Students Give Back by Assisting Nonprofits with Business Challenges
Social entrepreneurship course focuses on helping nonprofit organizations
Sarah DeCamp,Associate Director of Public Relations
M.B.A. students at LIU Post apply their knowledge and skills to help nonprofit organizations solve their business-related issues in an innovative course on social entrepreneurship. In the “Social Entrepreneurship Seminar,” students help nonprofits adopt innovative business practices. The concept of social entrepreneurship has many interpretations and can include using entrepreneurial techniques in mission-driven work, creating a profitable enterprise that supports social action, or helping individuals improve their lives by becoming entrepreneurs. This semester, students in the course worked with two nonprofit organizations, Strength for Life and Enactus.
One team of students is collaborating with Strength for Life, an organization that provides free exercise therapy by certified instructors to cancer patients who are currently undergoing treatment as research has shown that combining appropriate regular exercise with cancer treatments has resulted in a better overall outcome. The M.B.A. student team is working with this organization to develop a marketing strategy to raise community awareness of the service, as well as exploring ways to fund this much needed program.
“Our students are getting real-life experience by helping nonprofits with critical business challenges,” said Business Professor and Course Instructor James L. Freeley, Ph.D. “They are not only helping these organizations, but are also learning about how to set up a business in the future that will make a profit and benefit society.”
Another team of M.B.A. students has partnered with Enactus, an international nonprofit organization that brings together student, academic, and business leaders who are committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need. The students, together with Paul Forestell, dean of Service Learning and Experiential Education at LIU Post, are establishing a formal relationship with Enactus in order that future generations of LIU business students can apply their knowledge and training in alleviating social problems in developing countries.
In addition to working with these nonprofits, students are also developing individual business plan ideas that not only solve a social problem, but also make a profit without relying on government grants or charitable donations.
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