Loading Events
May 7, 2015, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm

Bugs, Shoes, and Business: Combating Global Poverty Through Entrepreneurship

The Columbus Foundation

1234 E. Broad Street, Columbus, OH 43205

Speaker: Mohammed Ashour, Buddy Teaster, Tony R. Wells

Mohammed Ashour’s company, Aspire seeks to disrupt chronic food insecurity and malnutrition by developing low-cost and high-output farming of edible insects. Go to Aspire’s website to learn more.

You also can learn more about Soles4Souls’ mission by watching this video. For continuing updates, sign up for their mailing list.

The Wells Foundation works with the following local social enterprises – Citra, DS-Connex, and Heroes2U.

Presenting Sponsor: Greif, Inc.

Co-Sponsor: Thanks Be To God Foundation

Learn more about each of our panelists’ work and check out the video and photos from the conversation. Please share the video with others who may be interested.


Mohammed Ashour



Mohammed Ashour is the CEO of Aspire, a social enterprise conceived of in 2013 as part of the Hult Prize, the world’s largest and most prestigious competition for social entrepreneurs. Aspire seeks to disrupt chronic food insecurity and malnutrition by developing low-cost and high-output farming of edible insects. Edible insects are a rich source of protein, iron, and micronutrients. Compared to traditional livestock, insects require drastically less feed to convert the same amount of protein; they require far less farmland, and the amounts of water they consume and greenhouse gases they emit are orders of magnitude lower. Aspire is focusing their current operations in Mexico, Ghana, and the U.S.

Buddy Teaster



As CEO of Soles4Souls, Buddy brings a potent combination of entrepreneurship, executive education, C-level leadership skills, as well as extensive non-profit experience. His passion for philanthropy and global change led him to take on the role of leading the largest provider in free shoes to children in need around the world. Soles4Souls distributes shoes and clothing in two ways. Most new items collected primarily from corporations and retailers are given directly to people in need, both in the U.S. and overseas. At the same time, Soles4Souls receives millions of articles of used shoes and clothing. After sorting items in its national warehouse system, Soles4Souls typically sells the used shoes and clothing to carefully selected micro-enterprise organizations.

Tony R. Wells

Co-Founder and CEO

Tony R. Wells Foundation

As Co-Founder and CEO of the Tony R. Wells Foundation, Mr. Wells fosters entrepreneurship and social investing by non-profit organizations. Mr. Wells also collaborates with universities to enable award-winning student enterprises and his Foundation currently sponsors the Social Innovation Initiative at the Ohio State University. Mr. Wells is a business veteran with over 25 years of executive management experience. A founder and CEO of multiple successful start-ups, Mr. Wells’ corporate career culminated in nationwide learning centers serving over 600 technology companies. He is recognized as a successful entrepreneur, community leader, professional investor and expert in leadership, philanthropy, and strategic planning.