GCSEN, The Global Center for Social Entrepreneurship Network (GCSEN Foundation) celebrated a successful 2018, accomplishing several important milestones. These include having its courses and Boot Camps spread to four college campuses; developing and implementing new blended learning on-line courses for students and adult learners; and developing an innovative Boot Camp experience for faculty and staff of colleges and agencies.
GCSEN is dedicated to spreading the vision of Social Entrepreneurship to students and adult learners across the world. The credo is to “Make Meaning, Make Money, and Move the World to a Better Place” via Social Entrepreneurship education.
Beginning in 2015 with a five student Social Entrepreneur pilot course at Marist College, (Poughkeepsie NY), GCSEN has since had over 140 students and adults enroll in courses at SUNY New Paltz, Vassar College (Poughkeepsie NY), and St. Peter’s University (Jersey City) and attend Boot Camps at Wheaton College, MA. An additional 240 college students from over 70 colleges attended Social Entrepreneurship lectures delivered by GCSEN Founder and President Mike Caslin, at The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) and International Association of Jesuit Business Schools (IAJBS) events.
In 2018, GCSEN rolled out its Social Venture Internship (SVI) blended learning on-line courses with live coaching, to students at Vassar College. SVI introduces students to personal development and Social Entrepreneur theories, skills and practical information, leading them to “intern” on their own sustainable Social Venture, addressing a local or global social problem. GCSEN also created the Social Venture Apprenticeship (SVA) Program for adult learners and special populations such as U.S. Veterans, the disabled, and other groupings that have unique concerns and skill sets.
In the Fall 2018 semester, GCSEN’s Mike Caslin taught the first Social Entrepreneurship class at St. Peters University Business School, with GCSEN sponsoring the first Social Impact Awards, at its campus-wide “Shark Tank” pitch competition for students designing and implementing the best pitch decks for proposed Social Venture enterprises. An SVI Scholarship was awarded to student Jah’Fear Toler for his “Big Eats” emerging lifestyle company.
At SUNY New Paltz, Adjunct Lecturer Tony DiMarco’s Social Entrepreneur course required students to design pitch decks for new Social Ventures, which included selling healthy, packaged meals for inner city students; developing a home composting/recycling trash unit; creating a ride-sharing program for college campuses; and building a modular furniture solution for classroom reconfiguration. Mr. DiMarco is GCSEN’s Managing Director of Global Learning Platforms. The SUNY New Paltz School of Business awarded the winning 1st place pitch deck team, Coact Furniture, with a $3000 prize. The 2ndplace team, Campus Cruz, was awarded $1500. GCSEN awarded the Delight Bite team with its GCSEN Global Pitch Showcase Award.
Kristin Backhaus, Dean of the SUNY New Paltz Business School said, “The students that are interested in social entrepreneurism are really the ones that are more outside the box thinkers.” Winner Mike Brennan’s Coact Furniture, pitched a furniture prototype that can serve multiple seating functions, depending on the particular classroom activity. “It was an amazing experience,” said Brennan, “I’ve thought about starting my own business for a long time, and to get in this class and learn what we have in such a short amount of time has been great.” Brennan plans to put his winnings back into the company and already has interest from outside sources.
With increasing demand in 2018 for Social Entrepreneurship courses delivered on GCSEN’s dynamic platforms, the organization developed its Social Venture Research Institute (SVRI) for certification of educators and administrators at schools and colleges, and the training of staff who work with special needs populations and agencies. SVRI brings together faculty, administrators and staff with GCSEN academics and business practitioners seeking to create greater peace and prosperity via Social Entrepreneurship education. SVRI accelerates its participants’ abilities to educate students or clients “to go from concept to start-up to scale”. SVRI will debut at Wheaton College, January 16-19, 2019. To apply see www.gcsen.com/svri. SVRI is also the research and publication arm of GCSEN data and whitepapers.
GCSEN President Mike Caslin said, “We’re meeting a need at learning institutions that are crying out for practical education which results in students becoming more self-sufficient and contributing to society. Our guided-internship curricula deliver a ‘Wow’ factor to enrollees, who find themselves empowered to design and intern in their own new Social Venture. Colleges that have Social Entrepreneurship programs understand that they can better attract and retain students. We’ve shown them that today’s students want to ‘make meaning, make money, and move the world to a better place’.”
About Mike “Professor Caz” Caslin: Lecturer of Social Entrepreneurship at SUNY New Paltz Business School (NY), and St. Peter’s University (Jersey City, NJ), he has spent the last three decades studying, lecturing and facilitating efforts to promote social entrepreneurship on a global scale. GCSEN’s leadership and influence in the field of Social Entrepreneurship in Higher Education continues to build, as seen in its support of Wheaton College’s successful effort last year to create enhanced social entrepreneur programming, facilitated by a grant of $10M from the visionary Diana Davis Spencer Foundation of Bethesda, MD.
In 2018, GCSEN was featured in the financial Trends Journal magazine article entitled “Want to Change the World? There May be Money In It,” and in a New England Journal of Higher Education article on Social Entrepreneurship which said, “GSCEN’s research has conclusively shown that SE education results in significant content knowledge gains retained by students; shows significant gains in self-confidence; is ranked highly as “life-changing” by students; and is highly recommended by students to their peers. Additionally, SE gained a business formulation rate near 50% by students participating in GSCEN programs, far above the typical campus average.”
Caslin is a graduate of Babson College’s prestigious Fast-Track MBA Program at the Olin Graduate School, considered one of the top-ten in the world. The Founder and President of GCSEN Foundation, he was co-founder and CEO of NFTE (Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship) from 1988-2008. He is a past faculty member of Babson College, CUNY-Baruch, Marist College School of Business and Manhattanville College. Caslin has been a featured lecturer at the Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Dartmouth Tuck School of Business, Columbia Univ. Business School Eugene Lang Center for Entrepreneurship, the International Association of Jesuit Business Schools Conferences, and The Fund for American Studies events, where he inspires college students annually from over seventy different campuses. Mike Caslin has also been a Subject Matter Expert Witness for the United Nations, the U.S. Congress and The White House. The GCSEN Foundation is an IRS-approved 501(c-3) not-for-profit organization, accelerating social entrepreneurship around the world.