Many students and lecturers in academic circles like to talk up Harvard University in the USA. Now, I know that social entrepreneurs can come from a variety of educational backgrounds. Many social entrepreneurs haven’t even graduated from college or high school. In the end, results matter more than educational background. But what does Harvard University have to offer in terms of social entrepreneurship?
Here are 3 examples:
1. Harvard Social Entrepreneurship Mission
The Harvard social entrepreneurship mission is to be a catalyst for creating social value. The Social Enterprise Initiative at HBS applies innovative business practices and managerial disciplines to drive sustainable, high-impact social change.
The aim is to inspire, educate and support leaders who can make a difference in the world. To do this, HBS engages with the nonprofit, for profit and public sectors to generate and share resources tools and knowledge. They also offer courses that focus on social enterprise and embed these courses into the MBA curriculum and executive education programs.
HBS offers career development programs that are designed to support students and alumni engaged professionally in the social sector as well. HBS faculty have been leaders in social enterprise research since 1993, with over 500 social enterprise cases and teaching notes being authored since that time.
2. Harvard Social Entrepreneurship Conference
An annual Harvard social entrepreneurship conference is presented by the students of Harvard Business School. The goals of the conference are to provide a world-leading forum for dialogue, debate and expression around social enterprise.
The conference has become an arena to explore revolutionary ideas that challenge the status quo and inspire action. The conference is entirely operated by students from Harvard Business School and the Kennedy School of Government to showcase innovate ideas and trends within social enterprise. It’s hoped that the conference will encourage better solutions to world problems and expand participants’ understanding of various disciplines within social enterprise.
There is an emphasis at the conference on practical ways that people can get involved and connect with other participants who are passionate about social enterprise. This year, the conference theme is “Sustaining Impact, Living Change.”
3. Harvard Social Entrepreneurship Club
A Harvard social entrepreneurship club at the Harvard Business School is one of of the school’s largest student clubs, with over 400 members.
The Social Enterprise Club (SEC)at Harvard dates back to a small group of students interested in nonprofit in the 1980s. Today, the goal of the Club is to create a community of students who are passionate about using business solutions to solve social problems.
Members have diverse interests and levels of social enterprise experience, and the Club accommodates this diversity with four special Interest Group sections. These include education, international development, social finance and socially responsible business.
Club members may sign up for as many Interest Groups as they like. Through these groups club members gain access to weekly notices on speakers, networking events, career opportunities, field study opportunities and industry news.