Do you have an idea to change the world, but don't know how to take the next step? If so, CE 5180 Social Entrepreneurship: Environment and Health may be for you.
This new class is an intensive one-week course on how to turn an idea into a viable social business model. No prior experience with a business class (or even an interest in taking one) is needed. The class is geared towards a multi-disciplinary audience, with a wide variety of skills and backgrounds.
The 1-week class is offered January 9th through 13th ("J term"), 9:00am-5:30am each day.
It is a 2-credit class, open to graduate students and upper-division undergraduates from
all majors. The goal of the class is to work on technologies or ideas that address a grand
challenge in a financially self-sustaining manner.
Examples of ideas that would fit include:
• You think an aspect of your graduate research work, or something you learned in
a class, could be applied to a problem you see in the world.
• You are an international student, wishing to bring back the skills you have learned
and address a challenge in your home country.
• You feel strongly about an environmental issue and want to explore if social
entrepreneurship may be a way to address it.
• You volunteer for a non-profit organization and think there are ways to help it to
further its mission via business models other than charity donations.
The class assumes that students have an idea (potential solution) in mind, which they will
explore and develop during the class. Students are encouraged to focus on a specific
community - overseas or locally. Student teams are allowed and encouraged (i.e.,
students already working in a team decide to take the class together). The class is pitched towards students who want to continue working on the idea after the class ends.
The class includes guest lectures from experts and existing social entrepreneurs. The
primary instructor has more than 30 years experience in corporate technology and
business development, non-profits and academia, and has been a part of social venture
startups in four countries.
This class is part of the Acara sequences of classes for social and environmental
entrepreneurs. Other classes in the sequence include a 4-credit class in the Fall wherein
student from UMN work in teams with students from Delhi, India, to identify and try to
address a local problem in Delhi; a 1-credit discussion section in the Spring for students
to continue working on their ideas; and, a Sumer Institute in Bangalore, India in June, for
additional training and hands-on experiences overseas.
For more information, or to apply to the class, contact Fred Rose [rosex122(at)umn.edu].
To apply to the class, email Fred Rose a brief description of the problem you wish to
work on, why you think this issue is a problem, your proposed solution, and why you
believe people would "buy" your solution.