Social Entrepreneurship and Business Schools

by Vault Education Editors | January 24, 2011

  • My Vault

Two new pieces on the relevance of nonprofit and social enterprise at business schools:

A woman from Baltimore asks whether she's the type of girl business schools want and if the MBA is the right degree for a career non-profiter. Two knowledgeable people respond.

Relatedly, a recent New York Times trend piece on business schools with a social appeal would suggests that, yes, many schools do want more idealists, innovators and world-problem-solvers interested in social entrepreneurship.

What is social entrepreneurship, you ask? Paul Light, who wrote The Search for Social Entrepreneurship, and writes often about the definition of social entrepreneurship and the difficulty of defining social entrepreneurship, once defined social entrepreneurship as the effort "to solve intractable social problems through pattern-breaking change." Pithy! In the Times article, Tony Sheldon, who runs Yale S.O.M.'s social enterprise program, defines it more obliquely: "Social entrepreneurship is a little like pornography," Mr. Sheldon said. "It's hard to define, but you know it when you see it."

If you're interested, here are US News's rankings for top schools for non-profit management, and the Aspen Institute's alternative rankings for schools that offer the best sustainability education.

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