Haas Newsroom


3 September 2002


National Social Venture Symposium at UC Berkeley to Explore Issues and Metrics in Social Entrepreneurship


Leaders in academia, philanthropy, and social entrepreneurship will meet at the National Social Venture Symposium - organized by the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley; Columbia Business School; and The Goldman Sachs Foundation - to discuss the issues facing enterprises that strive to blend both financial and social returns as integral parts of their missions.


The National Social Venture Symposium will take place on Friday, September 13, from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm, at the Haas School of Business on the UC Berkeley campus. Representatives from the media are welcome to attend.


The symposium will feature a public dialogue with leaders in the social entrepreneurship arena to explore the practical paradoxes involved in growing, managing and investing in double bottom line ventures with a particular focus on the emerging realm of social impact measurement and assessment.


Symposium participants include social investors, entrepreneurs from the private and non-profit sectors, and faculty and students from leading universities where the study of social enterprise and entrepreneurship is taking root.


Jed Emerson, senior fellow at the Hewlett Foundation and a lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, will give the keynote address in the morning. Emerson has been the leading force in defining and developing metrics to measure Social Return on Investment across industries.


The symposium is the opening event of the 2002/03 National Social Venture Competition and is hosted by the Haas School's Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at UC Berkeley.


The National Social Venture Competition is a national business plan competition for teams of MBA students and entrepreneurs seeking to launch enterprises that create financial value by having a positive impact on society.


The competition began three years ago as a student-organized social venture competition at the University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business. It expanded its national scope in 2001 with new partners, the Columbia Business School in New York and The Goldman Sachs Foundation, headquartered in New York, which has provided $1.5 million in funding for the competition.


Together, the three institutions are committed to building upon their respective networks of global business leaders, academics, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs to achieve their vision: the expansion of social entrepreneurship globally.


The growing interest in this field may be evidenced by a 140 percent increase in the number of business plan submissions to the 2002 competition over the 2001 competition.


Throughout the year, the entrepreneurship centers of the two business schools at Berkeley and Columbia will coordinate with The Goldman Sachs Foundation to organize and promote national events in the San Francisco Bay Area and New York City.


The 2002/2003 national competition finals will be hosted by the Eugene M. Lang Center for Entrepreneurship at Columbia Business School on April 11-12, 2003. Entrants will compete for $100,000 in prizes to launch their proposed new businesses.


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Any representatives of the media wishing to attend the symposium should send an RSVP to Ute Frey, Haas School of Business, at 510-642-0342 or at frey@haas.berkeley.edu.


For more information, visit the NSVC web site at www.socialvc.net, consult the enclosed agenda or contact Ute Frey at 510-642-0342 or at frey@haas.berkeley.edu.


Background:


The Haas School of Business and The Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

The Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, is one of the leading producers of new ideas and knowledge in all areas of business and is also influenced by its proximity to Silicon Valley. In 1970 Haas became one of the first business schools to teach entrepreneurship. In 1991 it established The Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation to foster academic programs, community outreach and campus wide collaboration in new venture creation, entrepreneurship and venture capital. This emphasis on entrepreneurship, coupled with the Haas School's commitment to the social and environmental ramifications of business, which date back to its founding in 1898, creates a unique learning environment that gave birth to the National Social Venture Competition in 1999.


The Eugene M. Lang Center for Entrepreneurship at Columbia Business School

The Eugene M. Lang Center at Columbia Business School serves as a living laboratory for student entrepreneurial ventures. The unique approach to entrepreneurship education at Columbia Business School combines a systematic integration of entrepreneurial themes throughout the core curriculum, a strong elective course program, rigorous hands-on lab courses and a commitment to making entrepreneurship a viable career option for students. Mentors, largely successful alumni, provide vigorous, high-level advice and guidance throughout the business development process and the eventual start-up. The Lang Center also supports socially responsible ventures and has created a distinctive model for developing an entrepreneurial network that has been incorporated into the National Social Venture Competition.


The Goldman Sachs Foundation

The Goldman Sachs Foundation, a nonprofit grant-making organization, is the global philanthropic arm of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. The mission of the Foundation is to promote excellence and innovation in education and to improve the academic performance and lifelong productivity of young people worldwide. The driving values of the Foundation's grant-making strategy are openness to fresh approaches, rigor in selection, and efficient use of resources to support the best ideas and practices in education around the globe.