Professor Bacq in India

SEI Welcomes New Faculty Member, Dr. Sophie Bacq

by Dr. Sophie Bacq

It is with great enthu­si­asm and excite­ment that I recently joined North­east­ern Uni­ver­sity and the Social Enter­prise Insti­tute as an Assis­tant Pro­fes­sor of Entre­pre­neur­ship and Innovation.

After start­ing my aca­d­e­mic jour­ney as a PhD can­di­date at the Lou­vain School of Man­age­ment in Bel­gium, I joined New York Uni­ver­sity Stern School of Busi­ness as a Vis­it­ing Scholar in August 2010. Dur­ing my two years at NYU, I actively took part in their Social Entre­pre­neur­ship pro­gram: I audited and guest lec­tured sev­eral social entre­pre­neur­ship classes, and inter­acted with pas­sion­ate stu­dents through their ini­tia­tives, clubs, and social busi­ness plan com­pe­ti­tion. In Jan­u­ary 2011, I had the oppor­tu­nity to join Pro­fes­sor Jill Kickul’s class on a trip to Ban­ga­lore, India, where MBA stu­dents spent two weeks con­sult­ing with local social enter­prises as part of their Inter­na­tional Social Impact Strate­gies program.

My years in New York were also the time for me to con­duct inten­sive research on social ven­tures in the NYC area and to com­plete my doc­toral stud­ies. In my research, I am par­tic­u­larly inter­ested in the gov­er­nance and man­age­ment of dou­ble bot­tom line orga­ni­za­tions, study­ing key events in the life cycle of social enter­prises such as the depar­ture of the social entre­pre­neur, as well as the inter­na­tional and cul­tural diver­gences in the under­stand­ing of social entrepreneurship.

Hav­ing been involved in social entre­pre­neur­ship research and edu­ca­tion for more than six years, I feel really lucky to be part of an insti­tu­tion that is doing such amaz­ing, com­mit­ted and ground­break­ing work in the area.

The two courses that I am teach­ing this semes­ter at NU D’Amore-McKim School of Busi­ness—Social Entre­pre­neur­ship, and Micro­fi­nance—remind me what keeps cap­ti­vat­ing me about this field: social entre­pre­neurs’ pas­sion for find­ing inno­v­a­tive solu­tions to intri­cate social prob­lems; com­plex busi­ness mod­els meant to be finan­cially viable and to have a long-term impact; day-to-day decision-making process that has to find a bal­ance between mul­ti­ple, yet coex­ist­ing, social and eco­nomic imper­a­tives; cul­tural dis­crep­an­cies and the impor­tance of under­stand­ing their influ­ence on the suc­cess and chal­lenges of social ini­tia­tives. I feel priv­i­leged to be given the chance to work in a field dri­ven by grand ambi­tions to change the sta­tus quo and bring endur­ing social impact on com­mu­ni­ties that are in dire need for change—be they here around NU and Boston, or in the devel­op­ing world.

It is there­fore a real plea­sure for me to be part of the SEI adven­ture and I look for­ward to shar­ing my expe­ri­ence and thoughts with all of you—my door is always open!