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Social entrepreneurship initiative launches at NC State

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From left to right: Elizabeth Benefield, Kevin Miller, Ignitius Bwoogi, Julia Storberg-Walker, Keegan Guizard, Natalie Von Windheim and Ankesh Madan participated in the first social entrepreneurship planning session.

From left to right: Elizabeth Benefield, Kevin Miller, Ignitius Bwoogi, Julia Storberg-Walker, Keegan Guizard, Natalie Von Windheim and Ankesh Madan participated in the first social entrepreneurship planning session.

Social entrepreneurship is thriving at NC State!

Student-founded groups such as Headbands for Hope and Triangle Youth Leadership Services are just two examples of what motivated and engaged NCSU students are doing to change the world.

To help harness and shape this energy, a new initiative based in the Institute for Nonprofits has been started. Anchored by many entrepreneurial activities already established across campus, this initiative will help forge a vision for how students, faculty and community partners can “do good” in addition to doing well.

Elizabeth Benefield, a 20-year veteran of development and leadership in higher education and the nonprofit sector, will lead the effort to engage campus and community partners in developing an institutional platform to learn about and participate in building successful social enterprises.

“With its strong historical grounding in technology and engineering and thriving humanities, social sciences, management programs,  NC State is positioned to create a truly unique program,” comments Benefield. “I really want to engage students in the development process. There are so many young, earnest, super smart students who believe they can change the world. With the right tools and support, they will.”

Students, faculty, staff and community peers are encouraged to join the conversation. Committed to building a lively, innovative campus wide eco-system for social entrepreneurship, Benefield has created an open design process to encourage cross-disciplinary input and wants to hear from all potential stakeholders.

The Institute for Nonprofits will serve as its primary home, but this initiative belongs to and will be informed by a broad group of campus and community participants. Look for additional information as more formal launch activities begin in early 2014.

Benefield can be reached at eabenefi@ncsu.edu.

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