Over the last semester, students at the Beedie School of Business have been bringing to life projects to address tomorrow’s social, environmental and economic challenges with help from the new Social Entrepreneurship Accelerator (SEA) program.
The brainchild of Beedie lecturer Shawn Smith, the program ran for six weeks at the SFU Surrey campus, with $10,000 in support from Vancity, and allowed students to enter as teams or individuals in order to generate a feasible business model to further their social venture concepts.
The students worked with assigned mentors in a lab-like atmosphere and had guest speakers share their experience in launching start-up companies. Teams were initially given $400 each in start-up capital, with the top three teams at the end of the program awarded $2500, $1500 and $500 respectively.
“The SFU Social Entrepreneurship Accelerator was intended to mimic the realities of starting a social purpose company,” explains Smith. “The program emerged as we recognized that while many students come up with interesting social venture ideas in current more introductory classes, very few were moving forward to launch. We wanted them to have the support and structure needed to take those first steps as entrepreneurs – once you self-identify as an entrepreneur there is no going back!” Keep reading…
Tags: BAGS, Chantelle Buffie, EcoEats, entrepreneurship, Fusion Kitchen, innovation, SEA, SFU Surrey, Shawn Smith, social entrepreneurship, Social Entrepreneurship Accelerator, social innovation, Sonam Swarup, start-ups, sustainability, Vancity