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Social entrepreneurship is most often defined as the use of the techniques of start-up companies and traditional for-profit entrepreneurs to develop, fund and implement solutions to social, cultural, or environmental issues. A wide range of startup ventures claim to be social entrepreneurship ventures, and, in fact, there is no strong consensus about the definition of social entrepreneurship.
Social entrepreneurs can be either non-profits or hybrids that blend for-profit goals with generating a positive "return to society". One common feature of all Social entrepreneurship ventures is that they place the achievement of their social impact ahead of making profits, though to be successful, social entrepreneurship ventures must also be financially sustainable.
Social entrepreneurship typically attempts to further broad social, cultural, and environmental goals often associated with the voluntary sector in areas such as poverty alleviation, health care and community development. They operate most successfully by brining innovative approaches to domains where government, non-governmental organizations and big philanthropy have not been successful.
GW, with its location in the nation’s capital, its international student body and its strength in policy and international affairs, supports a rich array of programs for social entrepreneurship.
Ventures compete in one of three tracks:
- New Ventures are standard commercial ventures, and most submissions will compete in this track.
- Technology Ventures are those that have a new proprietary technology, discovery or invention at its core. Technology Ventures will have some sort of intellectual property and generally have evidence of the feasibility of that core technology.
- Social Ventures generally have a transformative solution to a pressing need or social problem, and this social mission takes priority over its financial mission.
The Honey W. Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service aims to integrate civic engagement into George Washington University’s educational work. The center focuses GW’s resources to meet community needs beyond the campus, promote active citizenship in a diverse democracy, and enhance teaching, learning and scholarship at GW. Read more >>
Social Entrepreneurship (MGT 6285) - 3 Credit Hours
Theory and practice of social entrepreneurship. The power and limits of social entrepreneurship as a tool for creating sustainable and scalable social impact.
Social Entrepreneurship That Matters (MGMT 4900) - 3 Credit Hours (Undergraduate)
A new type of entrepreneur is evolving, one that innovates for solutions, not just for profits, and is eager to do well while doing good. Learn about Social Entrepreneurship in conjunction with a real-life practice, Lemonade Day-DC. Lemonade Day is powered nationally by Google for Entrepreneurs and will take place in 50 cities across the country this year. Students will be challenged to learn practical business skills, give back to society and use business to solve the world's problems. Explore the principles of shared value creation and have the opportunity to take Lemonade Day-DC to the next level and make a lasting impact on the entire DC community.
For more information, check out the Social Impact 360 Home Page.