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“Where Wingtips and Birkenstocks Meet”- A Million Dollar Boost for Social Enterprise at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business

Posted by Lynn Miller on Wed, Apr 20, 2011

“Not so long ago, social enterprise was relatively unheard of in corporate America or in business school. The two were as different as Birkenstocks and wingtips, and if they mingled at all, it was perhaps a goodwill gesture from the corporate side with a few zeroes at the end. But today, the two cultures are coming together in a union that has proved advantageous for both.”

– Melanie D.G. Kaplan, Georgetown Business Magazine, Spring 2010

And now, fueled by both a $1 million donation from the Bank of America Foundation to Georgetown’s new Global Social Enterprise Initiative and the strong leadership of Professor Bill Novelli, students will be better prepared to take their  business skills and infuse them with the latest thinking in best practices for social enterprises.

This story hits close to home for me for two reasons.

As a Georgetown MBA grad, I remember the days when “Beltway Bandit” consulting jobs were among the most sought after jobs for newly minted MBAs. Social enterprise wasn’t even a buzzword, it was an unknown.  Alternative energy? What was that?

Now, as a business owner, I’m fortunate to have a wonderful Georgetown MBA intern assisting with the development of 4GreenPs’ CSR offerings. Our intern, Adrienne Weil, was part of the initial student group that helped design Georgetown’s Global Social Enterprise Initiative. And yes, we’re very proud of her great work on this important social enterprise initiative!

global social enterprise initiative

Of course, Georgetown, with its Jesuit traditions, always had a strong foundation in business ethics and philanthropy. And the best corporate leaders have always given back to their communities. What’s different about today’s social enterprise movement is that it puts social good at the forefront of business planning, rather than just as a nice thing to do if business conditions permit.

The Georgetown Global Social Enterprise Institute will collaborate with organizations on campus, throughout Washington, and across the globe. It will develop best practices and advance research, teaching, outreach, and creative problem solving in the areas of global health and well-being, responsible investing, economic growth and financial security, clean-tech energy and environment, and international development. And through this partnership with Bank of America, it will hold an annual symposium to generate ideas for public policy and business practices to yield increased public-private partnerships, employment, and global economic stability.

Hoya Saxa!

Can’t get enough? Here’s some additional coverage of the Georgetown Global Social Enterprise Institute:

By Lynn Anne Miller

Copyright 2011 4GreenPs

4GreenPs  connects green brands with mainstream consumers and helps mainstream brands go green with a full range of  CSR and sustainability communications services. Want to talk about how we can help you? Contact lynn at 4greenps dot com.

Tags: CSR: Corporate Social Responsibility, SRI: Socially Responsible Investing, Washington DC Region: Green Business