Universities have always been and important center for community and social development and are, in many cases, at the forefront of innovation and entrepreneurship. Over the last 5-10 years Universities have also embraced the growing movement of social entrepreneurship, as a means to solve societal and environmental problems with the creativity, drive and rigor of an entrepreneur.
“Social entrepreneurs drive social innovation and transformation in various fields including education, health, environment and enterprise development. They pursue poverty alleviation goals with entrepreneurial zeal, business methods and the courage to innovate and overcome traditional practices. A social entrepreneur, similar to a business entrepreneur, builds strong and sustainable organizations, which are either set up as not-for-profits or companies”. (http://www.schwabfound.org/content/what-social-entrepreneur)
This proposal is for the development of a Social Entrepreneurship program at the University of Isfahan where students will be guided through the development of real life social entrepreneurship projects for which they will be pitching for funding (Social Entrepreneur Awards) and support from the University and external stakeholders.
Program Aims are to:
· FIND, FUND and SUPPORT social entrepreneurs in the University of Isfahan ecosystem in conjunction with the Isfahan Chamber of Commerce;
· Develop a community of like-minded change-makers and innovative thinkers in the university ecosystem;
· Develop University of Isfahan links with the wider social entrepreneurship movement both at the national and international level.
The program will combine an academically grounded and practical approach to social entrepreneurship. By engaging with theories and concepts within different industry contexts, it will consider both academic findings and the reality of the local operating environment. Program participants will have the opportunity to reflect on theory and practice, to evaluate their own entrepreneurial potential and to develop their own social entrepreneurship feasibility project that they will pitch to a panel of entrepreneurs in order to receive funding and support to develop their project.
The program objectives are to enable participants to:
· Gain a critical understanding of the concepts of social entrepreneur, social enterprise and social entrepreneurship;
· Reflect on the personal qualities needed to be a successful social entrepreneur;
· Identify key social and/or environmental issues they wish to explore/address during the program;
· Explore a range of tools/techniques used to co-design and co-create solutions to the above mentioned issues with relevant stakeholders;
· Develop a business model to explore an entrepreneurial solution to the issues highlighted above;
· Develop the skills and techniques to pitch their project to a panel of academics and entrepreneurs in order to obtain funding and support for the development of their projects.
Key topics in the program will include:
· Introduction to social entrepreneurship
· Creativity and idea generation workshop
· Design thinking process
· Business Model Canvas
· Legal structures
· Budgeting, finances and fundraising
· How to pitch workshop
· Measuring social impact
The development of the program will be facilitated by Roberto Daniele (see attached bio) and delivered in conjunction with relevant Faculty members at University of Isfahan and local entrepreneurs/social entrepreneurs as guest speakers and selection panel members for the Social Entrepreneur Awards.
Roberto will work with relevant University of Isfahan Faculty and other relevant stakeholders to:
· Develop and deliver the Social Entrepreneur Awards program for students;
· Work with relevant stakeholders to identify sources of funding for the program both within and outside the university (e.g. finding sponsors for the student Social Entrepreneur Awards)
· Help build links between the University of Isfahan and the wider social entrepreneurship movement;
Some relevant links:
OBSEA (Oxford Brookes Social Entrepreneur Awards) Program developed by Roberto Daniele (and team) at Oxford Brookes:
A couple of videos about the project
Some case studies of successful OBSEA participants and their projects over the years:
OBSEA was used as the springboard for Oxford Brookes to expand their local community & business involvement with the creation of OSEP in partnership with the University of Oxford and the local Chamber of Commerce https://www.osep.org.uk
A report on the benefits of introducing Social Entrepreneurship in the university sector:
A video about the Skoll World Forum for Social Entrepreneurship that tells a good story of the growth of this movement:
Bio - Roberto Daniele
Roberto Daniele is currently on a world tour cycling with his wife Marita from Oxford, U.K. to Melbourne, Australia visiting and documenting inspirational social enterprises along the way. Prior to this undertaking, he was a Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Marketing at Oxford Brookes University in Oxford U.K.
Roberto is passionate about building bridges between the hospitality & tourism industries and the rapidly growing field of social entrepreneurship, convinced that these sectors are a widely untapped and rich breeding ground for social entrepreneurs.
Together with Professor Emerita Pauline Sheldon he co-edited the first book on this topic: “Social Entrepreneurship and Tourism - Philosophy and Practice” published by Springer in 2017
He is the founder of the Hospitality & Tourism Social Entrepreneurs Forum, Director of the Tourism Changemakers’ Forum CIC (Community Interest Company) and an Executive member of TEFI (Tourism Education Futures Initiatives) with specific responsibilities for promotion of social entrepreneurship in the tourism education curriculum.
Between 2012 and 2016 Roberto developed and was Project Lead for OBSEA (Oxford Brookes Social Entrepreneur Awards) a university wide program supported by HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council of England) and UnLtd (the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs) developed to find, fund and support social entrepreneurs in the University ecosystem.
In 2013 the program won the prestigious “Outstanding HEI Supporting Social Entrepreneurship Award” at the Lead The Change Conference in the UK.
In 2014 the program also won the UnLtd’s Lived It Supporter Award – Judges Choice Winners “for an outstanding example of an organisation or individual supporter of young social entrepreneurs”.
In the same year the program was shortlisted for the highly prestigious Guardian Education Awards and came second.
In 2014 Roberto started TIPSE (Tourism Innovation Partnership for Social Entrepreneurship) a consortium of leading Universities and Social Enterprises whose mission is to promote social entrepreneurship in both hospitality and tourism academic programs and industry.
In 2015 won the prestigious ATHE (Association of Tourism and Hospitality Educators) “Making the Case Award” sponsored by ABTA for the work done on TIPSE’s development.
In 2017 Oxford Brookes won the Higher Education Institution (HEI) Recognition Award for Innovation in Partnership and Ecosystem Development, for work in social innovation and developing partnerships at regional, national and international levels.
In 2016, Roberto was named by Unltd as “Higher Education Social Entrepreneurship Champion” for the UK in recognition of his work in promoting social entrepreneurship in the University sector.
His industry experience includes managerial roles in both the Italian and Australian tourism industries where he worked as a market analyst for the Italian Federation of Travel Agents in Milan, Italy and as a marketing and business development manager for a major tourist attraction in Melbourne, Australia.