The entrepreneurship that creates social change – News Center

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Tuesday, September 6, 2022 • Herbalism:
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Suzanne Smith

Last spring, Adjunct Professor Suzanne Smith and a group of students from her Social Entrepreneurship class met for dinner at Café Momentum, a social enterprise restaurant in Dallas.

In many ways, Café Momentum, which doubles as a culinary training center that provides at-risk youth with life skills, education and job opportunities, embodies the spirit of every lesson Smith seeks to deliver. to his students.

“Social entrepreneurship has its roots in the broader field of entrepreneurship, but it differs in that social entrepreneurs have as their main objective the creation of social value rather than personal or shareholder wealth,” said Smith, whose class is in the College of Business. Marketing Department. “Social entrepreneurs are relentless in designing bold and creative solutions to create social change.”

Her course combines interactive lectures, class discussions, and hands-on activities that expose students to the concepts of social and business innovation. Throughout, students are challenged with new ways of thinking to increase their self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making, all of which serve to make them better. leaders and managers in their quest to make a positive impact in their communities.

Julie Cook (’19 MPA; ’13 BA, Communication) took the course in the spring of 2019. She said it gave her a practical understanding of how the theoretical concepts she studied could work in the real world. .

“This course gave me the tools and the confidence to apply these social change concepts to the work I was already doing,” said Cook, who manages sponsorship operations at Salesforce. “Now I am more creative in my presentations to partners because I am a better researcher and can synthesize strategy and objectives.”

Smith, who is also founder and CEO of Social Impact Architects, said the work of social entrepreneurs – or social intrapreneurship, for those who work within companies – is essential to creating a society in which everyone thrives.

“I hope that the day when social entrepreneurship will no longer be discussed separately from other forms of business or entrepreneurship, because every business has an impact and determines the results for people in our communities,” he said. she declared. “We just want this impact to lead to positive societal feedback. I love giving my students the tools and knowledge to scale their ideas and their business, with a positive outcome for everyone. »

-Written by Amber Scott, University Advancement

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