Video Collection for Social Entrepreneurship Programs
“Can I make a living making change? What do I need to do to get my first job in the social sector? Can I be happy being a social entrepreneur like you?”
These are the some of the questions from his students that led Jonathan Lewis, Lecturer at the Blum Center for Developing Economies, University of California, Berkeley, to create iOnPoverty
is a collection of free online videos that feature proven social entrepreneurs openly discussing their experiences. The videos were produced to help students from the Millennial Generation better understand what it takes to follow a career as a social entrepreneur.
There are many ways these videos can be used with students. They can be built into curricula by asking students to reflect on what some of the videos might inform them about their career aspirations as social entrepreneurs. Faculty have been using them at the beginning of class as conversation catalysts the same way some professors use "current events". The videos can also be housed on department and career center websites to help students better plan their careers. They can also be sent out to prospective students to give them specific ideas of what social entrepreneurship is really all about.
The videos are available here
. Each video runs about 2-3 minutes. The website includes a very helpful topical search feature that can help offer ideas for specific assignments or classroom discussions.
Idea Development Tools
The workshop uses two poster-size tools that can be found here
. The materials at his site can be downloaded, copied, and distributed to students at no charge. You can log in using an existing Facebook or Google account, or create a free account right on the site.
The first tool is the “Idea Sketchpad”, which works in a similar way to the Business Model Canvas. Students can use Post-It Notes to capture their thinking about the People (on their team), the Offering (the product, service or experience they might put together), the Customer (who, specifically, they are going to offer it to, including buyer and user), and the Value Proposition (why the Customer would care, or what problem they will solve for the Customer). There’s also room in the framework for modeling the core Technology if that's relevant to the idea. Specific directions for using it are found right on the page.
The output of the “Idea Sketchpad” can be thought of as the prototype of the student’s idea. This is where the second tool, “Idea Critique Form”, comes in. It provides an easy way for the learner to capture feedback from classmates, potential customers, stakeholders, and other advisors outside of class with the goal of making sure it becomes feasible.
The development of spaces on campus for student entrepreneurs to launch and grow their businesses, such as hatcheries and incubators, is expanding to more and more campuses. While some of these spaces are quite elaborate and offer a rich variety of resources and workspaces, some are quite simple and may simply set aside an office with basic infrastructure. Whatever your budget and space availability on your campus, these programs are proving to attract existing student entrepreneurs and help nurture aspiring entrepreneurs.
Facilities and programming in BELL includes:
- 17 private, secure furnished offices, many large enough to accommodate teams
- High-speed internet access
- Meeting and conference rooms
- Office services and equipment including printer, fax, copier, mail delivery
- Mentoring from staff, community leaders and entrepreneurs
- Business plan counseling
- On-site management seminars, workshops, and guest speakers featuring topics important to entrepreneurs starting a business
- Access to venture capital resources, private investors and local service providers
- Access to The University of Iowa Technology Innovation Center resources
- Listserv access
- Social events and networking
- Business library
Students must apply for admission to BELL, which is open to both undergraduate and graduate student entrepreneurs. To remain in BELL, students must participate in designated programs and be willing to collaborate with other student entrepreneurs in the BELL program. They are held accountable for their participation and must provide status updates on their ventures and their involvement in the program.
As programs for active student entrepreneurs continue to gain popularity, it is important to ensure that students given access to hatcheries and incubators are taking full advantage of the privilege of participating in this type of opportunity.