One of the biggest challenges we face in today’s global economy is the alleviation and ultimate elimination, of poverty. Unemployment, lack of economic opportunities and the inability to provide for one’s needs and those of one’s family, lead to destructive consequences at the individual level and can lead to crime and armed conflict at the social level.
While the latest development theory recognizes the importance of entrepreneurship and microenterprise generation in combating poverty, providing employment and increasing income, in order to address poverty at the grass-roots level, we need to explore the intersection of traditional business concepts with social venturing. This course aims to provide an understanding of social entrepreneurship that will help us put theory into practice in a meaningful way.
This course will examine entrepreneurship and enterprise generation as a key foundation of the development of both economic and social capital, as well as individual and community empowerment. Its main emphasis will be the exploration of entrepreneurship with an imperative to drive social change and build sustainable ventures. Its focus will be on designing enterprises for the base of the economic pyramid in the context of disadvantaged communities. We will participate in the unfolding dialogue about what constitutes a “social entrepreneur”, develop an understanding of the power of “disruptive innovation”, and study success stories from around the world.
This course will require critical thinking and be highly interactive. Students will share their experiences, ideas, insights and challenges. Participants will be able to apply the learning from this course to their own startups and field projects.
Upon completion of this course participants will be able to:
• Understand the role of enterprise development in poverty reduction
• Identify key elements to designing a successful social venture
• Analyze social entrepreneurship in the context of developing sustainable businesses
• Network with resource organizations for social enterprise development projects.
Noncredit courses do not produce academic credit nor appear on a Colorado State University academic transcript.