Two SPU Student Projects Chosen as 2023 Flourish Prize Finalists

Two SPU projects chosen as 2023 Flourish Prize Finalists


The Aim2Flourish Project invites university students to research and submit articles about companies whose core business model and activities are contributing toward one or more of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Aim2Flourish is an initiative at Case-Western Reserve’s Weatherhead School of Management and their Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit.

At the Center for Faithful Business and Seattle Pacific University, inspired by our Christian faith, we have long believed that business must contribute to human flourishing. This is why the School of Business, Government, and Economics (SBGE) has been a signatory, and now a Champion, for the Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME). Among these principles is aligning business with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These 17 aspirational goals include things like: no poverty; zero hunger; quality education; gender equality; clean water and sanitation; decent work and economic growth; sustainable cities and communities; etc.

As part of SBGE’s new Sustainable Management minor, teams of students were tasked with finding and submitting an exemplary company to the Aim2Flourish project. We recently learned that two of our SPU students’ projects were chosen as Finalists for this year’s Flourish Prize! They are among just 78 out of almost 700 submissions. The finalists come from 32 universities in 25 countries.

Project Summaries:

Ezell’s Famous Chicken is a restaurant business that thrives on community. As explained by Lewis Rudd, the co-founder, community has been their main focus and is what they stand for. The community is what makes this food business thrive and that is why this business makes sure to give back to the community.

One of Lewis’s main rules in the restaurant is not throwing away extra food at the end of the night. There are many different organizations that they donate the food to, including Northwest Harvest and the Union Gospel Mission. One of the main goals that Ezell’s pursues is “No Hunger,” SDG#2, but there are more that play into this business as well. Lewis described how giving back to the community also involves going to prisons and cooking box lunches (up to about 200 chicken buckets) and giving motivational speeches about how they can turn their life around. At the conclusion, they offer prisoners the opportunity to get a job at Ezell’s once they are out of jail. This contributes to SDG#16, “peace, justice, and strong institutions,” as well as SDG#8: “Decent work and economic growth”. [Contributed by SPU students Sana Dixon and Mia Eshima]


Development Alternatives Incorporated (DAI) is an international development company that is “committed to shaping a more livable world.” The bulk of DAI’s work is in conflict mitigation, economic development, and sustainable solutions. The many challenges that certain developing nations face are a strategy-producing environment that DAI uses to work with those nations, governments, and businesses. DAI’s strategy for mobilizing commercial finance for broader development has provided resources and integrated solutions regarding climate, digital acceleration, economic growth, education, the environment, global health, and sustainable businesses. It isn’t easy to group DAI under a specific SDG, but many of the programs and projects they have completed over the past 50 years have focused on creating sustainable cities and communities (SDG#11) and building decent work and economic growth (SDG#8). Knowing that the work they do is long-lasting is the very reason DAI’s employees do what they do. [Contributed by SPU students Lois Gomez and Nathalie Tantrum]

Congratulations to our SPU students for being named Finalists in this year’s Flourish Prize! We are proud of your esteemed work and celebrate this well-deserved recognition.

Center for Faithful Business

Seattle Pacific University

Dr. JoAnn Flett, Executive Director


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