ATLANTA–Georgia State’s new Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (B.I.S.) in Social Entrepreneurship is accepting students for the spring semester.
“Social entrepreneurship is a growing field,” said social entrepreneur Chris Markl, co-founder of Kourage Athletics, who joined the university to design curriculum, manage programs and recruit students for the new degree program. “Social entrepreneurs develop business solutions to social problems, from drones that deliver medicine in Rwanda to a website that crowdfunds to build homes in Haiti.”
Georgia State’s B.I.S. is believed to be the first interdisciplinary undergraduate degree in social entrepreneurship in the state, if not the nation. It will prepare students to lead social change by transforming communities with innovative, problem-solving businesses.
Undergraduate Michele Hobson from Park Slope, New York, is one of the first Georgia State students to enroll in the program. “I became interested in this degree because I want to leave the world a better place. There are so many issues that need to be addressed, and I’ve always enjoyed helping people.”
“We expect this degree to draw students who want to start and run a financially stable business with the purpose of doing some good in the world,” said Markl. “If these students want at some point in their lives to launch an organization that improves the world, they’ll understand how to do it and possess experience in the field of social entrepreneurship.”
Core courses in the new degree program include entrepreneurship, nonprofit organization and management, and financial resource development. An internship at a social enterprise is required. In addition, students will choose from courses across the university to build a concentration in either Economic Development and Cities, Education, Global Issues, or Health and Human Behavior.
Georgia State’s social entrepreneurship degree is housed in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, a college focused on social change, in partnership with the J. Mack Robinson College of Business’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute.
“The faculty in our nationally ranked policy school understand the problems and corresponding solutions facing our world. This B.I.S. is both a business and a social innovation degree, and should empower students to create the change they would see in the world,” said Markl.
Georgia State’s downtown Atlanta location also provides students a unique advantage in their study of social entrepreneurship.
“Atlanta is one of the nation’s best communities for entrepreneurs. And just a few minutes from campus – by foot, car and transit – you’ll find global nonprofit headquarters like CARE and Habitat for Humanity, one of our nation’s largest concentrations of government offices, and a world-class airport offering nonstop flights to hundreds of international cities,” said Markl. “We are extending these strong Atlanta connections to our undergraduate scholars. You will learn to be a social entrepreneur in this school.”
Students can register for Georgia State’s B.I.S in Social Entrepreneurship now. Go to aysps.gsu.edu/public-management-and-policy/b-s-social-entrepreneurship/.