Kohl Crecilius, social entrepreneur and co-founder of Krochet Kids International, will kick off Peru State College's 2013-14 Distinguished Speaker Series at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 7 in the College Theatre.
The public is encouraged to attend the event which is offered free of charge.
Crecelius' presentation, Sustainable Social Entrepreneurship: Creating a Cycle of Success, details the quest he and his friends are on to revolutionize what it means to do business and to do good.
Their mission began when Crecelius' older brother taught him how to crochet in high school. Soon he began teaching his friends to make hats.
Dubbed the "Krochet Kids" by their local newspaper in Spokane, Wash., the friends began selling hats in their hometown for a little spending money. Crecelius never imagined the hobby would blossom into a global movement.
Inspired by a summer trip to Uganda, Africa, Crecelius and his friends had the idea to teach the simple skill of crocheting to displaced women. Their vision was that the women could sell hats they made to provide for themselves, releasing them from the bondage of government camps and a history of rebel rule in their country.
Today, through this simple skill, the women can provide for their families, and ultimately, through micro-financing opportunities enabled by KKi, they can gain economic independence.
As college students in 2007, the friends founded Krochet Kids intl. (KKi) – a non-profit lifestyle brand focused on empowering communities and engaging customers to make a sustainable impact on global poverty.
KKi's mission is to provide quality, handmade products that not only bring comfort and style, but also serve as a vehicle for social change.
Believing actions rooted in love produce powerful and lasting change, they strive to help people improve their lives physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Their slogan of, "Buy a hat. Change a Life," embodies the difference we can all make through a simple act.
Today, KKi employs more than 100 people in northern Uganda through the production of their handmade headwear and fashion accessory.
The organization has recently started a new program in Peru, South America. Now spanning three continents, KKi connects the producer with the customer through a hand-signed label that accompanies every product.
Peru State established the Distinguished Speaker Series in fall 2010 as part of its commitment to student engagement and success.
The intent of the Series is to bring diverse, nationally and internationally recognized speakers to southeast Nebraska to enrich the educational experience of students while also providing the surrounding communities with opportunities to engage in interesting and relevant topics.
Speakers are encouraged to connect with the community in a variety of ways during their visits through classroom discussions, guest lectures, meet and greet receptions, and a keynote address.
Page 2 of 2 - The second speaker of the 2013-14 Distinguished Speaker Series is Jessica Jackley, founder and former chief marketing officer of KIVA, the world's first peer-to-peer micro lending website.
Her presentation, titled Love, Money, Work: Social Entrepreneurship as a Career, is set for 7 p.m. Monday April 7, 2014, in the College Theatre.