Western Carolina University will host two lectures about a successful business and its socially conscious reinvestment in the international business community on Wednesday, March 16, at the A.K. Hinds University Center theater.

The first presentation is 3 to 3:45 p.m. and the second begins at 4 p.m. Both are free and open to everyone.
The founder and president of BANGS shoes, Hannah Davis, will be joined by her sister and the company’s outreach coordinator Molly Davis, a WCU alumna, to speak on the development of the company and its business model that reinvests 20 percent of net profits into entrepreneurs and their ideas on a monthly basis. Potential startups are hand-picked by BANGS for financial backing, promoted through its social media efforts and provided other assistance.

Molly Davis

Molly Davis

BANGS shoes was started in 2010 in Charleston, South Carolina, marketing an affordable, fashionable line of sneakers. “Bangs” means “help” in Mandarin.

“This is an excellent opportunity to see a former TED Talk speaker live and learn about an international company and its social entrepreneurial endeavors,” said Robert Lahm, WCU professor of entrepreneurship and director of the Master of Entrepreneurship Program. “To date, BANGS has invested in 78 entrepreneurs in 31 countries, including America.”

Lahm said he and Lane Perry, director of WCU’s Center for Service Learning, first met Davis soon after she founded BANGS, following her experience as an English as second language teacher in China. “Her entrepreneurial journey ― going back and forth to Asia in search of a manufacturer, creating a business plan with no experience, finding investors ― tells a tale of tremendous tenacity,” Lahm said.

The lectures are sponsored by WCU’s Center for Service Learning and College of Business. For more information, contact the center at 828-227-7184.