To ensure that GW students develop the skills necessary to achieve their project objectives, several different units at the university, including the Office of Entrepreneurship and the School of Business' Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence, will work in conjunction with GW's Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service to develop and offer courses that will teach students the fundamentals of social entrepreneurship. This will include coursework on benchmarking, feasibility, business plan development, community collaboration, and project management, which will be customized in a non-credit mini-course.
Moreover, the mini-course will be integrated into the GW Business Plan Competition and other social innovation funding programs as a means of ensuring that students looking to secure funding for their ideas have a host of options available.
In order to accomplish these objectives, the Center for Civic Engagement will hire a full time staff person to coordinate social entrepreneurship efforts on campus, develop and deliver the mini-courses, coordinate the addition of social entrepreneurship to the GW Business Competition, and administer the prize money for the Social Entrepreneur track of the GW Business Competition. The Social Entrepreneurship Coordinator will have experience in developing and executing social innovation, will have deep knowledge of the literature on social entrepreneurship, and will be able to teach intensive, interactive courses on social entrepreneurship.
In 2013, the Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service will hire a staff member to be the Social Entrepreneurship Coordinator. The coordinator will: develop and teach a social entrepreneurship curriculum and coordinate workshop logistics; inventory and publicize GW social entrepreneurship information; and support activities related to the social entrepreneurship track of the Business Plan Competition. The Office of Entrepreneurship and the director of the Business Plan Competition will work with Center for Civic Engagement to develop the curriculum and integrate the social entrepreneurship track into the Business Plan.
The first mini-courses/workshops will be held in the fall semester 2013 and during fall 2013-winter 2014 Students will submit applications to CGI U, the GW Business Plan Competition, and GW's Public Service Grant Competition.
Students will compete and be selected for a variety of social entrepreneurship activities in spring 2014 and another round of mini-courses and workshops will be conducted. At the same time, the GW Business Plan Competition will be held and prize money will be awarded and students will be selected for the Knapp Fellowship. Formal mentoring of Business Plan Competition and Knapp Fellowship winners will begin in summer 2014.
The cycle will begin again during the fall semester of 2014 with applications submitted to CGI U, the GW Business Plan Competition as well as GW's Public Service Grant Competition. Students will be encouraged to seek other sources of funding for their start up ideas, including Youth Service America, the State Farm Companies Foundation Youth Advisory Board, Youth Venture and others. In spring 2015, students will again compete and be selected in a variety of social entrepreneurship competitions and another round of mini-courses and workshops will be conducted.
George Washington (GW) University students are inspired to change the world for the better: to improve education, the environment, the economy, and the human condition. However, while many students have great ideas to address societal problems, few have the know-how to turn their ideas into reality. More than 9,200 of the 25,000 GW students were involved in service or service-learning in the 2011-12 academic year. These students participated in schools, community organizations, and government agencies as essential volunteers, conducted research in partnership with the organizations, consulted on special projects, and generated solutions for pressing social problems. More than 200 GW students have made CGI U commitments in the last three years and hundreds of GW students have created their own organizations and solutions to social issues. However, even with existing GW programs like the Steven and Diane Robinson Knapp Fellowship for Entrepreneurial Service-Learning, the Public Service Grant Commission, and the GW Business Competition, the students who have great ideas and are awarded funds frequently lack the skills to move their projects forward. Moreover, students lack the experience in essential skills like business plan development, project management and community collaboration and they continue to need seed funding to bring their ideas to fruition.
The George Washington University is seeking best practices to support student social innovators at all academic levels.
The George Washington University is offering best-practice insight from the model developed for its CGI commitment. GW teaches students of all levels how to turn their passion for social innovation into practical action through a non-credit workshop series, one-on-one mentorship, and seed funding opportunities like a fully integrated social venture prize track in our mainline business plan competition.