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College of Business Alumni

Management Department Launches Center for Social Entrepreneurship

The NIU College of Business is no stranger to social entrepreneurship. The Department of Management has been teaching in the social entrepreneurship area since 2007, well ahead of most other colleges and universities. This fall, the program will launch its Center for Social Entrepreneurship (CSE). The establishment of the CSE will allow NIU to bring together all entrepreneurship programs and activities, including experiential learning, research, and outreach. Having a center will support consistency and effectiveness among the programs and activities, as well as help to share key resources.

"Once the CSE is up and running, everything in the social entrepreneurship space will be through the center," explains Christine Mooney, the Bill & Paula LeRoy Professor of Social Entrepreneurship. "It's an exciting time; the CSE will help NIU to firmly establish itself as a leader in the area of social entrepreneurship."

Dennis Barsema, Social Entrepreneurship Instructor, describes the CSE and Social Entrepreneurship Program as "a unique opportunity for any student, from any major, to be a part of." There are three courses offered each semester - Social Entrepreneurship, Creativity & Innovation, and Microfinance - all of which are offered through the College of Business but are available to all NIU students. There is also a popular Social Venture Competition class offered. This course enables students to identify and evaluate a social need and market opportunity and develop a business plan using an array of venture practices critical for success. Dennis explains the importance for the program to be open to all majors. "Solving social issues is everyone's responsibility. One of the strengths of our program is leveraging the student skill sets from all across campus." The program offers both a certificate and a minor in Social Entrepreneurship.

The CSE aims to empower social entrepreneurs to change the world. Under the leadership of both Christine and Dennis, the center will do just that - developing and supporting students in gaining the skills and networks necessary to solve the social problems of the world using business principles.

To learn more about the Center for Social Entrepreneurship visit: www.cob.niu.edu/cse/.

To get involved, please e-mail NIU's Department of Management at 815.753.1124 or cse@niu.edu.