Georgia State University is preparing the next generation of entrepreneurs who will lead in business and address problems facing society.
The new Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (B.I.S.) in Social Entrepreneurship at Georgia State began this spring semester.
“Social entrepreneurship is a growing field,” said social entrepreneur Chris Markl, co-founder of Kourage Athletics, who joined the university to design the curriculum, manage programs and recruit students for the new degree program.
“Social entrepreneurs develop business solutions to social problems, from drones that deliver medicine in Rwanda to a website that crowdfunds to build homes in Haiti,” Markl said.
Georgia State’s B.I.S. is believed to be the first interdisciplinary undergraduate degree in social entrepreneurship in the state, if not the nation. It will prepare students to lead social change by transforming communities with innovative, problem-solving businesses.
“We expect this degree to draw students who want to start and run a financially stable business with the purpose of doing some good in the world,” Markl said. “If these students want at some point in their lives to launch an organization that improves the world, they’ll understand how to do it and possess experience in the field of social entrepreneurship.”
Georgia State’s downtown Atlanta location provides students a unique advantage in their study of social entrepreneurship.
“Atlanta is one of the nation’s best communities for entrepreneurs,” Markl said. “And just a few minutes from campus – by foot, car and transit – you’ll find global nonprofit headquarters like CARE and Habitat for Humanity, one of our nation’s largest concentrations of government offices, and a world-class airport offering nonstop flights to hundreds of international cities.”
Core courses in the new degree program include entrepreneurship, nonprofit organization and management, and financial resource development. An internship at a social enterprise is required.
In addition, students will choose from courses across the university to build a concentration in either Economic Development and Cities, Education, Global Issues, or Health and Human Behavior.
Georgia State’s social entrepreneurship degree is housed in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies in partnership with the Robinson College of Business’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute.
“The faculty in our nationally ranked policy school understand the problems and corresponding solutions facing our world,” Markl said. “This B.I.S. is both a business and a social innovation degree, and should empower students to create the change they would see in the world.”
For more information about the degree, visit http://aysps.gsu.edu/public-management-and-policy/b-s-social-entrepreneurship/.