Social entrepreneurship is a rapidly evolving industry, attracting growing amounts of investment and talent. The Global Entrepreneurship Program, run jointly by EMLYON Business School (Europe), Zhejiang University (Asia) and Purdue University (USA), focuses around 4 main pillars of entrepreneurship: Social Entrepreneurship, New Venture Creation, Family Business and Corporate Entrepreneurship, giving students the possibility to explore a full range of entrepreneurial career paths. Students of the program will study the evolving social entrepreneurship field, as well as network with and learn from leading social entrepreneurs.
What is Social Entrepreneurship?
The Economist defines a social entrepreneur as someone who develops an innovative answer to a social problem, for instance, creating a new business model to help tackle poverty. Social enterprises generate profits rather than relying on donations and grants, but unlike other organisations, exist to re-invest profits back into their social mission rather than investors. Well-known social enterprises include Ashoka, the largest network of social entrepreneurs worldwide who provide start-ups with finance and support and Grameen Bank, the Nobel Peace prize winning company that provides microcredit to the rural poor without requiring collateral.
Why study Social Entrepreneurship?
The current generation faces many environmental, economic and social problems, such as climate change and inequality in income and education. It is therefore critical that budding entrepreneurs understand what opportunities exist to use their skills and experience to make a positive change in the world. Social entrepreneurship is growing in investment and global interest, so this developing sector needs talented individuals motivated to solve social problems, who have the ability to turn an idea into a profitable, sustainable long-term business venture.
Students of the Global Entrepreneurship Program study the theory of social entrepreneurship, whilst at the same time working on their own ventures in order to develop their skills as an entrepreneur and build their professional network. Students also study across 3 different continents: in Europe, Asia and North America, in order to gain an international view of the factors affecting different societies and the entrepreneurial opportunities available.
Network with Social Entrepreneurs throughout the program
Students of the Global Entrepreneurship Program have the unique opportunity to attend the World Entrepreneurship Forum, a world leading think-tank in social entrepreneurship. The annual event, created by EMLYON Business School and KMPG France in 2008 has the mission to develop economic and social entrepreneurship, the creation of innovative businesses with high added value, the emergence of entrepreneurial cities and the way in which people are educated in entrepreneurship.
Students of the Global Entrepreneurship Program also have the opportunity to network with exceptional entrepreneurs who have made a distinctive impact on society throughout the program. For example, this year’s cohort had the chance to meet 2014 World Entrepreneurship Forum prize-winners Rodrigo Baggio, creator of the Committee for Democracy in Information Technology based in Rio who help disadvantaged people gain access to ICT and Rapelang Rabana from Botswana, creator of Rekindle Learning, a start-up offering innovative e-learning solutions for mobiles and tablets.
Nathan Murphy, student representative of his Global Entrepreneurship Program class shares his experience of the WEF 2014. “The experience of WEF 2014 was great for me. Each entrepreneurial member of the GEP was free to participate and network with the invaluable resources of people and learning opportunities available at the WEF 2014. I was able to speak to two of highly respected and established leaders in the field of Social Entrepreneurship, which is my area of focus.” Watch the cohort talk about their experience of the WEF 2014
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