The Minor in Social Entrepreneurship

Are you interested in pursuing a career in an NGO? At an international organization like the UN? At a government agency that aims to advance social or economic development in a sustainable way? In the field of corporate social responsibility? Or perhaps you want to develop a socially responsible enterprise. If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, the new Minor in Social Entrepreneurship may be for you.

Arts undergraduate students who pursue this minor will acquire the skills necessary to take on issues of social responsibility, environmental sustainability, and the know-how to develop products and services that can alleviate social problems. The minor will impart a comprehensive set of management skills through targeted coursework offered in the Faculty of Management.  Students pursuing the minor will be allowed to complement the management courses with an array of related courses in the Faculty of Arts. 

The minor also has a strong emphasis on hands-on experience either through an experiential course that requires students to create an entrepreneurial business plan or through an internship at an NGO or other social enterprise. All Arts students in all existing majors and minors who have a minimum GPA of 3.0 may apply for the new Minor in Social Entrepreneurship. 

Students who wish to pursue the minor must complete an online application.  

Note that new admissions to the minor will only be allowed once per academic year.

What is a Social Entrepreneur?

Whether through international or local NGOs or their own business start-ups, social entrepreneurs channel their passion and innovative spirit into ideas that can offer creative solutions to important problems facing the world today.  Social entrepreneurs are often agents for social change.  

The innovative solutions to existing problems developed by social entrepreneurs help transform our world for the better in a wide range of fields including education, health, economic development, human rights, agriculture and the environment.  Social entrepreneurs direct their entrepreneurial zeal toward alleviating a variety of social ills including the reduction of poverty, advancing environmentally sustainability of a product or service, improving access or quality of healthcare or education. 

Social entrepreneurs often focus on those who are marginalized or those who lack the financial means or political clout to achieve any transformative benefit on their own. These entrepreneurs achieve their goals by developing innovative products, technologies, or services and delivering them to those in need through existing NGOs or by setting up not-for-profit organizations or private companies. 

Social entrepreneurs are often distinguishable from traditional entrepreneurs by their definition of success.  Instead of defining success solely as a function of maximizing revenue and profits, for social entrepreneurs success is frequently defined in terms of their sustainability, reach, and social impact.  Above all, social entrepreneurs aim to make a meaningful and lasting contribution to our economic and social development.  They are more concerned with using their creative talents to improve society rather than focusing exclusively on personal gain.  This Minor in Social Entrepreneurship will help students gain a larger understanding of how to direct an entrepreneurial spirit into the development of innovative solutions for social problems. 

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