Social Entrepreneurship & Development
The Social Entrepreneurship Program at Tulane
I am fortunate to have been appointed “Carnegie Corporation of New York Professor of Social Entrepreneurship” effective July 2011. This is a new appointment, one of five this year. My faculty colleagues come from architecture (Mouton), education (Whelan), political science (Schneider) and African Diaspora and English (Lewis). We are building Tulane’s university-wide program in Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation, working with the existing Social Entrepreneurship program and the Provost’s office on a university wide programs, such as an interdisciplinary undergraduate coordinate major and minor.
Meanwhile, I am developing an applied research and practice agenda, which builds on my previous work in western Kenya, and is inspired by diverse non-profit organizations on technology, environment, and development themes. These include ACE-Africa, for community innovations in Western Kenya, the iHub, a Nairobi-based technology innovation incubator and UniquEco, a Kenyan social venture repurposing used flipflop to clean waterways and create jobs. Lighting Africa is catalyzing sustainable lighting systems for African families and small businesses; they have provided products for my “Power is Knowledge” phone-charging project. In New Orleans, I am working more with the LA Bucket Brigade on greening Mardi Gras through a new social venture, and LifeCity on building sustainable impact economy.
I am considering a range of questions: What are appropriate scales to action? What theories of change guide community-based entrepreneurial ventures? What sort of global philanthropy is needed to support their innovative work and transition to the long run? What is the role of government—especially in development-aid-saturated East Africa-- in creating an enabling environment for viable social entrepreneurial ventures? How can international aid agencies incorporate social entrepreneurship 3.0 into their work? What can we learn from these organizations to improve international development practice?
Social Entrepreneurship initiative at Tulane: tulane.edu/socialentrepreneurship