A Growing NU Curriculum to Meet Global Needs for Social Entrepreneurs

As the impact of social enterprise grows around the world, we in turn are growing our capacity to meet the market need for a new generation of highly motivated and well trained social entrepreneurs.

Consistent with the unique mission and approach of Northeastern, our social enterprise curriculum is student-centered, practice oriented, and global. Our focus is on design, development and finance for enterprises working in poverty reduction and economic development in low income countries and communities. We teach students how business and business principles can be a force for global good, especially when inspired and informed young people lead the way toward positive change, meaningful impact and broadly shared value.

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Acumen Fund

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Very low-income people are too often invisible to businesses and society. Businesses see no significant market opportunity and governments view low-income areas as having insufficient tax revenues to pay for basic services like clean water, healthcare, housing and energy. Building new models that provide these critical services at affordable price – in the face of high costs, poor distribution systems, dispersed customers, limited financing options and, at times, corruption – requires imaginative business solutions and partnerships supported by investors willing to take on a risk/return profile that is unacceptable to traditional financiers.

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An Unexpected Loss and a Gentle Reminder

Naman Shah

Earlier this month we lost one of our beloved students, Naman Shah, to an untimely death at the age of 21. His short life reminds me of a something I read long ago, that given a choice between a life of comfort and a life of meaning, the wise person will choose the latter. We too often hear of unnecessary and premature deaths in the world, in fact we’ve all seen the statistic that several thousand children die needlessly each day from poverty and disease. Every life matters, and yet when it’s someone you know, whose path crossed yours, the idea of a senseless death in the face of such promise is that much more powerful.

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Valuating Nature

environmental refugee

The goods and services that we depend on daily would not exist without the assistance of nature in the supply chain. Humans constantly derive ecosystem services from nature, like how watersheds source our taps and faucets or how bees fertilize plants for our morning cup of coffee.

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What It's Really Like to Work for a Social Enterprise Abroad

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Through my work with Heart Capital, I have been able to get into a Skype call with one of the creators of the Acumen Fund’s reporting tool, PULSE, and into the office of J-PAL Africa at the University of Cape Town. For students of social entrepreneurship or really anybody looking for an interesting and engaging co-op position, I highly recommend the one I currently have.

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Clean Energy & Sol Solution

Solar

By going solar, schools are able to cut their electricity costs, without facing any upfront costs or having to worry about operations and maintenance of the solar panels. Moreover, by reinvesting our profits, SolSolution develops educational programming focused on STEM, solar, and green entrepreneurship for students at all of our partner schools.

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