How Universities are Expanding Social Entrepreneurship

Universities contribute a great deal to society through scholarship, research-based inquiry, and the preparation of students for work and life. Through research, they play an invaluable role in creating new knowledge. Since a well-educated workforce is key to prosperity, many universities are paying attention to entrepreneurship education.

A number of universities nurture social entrepreneurship by establishing incubation centres. These centres offer a platform where ideas are developed into viable business. Some institutions also help students access initial funding for their ideas.

Several universities are also training students how to create social enterprises that help vulnerable groups or communities. In fact, some have adapted their curriculum to nurture social entrepreneurs. Such universities include University of Pennsylvania, University of Northampton, The University of Oxford, Duke University, Yale University and Stanford University.

Eight years ago, the University of Northampton set itself the goal of becoming the top institution in the UK for social enterprise by 2015. The university joined many US institutions and today it is recognised by Ashoka as a ‘Changemaker Campus’. Its vision is to promote social entrepreneurial activities among its students.

Universities have a role in solving social problems. There must therefore prioritise social entrepreneurship training. This could happen by setting up dedicated incubation centres or through existing system. Training should include a variety of teaching methods to ensure real value for students.



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