Social Entrepreneurship at Australian Business Schools

We did not climb Uluru [Photo by nosha] (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Following the global financial crisis, many business schools in Australia took a critical look at themselves as to whether their MBA programs had been churning out a generation of business people who lacked ethics. This examination, combined with increasing demand from students, has led to the introduction of many new social entrepreneurship programs at business schools across Australia, Britain and the US.

For example, the School of Social Entrepreneurs is a British institution that has opened schools in Sydney and Melbourne which are attracting top students from across the country. The Centre for Social Change at the University of NSW is at the forefront of social entrepreneurship in Australia. According to professors there, young people are seeking a way to harness business for a social purpose, and not just to generate their own wealth. It is a call to action to address the systemic failures of traditional institutions in this regard.

How to Measure the Value of Social Entrepreneurship

As growing numbers of highly motivated people in Australia turn their energy to social entrepreneurship, a quiet revolution is taking place in the non-profit sector within the country. The old charity model is being supplanted by this new model for organizations that not only deliver social good but are also financially sustainable and even profitable. This bottom-up approach to development has taken its lead from overseas, and the Australian corporate and government sectors are now beginning to understand and embrace the new model as well.

Society Where Size Matters [Photo by Brittany ((Halo))] (CC BY-SA 3.0)

If creative ways of public and private investment can be developed, then a dynamic force can be unleashed through social enterprises that will invigorate both Australian society and economy. Microfinance, for example, changes the view of the poor from a drain on society to a new market that can be developed, and this is a much more constructive view for everyone involved.