Social entrepreneurship is hot and getting hotter as training programs, business plan competitions, and idea challenges targeting ages 30 and under take off on college campuses and online.
In 2009, 149 business schools in 24 countries offered courses incorporating social, environmental, or ethical issues – up from 111 schools in 18 countries in 2007. Over 50 social innovation challenges are listed in this one compilation alone. Entrepreneurship programs are working with youth as young as 11 years old, and funders like the Foundation for Youth Social Entrepreneurship are emerging in support of young social innovators internationally.
But as Deron Triff of Changents pointed out in this Huffington Post piece the bulk of next generation entrepreneurs aren’t necessarily coming out of formal training programs found in top business schools and through support networks like Ashoka. Moving forward many may bypass formal training and funding networks altogether, forming their own collaborative ecosystems outside of the mainstream and generating startup capital directly through crowdfunding and other means.
Which training & support models do you think will prove most effective and what are the pros and cons of each?
  • Formal academic training tracks and business plan competitions offered at many business schools?
  • Competitive seed funding programs providing training and/or mentoring like Echoing Green, Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, Yoshiyama Young Entrepreneurs program?
  • Professional training programs like the Global Social Business Incubator (GSBI)?
  • Self organizing groups like those found at the Hub or on Entrepreneur Commons?
  • Online peer-to-peer support programs like Changemakers?
  • Self made and self sufficient entrepreneurs?
  • Cause engagement platforms like Koodooz which encourage social sector involvement at an early age?
  • A combination of the above or others?
Please join Paul Lamb in the conversation by sharing your own thoughts on training the next generation of social entrepreneurs.