The Rise of Social Entrepreneurship in B-Schools in Three Charts

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Twenty years ago, on two different business school campuses a continent away, the seeds of social entrepreneurship were planted.

At INSEAD, two students Philippe Dongier and Katie (co-author of this post) sent a school-wide email asking if anyone was interested in cultivating coursework and careers related to nonprofits. Overnight, 126 students, staff, and faculty responded — a number equal to 50% of the newly arrived class. With a student-faculty steering committee and 50,000 Euros of seed funding from the school’s administration, they founded INDEVOR, INSEAD’s social enterprise club.

Across the pond, John Whitehead, the former managing partner of Goldman Sachs and the board chair for several nonprofits, approached the dean of Harvard Business School with a similar idea. He asked how could HBS apply its distinctive competencies to help improve management within the social sector? Over the next few years, he provided small amounts of money to seed experiments and to challenge the institution to come up with innovative approaches to address his question. Like a venture capitalist, he said if these experiments delivered on their goals, more funding would follow. From this, the Social Enterprise Initiative was born.

Source: Harvard Business Review (link opens in a new window)

social enterprise