Click here to read the article in Forbes last week: "Social Entrepreneurship Is Bringing Purpose To Higher Education."
In recent weeks, this blog has highlighted the social entrepreneurs that received Cordes Awards at the Ashoka U Exchange. But here are some of the newer, less recognized programs that were in attendance that also represent the cutting edge of social entrepreneurship training. Each of them is notable for helping students develop a sense of purpose and direction that is grounded in creating social value through entrepreneurship. By getting students in the field, providing mentoring, and supporting their initiatives, these programs are helping students develop the sense of purpose and direction they need to fully take advantage of the enormous value their colleges offer.
- ThinkImpact: Offering eight-week summer institutes, college students work with members of the host community to learn to assess critical local needs and develop a social enterprise solution. ThinkImpact offers program sites in Kenya,Rwanda, South Africa, and Ghana. Through partnerships with colleges includingNorthwestern University and University of San Diego, students can earn college credit for participating.
- The Social Innovation Initiative at the Swearer Center at Brown University: By providing support to students and the campus around SII’s “four pillars”—academic connections, extra-curricular experiences, job and internship opportunities, and network building—the initiative is creating a broad based culture of social entrepreneurship on campus at Brown. Their programs include the C.V. Starr Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship, which includes extensive training, seed funding, and advising for young social entrepreneurs. The breadth of SII’s programming on campus ensures that all aspects of a social entrepreneur’s learning needs are met.
- Middlebury Center for Social Entrepreneurship: The center offers Middlebury students a wide range of learning opportunities, including an annual symposium featuring the brightest stars of social entrepreneurship, summer grants, multi-year fellowships, and the MLab, a weekly discussion for students learning about the challenges of social change leadership. Additionally, thecenter convenes leaders from college campuses around the U.S. to share their learning in social entrepreneurship in liberal arts education.