Gettysburg College’s new Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation Initiative will expand and integrate entrepreneurial learning experiences for students. The program will create a culture that embraces entrepreneurial thinking and social innovation, empowering students to leverage their liberal arts education to pursue ideas that will have a positive impact on the world.
“We must prepare our students to be bold thinkers, ready and able to work in a world that is faced with complex problems that have no immediately apparent solutions. This initiative will help us do that, and we are so grateful to the alumni, parents, and friends of the College who are providing the support that we need to move this forward,” said Gettysburg College President Janet Morgan Riggs ’77.
The Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation Initiative will enable students to explore and develop for-profit start-ups as well as ideas for new social ventures.
Drew Murphy ’84 P’20 will lead the effort as the College’s first Entrepreneur-in-Residence. Murphy has been a lecturer in finance with the Department of Economics since 2008. He has a proven track record as a successful entrepreneur in the financial sector, founding and growing three businesses.
“We believe entrepreneurial thinking using critical thinking skills has broad application across the spectrum of majors. Applying these talents to real-world challenges is an integral piece of the liberal arts experience at Gettysburg,” said Murphy.
“Whether a student’s venture takes the form of a start-up or a publicly funded initiative, our goal is to help them develop the skills they need to be successful in applying their academic learning to the challenges they want to address.”
Connecting coursework within the academic curriculum and drawing upon a variety of programs, trips, and workshops, students will develop and practice entrepreneurial skills that can be applied to problem-solving and their own creative ideas. Their interests may span a range of disciplines and activities. Students will also have the benefit of accessing an extensive network of alumni mentors.
The initiative builds on many programs already in place at Gettysburg College, including:
- The Entrepreneurial Fellowship, which has awarded $10,000 grants to 12 students since it was launched in 2014.
- The Center for Public Service has projects that support socially innovative ideas to foster social justice by promoting personal, institutional and community change.
- The Gettysburg Social Entrepreneurship Initiative (SEI), a year-long fellowship for students during 2016-17.
- Intensive weekend long workshops for future entrepreneurs and innovators.
- The student run Entrepreneurs Club.
Most of the current entrepreneurship and social innovation programming on campus has been made possible through the volunteer efforts and financial support of alumni, parents, and friends, largely through Gettysburg Great: The Campaign for Our College, a multi-year effort and the College’s most ambitious fundraising effort to date.
Expanding entrepreneurial learning experiences is one of the goals of The Unfinished Work: A Strategic Direction for Gettysburg College. The strategic plan focuses on preparing Gettysburg College students for lives of impact, for lives that will be played out in an increasingly diverse and globally interconnected society, and for lives that will embrace innovative approaches to the complex issues before us.Posted: Mon, 11 Sep 2017