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!