Monday, December 1, 2008
STANFORD, Calif., Dec 01, 2008 -- Commitment to social entrepreneurship by a growing number of Stanford Graduate School of Business students has inspired the School to create a new fellowship award that will provide substantial financial and strategic support to graduates starting social ventures.
Recipients of the first Social Innovation Fellowships will be selected by June 2009. The fellowships are part of a three-year pilot program developed by the Business Schools' Center for Social Innovation, which cultivates leaders to solve the world's toughest social and environmental problems.
The fellowship program is designed to help mission-driven MBAs create nonprofits that benefit society, particularly marginalized populations. The one-year fellowships carry a stipend of $80,000 per student, or $120,000 per two-member team that must be led by a graduating Stanford MBA. Fellowship winners must be committed to building a successful nonprofit venture or innovation that addresses a particular social or environmental challenge, and must work full-time for their ventures during the fellowship year.
Fellowship winners receive strategic assistance and entrepreneurship expertise deemed necessary by a team of senior staffers from the Business School's Center for Social Innovation. Faculty advisors for the program include Jim Phills, the Claude N. Rosenberg Jr. Director of the Center for Social Innovation, and James Patell, Herbert Hoover Professor of Public and Private Management.
"As a leadership development school, we want to empower people to pursue their dream," said Kriss Deiglmeier, Executive Director of the Center for Social Innovation. "This allows us to continue to develop leaders who want to contribute to important social change."
The demands of the MBA program and pressure to land a full-time job before graduation make it hard for even the mostly highly motivated students to find funding to bring their visions to life. As a result, many promising ideas that could benefit society are left on the drawing board. The new Social Innovation Fellows program aims to help solve this critical issue by providing would-be social entrepreneurs with the money and technical assistance they need to be successful.
Stanford MBA graduates who have launched social enterprises include Jessica Flannery MBA '07. She cofounded Kiva, a nonprofit microfinance group in San Francisco that seeks to overcome poverty by linking lenders with entrepreneurs operating very small businesses. And the social entrepreneurial duo of Sam Goldman and Ned Tozun, both MBA '07, together developed a low-cost, solar-powered light emitting diode lamp to sell to the millions of people worldwide who live in rural homes not supplied with electricity.
The Social Innovation Fellows program builds on Stanford's popular Public Management Program, which is part of the Center for Social Innovation. One in every four Business School students receiving an MBA also chooses to earn a Public Management Program Certificate, indicating the student is prepared to apply their management skills to a government agency, nonprofit enterprise, or socially responsible businesses.
For more information about the Social Innovation Fellows Program go to www.gsb.stanford.edu/csi/about/csifellows.html
The Center for Social Innovation at the Stanford Graduate School of Business cultivates leaders to solve the world's toughest social and environmental problems. Graduates from the Center's Public Management Program help corporations improve their sustainable practices and launch social enterprises that bring life-changing solutions such as loans to small businesses and safe lighting to the world's poorest places. The Center provides research, education and experiential programs that reach across the business, nonprofit, and government worlds. The Center promotes development of innovative solutions to build a more just, sustainable and prosperous world.
Learn about the Public Management Program at http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/pmp/about/
For more information about the Center for Social Innovation at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, please go to www.gsb.stanford.edu/csi/