The question frequently posed to business students is, what is the purpose of business? And the almost unanimous response – to create wealth.
When speaking of social entrepreneurship, however, our programs encourage students to think beyond wealth creation for themselves or their shareholders, and to take on a larger goal: creating wealth in disenfranchised communities around the world.
At the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship means more than just well-intentioned philanthropy. It provides a vital link between economic AND social value. The venture can take many forms, including a purely nonprofit pursuit, a for-profit business venture, a hybrid venture with an equal for-profit and non-profit component, or a multinational corporation serving the needs of the base of the pyramid.
Our goal is to outfit the social entrepreneur with the business knowledge and strong social mission needed for success, including:
- Academic programming that provides knowledge of fundamental business concepts and tools to build a social venture
- Microventuring Certificate Program, a signature program at the Gigot Center that focuses specifically on the challenges of microenterprise
- Annual Business Plan Competition, where Notre Dame alums lend their experience and expertise to help social entrepreneurs take their vision forward
- Social internships, both domestic and international that provide on-the-ground experiences