Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Students and Social Entrepreneurship
I’m just back from attending the annual Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Center’s Annual Meeting which this year was held at Penn State University. One of the things that I really like about the conference is the conversation that you can have with other directors over coffee. This year, the topic of social entrepreneurship was hotter than ever, which I think is thanks to the “primary customer” that we deal with. Our “primary customer” is the student, and this generation of students wants to do more with their lives than just get a job. They want to make meaning in their lives, and they are starting while they are in college. More students than ever want to start or work for non-profits, more students are creating business plans for non-profits, and many want to start for profit businesses that will spin off money that they can then donate to non-profits. For all of the things that are said in the media about this generation, this is one thing that those articles seem to miss…that this group of students wants to do more than just get a job and make tons of money, they really want to try to make the world a better place. As a result, many of the colleges and universities that I spoke to at GCEC are retooling some of their courses to help these students make meaning, and understand the landscape facing social entrepreneurs today. Stay tuned, there is definitely more coming in the months ahead on this phenomenon.