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Santa Clara University Faculty

Weaving social entrepreneurship into the DNA of SCU

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Miller Center is bringing together our university community and the social enterprise movement. We want Santa Clara University faculty, students, and staff to understand social entrepreneurship and to actively participate in this methodology to foster social justice. We mobilize the resources of the university to collaborate with our social enterprise partners across the world, and draw on their practical experience to engage the university in the global social enterprise movement. Together we want to make Santa Clara University a destination school for social entrepreneurship and impact investment. Our definition of social entrepreneurship can be found here.

Social entrepreneurship is a methodology that uses business skills and strategies to foster social and environmental justice.

In collaboration with faculty, we want to ensure that every student in every SCU school or college can learn social entrepreneurship. In collaboration with faculty, we want to provide at least 10% of all graduating students with opportunities to learn about social entrepreneurship. You can learn more about our plans in “ The road to 500: Miller Center’s campus engagement strategy.”

Miller Center advances the teaching of social entrepreneurship through faculty development workshops and the Miller Center Teaching Resource Library. Our next faculty development workshop will be held Monday – Thursday July 11-14, 2022 in Miller Center – apply here. This workshop introduces the field of social entrepreneurship, shares resources for curriculum development, and lays the foundation for co-creating meaningful research projects. This workshop was designed on the principle of value exchange: faculty can access substantial resources to integrate social entrepreneurship into their teaching and research, and Miller Center develops a campus network of faculty partners to pursue its strategic goals — all in a spirit of collegiality. The 2021 workshop agenda and many teaching resources are available to all, and the 2022 workshop will generally follow this agenda.

Engaging and supporting faculty is central to our strategy because with their expertise they can lead research and teaching in partnership with Miller Center. Each fall we have a Call for Research Proposals, offering faculty grants and fellowships to fund investigation into the field of social entrepreneurship, and this year, the deadline is October 15, 2022. Our social entrepreneurship research framework can be found here.

The social enterprise movement is a broad and diverse global movement of innovative social sector leaders that launch and grow enterprises which measure their success by the change they create in marginalized communities.

Our students — indeed, the world — hunger for problem-solving methodologies to persistent global poverty, racial injustice, and climate catastrophe. Social entrepreneurship offers rich intellectual resources for innovative solutions.

Miller Center fuses social entrepreneurship, Silicon Valley innovation and ingenuity, and SCU’s Jesuit values to be part of the solution to ending poverty for the next generation. Join us!

2022 Faculty Fellowships

Long Le, Management and Entrepreneurship

On the Road to 500: Defining, Measuring, and Teaching Social Entrepreneurship Mindset at Santa Clara University

Social entrepreneurship education has grown successfully in higher education contexts. However, while evidence-based implementations of such education programs are widely acknowledged as beneficial and crucial, few valid assessments have been done. This research proposal aims to fill this void by proposing that an instrumental outcome of social entrepreneurship education is a change in students’ social entrepreneurial mindset (SEM). Rather than defining SEM, the proposal will develop a SEM index as well as an evidence-based module for teaching SEM. This pioneering work will further distinguish Miller Center in the field of social entrepreneurship.

Laura Robinson, Sociology

Miller Center Fellows: Where Are They Now?

This project will provide the first comprehensive quantitative and qualitative data set on the long-term impact of the Miller Center Fellowship on the trajectories of its student-researcher alumni and their post-graduate success. Providing a platform for sharing video and text narratives will enhance the Center’s public profile as a national and international thought-leader in the field of social entrepreneurship, potentially help the Center attract additional financial support, and enable Santa Clara University students interested in social entrepreneurship to better appreciate the unique virtues of Miller Center Fellowships as an educational experience that prepares students for the challenges and opportunities in their post-graduate careers.

Chan Thai, Communication

Evidence of Impact: Program Evaluation of 3 Miller Center Social Enterprises

To assess their social impact on the community, this project will conduct a formal program evaluation of three Miller Center social enterprise partners. The evaluation will determine the impact of their programs based on their theories of change. Being able to identify and collect data that maps onto the social enterprise’s theory of change will allow for evidence to support or information to refine each organization’s theory of change. Further, this project will document evidence-based best practices and lessons learned, benefiting the broader community of those interested in social entrepreneurship.

2022 Faculty Grant Recipients

Naren Agrawal, Information Systems and Analytics

An Exploration of Supply Chain and Operational Challenges and Opportunities in the Social Entrepreneurship Sector

Operational challenges continue to be a major impediment to the success of many social entrepreneurs, particularly in emerging economies where supply chains tend to be highly fragmented and inefficient. These are also among the key impediments to successful scaling of these organizations. This project will study issues related to operations and supply chain management (SCM) in the social entrepreneurship sector with the goals of identifying the salient practical challenges and research opportunities, solutions to some of the most pressing problems, and leading-edge best practices. By developing meaningful contributions to the academic literature on operations and SCM issues relevant to social entrepreneurship, the aim is to amplify the potential for impact by these organizations.

Iris Stewart-Fry, Environmental Studies and Sciences & Ed Maurer, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Assessing the Social Impact of Short-Term Climate Forecasts for Smallholder Communities in Northern Nicaragua

Climate change poses significant threats to smallholder farmers and threatens global progress toward poverty alleviation and sustainable development. There are more than 500 million smallholder farmers cultivating less than 2 hectares of land worldwide. Although these smallholders are important contributors to local food production and regional economic development, many of these farmers experience food insecurity and are highly susceptible to climatic events. This project will assess the social impact of seasonal climate forecasts in northern Nicaragua with partner organization CII Asdenic through focus groups and surveys. The social impact assessment will generate and analyze data regarding the impact of climate forecasting information on users’ health, risk reduction, and preparedness.

2022 Miller Center Scholars

An interdisciplinary group of faculty, Miller Center Scholars are actively engaged in teaching, research, and service in social entrepreneurship.

Phyllis Brock Management and Entrepreneurship

Iris Stewart-Frey Environmental Studies and Sciences, Environmental Justice and the Common Good Initiative

Laura Robinson Sociology

Cara Chiaraluce Sociology

Michael Kevane Economics

Molly M. King Sociology

Chan Thai Communication

Charles Byers Marketing

Laura Jacobus Management and Entrepreneurship

Jennifer Merritt Ignatian Center, Community-based Learning

Christopher Kitts Mechanical Engineering

Ed Maurer Civil, Environmental, and Sustainable Engineering