IAJBS 23rd Annual World Forum University of Namur, Namur, Belgium

Experience level: 
Mike Caslin, Mary Kate Naatus, Len Green, Joe Szocik


Social Entrepreneurs (SEs) have deservedly received wide spread praise for their willingness and ability to develop innovative solutions to society’s most pressing problems. The volume of laudatory comments on the social entrepreneur’s personal qualities of passion, grit, idealism, etc. can, at times, obscure the fact that social entrepreneurs must develop a social enterprise as the vehicle for actually delivering value adding solutions on their targeted problem. Saint Peter’s University, Wheaton College, Babson College and the Global Center for Social Entrepreneurship Network Foundation (GCSEN) have developed a Four (4) Stage Model SEs can utilize to organize a social enterprise capable of “scaling up” positive impact to Transformative Scale. Each stage focuses on the stage specific tasks, and challenges facing the Social Entrepreneur with respect to both Impact Design e.g., problems, solutions, metrics, scaling strategy, and Impact Organization e.g., continuous improvement of operational excellence. Special emphasis will be given to describing tools, methodologies, principles, available to the social entrepreneur from the extensive and rapidly growing “lingua franca” of the Social Entrepreneurship discipline, complemented by customized education developed by the collaborators to support life-long learning. Our model provides a practical framework for advancing social justice by both contributing to local economic development and by developing triple bottom line solutions, People, Profit, Planet, to pressing social problems. As the social enterprise sector continues to grow and attract more attention from a socially conscious public, impact investors and beneficiaries, the opportunities for collaboration with cities, anchor and higher education institutions, corporations and other stakeholders in the ecosystem also abound. This paper is the second in a series elaborating on the Four Stage model, and will specifically apply the Four Stage model to the business education context and provide a variety of examples of how it can be incorporated into the business curriculum, in order to maximize student and community engagement as well as deepen the university’s local impact. By its very nature, social impact education and research cannot exist within the confines of a traditional classroom, and it lends itself well to service learning, community engaged learning, cross-disciplinary learning and collaborative research projects, all of which align well with achieving the mission of Jesuit business schools.