November 27, 2016
Excerpt from "Developing Social Entrepreneurs Through B Corp Clinic"
Originally posted on AACSB Blog, November 14, 2016 by Giselle Weybrecht - Author, Advisor, and Speaker - Sustainability and Business
"The past few years has seen an explosion in the number of courses that introduce or focus on social entrepreneurship. These elective courses speak to a growing number of students interested in starting their own companies after graduation, in particular companies that “do good.” The challenge is that social entrepreneurship is not only about creating businesses that provide solutions to social and environmental challenges; it is even more about embedding these practices into the core part of any business.
This is why business schools around the world are exploring ways to embed the lessons of social entrepreneurship across the curriculum and why experiential learning is proving so popular in engaging students to further develop these skills. Much of the program implementation has been driven by the students themselves. “Students want to gain real-world learning by experiencing what it is like to work with local companies on these topics,” says Jessica Thomas, director of the Business Sustainability Collaborative at Poole College of Management at North Carolina State University in Raleigh.
NC State’s B Corp Clinic provides these types of opportunities. In 2015, a local business incubator, HQ Raleigh, was looking to get certified as a B—or Benefit—Corporation. B Corporations are companies that meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Today more than 1,900 certified B Corps exist across 33 countries and in over 60 industries, and many more companies use the standards internally to guide their sustainability strategies."