MBA Students Seek Social Enterprise Degree Programs that Emphasize Social Entrepreneurship26 Feb 2014, Posted by Social Entrepreneurship in
Social entrepreneurship isn’t what it used to be. Ten years ago, searching that term would return only a few thousand results. Now, it results in nearly 100 million results.
Why the boost in interest? People are seeking meaning in the work they do more than ever. Business isn’t just about making money; business ideas have the power to benefit the environment, communities, and more.
The recent financial crisis has helped generate interest in social entrepreneurship and MBAs with social entrepreneurship programs. It provides a philanthropic alternative to traditional capitalism that can also generate profits. The academic community, business executives, and students are seeing the benefits social entrepreneurship has to offer. Social entrepreneurship companies don’t only generate good feelings, they also returns profits along with measurable social results.
Universities have begun to provide support for student social entrepreneurs who are looking to create these benefits with their bright ideas. Many MBA programs are integrating these ideas into their curriculum. Oxford University’s Saïd Business School launched the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship in 2003 to help foster social entrepreneurship through their MBA program.
The new idea is that social responsibility shouldn’t be kept separate from social entrepreneurship; rather, those with great ideas should be backed up with the skills to become successful in business. One element to MBA programs at some universities, including the Saïd Business School and the Westminster Business School, is a study abroad experience, giving students first-hand experience to combine business strategies to solve real world issues.
The idea of social entrepreneurship isn’t just confined to the romantics; it can be applied wherever one’s career takes them. Innovation and resourcefulness can be applied in any business to achieve social change.
When social entrepreneurship programs are included in MBA curriculum, students gain the skills that are needed to make their ideas a reality. While completing an MBA doesn’t guarantee success, it does provide students with the foundation they need to create their own success.
A true success story is the story of Michael Thornton, a Duke University engineering graduate who decided to put his skills to use for the greater good. Knowing he didn’t possess the business skills to make his dream a reality, he enrolled in the Saïd Business School’s program, which incorporates teachings from the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship. Since his graduation. Thornton has founded three successful enterprises which utilize engineering to assist environmental change. He credits his MBA program for providing the business skills he needed and bringing him together with the creative minds he now collaborates with.
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