Biz-school courses focus on giving back
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
In 2010, Donnel Baird grew increasingly frustrated while working for a coalition of labor and environmental groups in Washington, D.C., to promote residential energy efficiency and sustainability projects.
In the process, he discovered how difficult it was for entrepreneurial businesses, nonprofits, churches and other small enterprises to find backers such as banks willing to fund their efforts to install solar power or energy-conservation technologies. “The transaction costs and the risks were too high,” he said.
At the same time, he yearned to expand a program the coalition ran to train the unemployed to work in the clean-energy field, tackling projects such as energy retrofits.
With that in mind, he applied to Columbia Business School, which had been expanding its program for students interested in using their business skills in social enterprises. It was the only school to which he applied.