ft. Worth communities. In addition, she is also the founder of the Collective, a group of community leaders, writers, scholars, and entrepreneurs who tell the story of minority women in America.
Dr. Bledsoe conducts research on equity, equal access, and granting voice to minority narratives as a means of addressing wealth disparities and underrepresented groups. Over the years, she has led numerous international initiatives in partnership with organizations such as the Bank of Thailand, Microsoft, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the Aba Dhabi Department of Education and Council (ADEC), and more.
Dr. Bledsoe is no stranger to the Institute; she sits as one of the distinguished Fellows, serves on the Leadership Council in the Inclusive Economy Consortium, and is an Expert in Residence for the Hunt Institute. Recently, in 2020 she completed a project in the Global Development Lab called Youth Up Next, which continued the development of The Young Social Innovators & Young Social Entrepreneurs Program.
“I believe that innovation is a tool to help improve organizations and create sustainable solutions,” Dr. Bledsoe said. “The Young Social Innovators & Young Entrepreneurs Program uses an innovation and social entrepreneurship framework to enhance students’ self-confidence, discipline, and self-efficacy. Not only do students help create a business while addressing a social need, they also develop leadership skills that will support them for the rest of their lives.”
Stay tuned to the Hunt Institute Digest to follow Dr. Bledsoe, and her Cohort, as she pursues developing youth into agents of change for the betterment of their communities.
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