Social entrepreneurship encourages students to address social problems that interest them—from bad food in the college cafeteria, pollution and litter, to clean water and better elementary schools—and to come up with creative innovative solutions which can help alleviate the problem and contribute to the greater good.
The class will draw a diverse groups of students from across the university (from social work, engineering, music business, peace and justice etc.) to discuss the challenges of starting new social ventures. In this class we will use a case study approach to introduce students to exemplarity social entrepreneurs who are doing great good through value creation and trade. The course will use these cases to expose students to useful theories and frameworks that can illuminate our approach to social entrepreneurship. The course will also work closely with local social entrepreneurship foundations to create internship and project opportunities for students to work within local Twin Cities social ventures.
Social entrepreneurship is a phenomenon that captured the public imagination over the last decade. The movements have resulted from an increasing willingness and desire to blur three traditionally separate areas of economic activity: private for-profit organizations, private non-profit organizations, and public and governmental institutions. Rather than focusing on the structural differences between these sectors, social entrepreneurship focuses on the underlying needs that are unmet in our society and encourages creative innovative solutions regardless of how the institutions, which provide solutions, are financially structured. Second. Social entrepreneurship places certain normative questions, which are often neglected in conventional business courses, at the center of inquiry, such as, “What is the human purpose of the venture” “What role do the personal values of the entrepreneur play?” In particular the course will take an approach, based on Catholic social teaching, that structures social entrepreneurship around four moral goods that a venture can help create: good products and services, good community of relations, good altruism, and good entrepreneurial character. Prerequisite: junior standing