Beyond the Bottom Line
Combining its strong tradition of helping entrepreneurs develop their business dreams along with its rich heritage of championing environmental awareness, Miami Dade College recently launched The Social Entrepreneurship Academy. This new endeavor will teach aspiring small business owners how to start and market socially responsible companies and follow a lifestyle that values sustainability.
Through the College’s School of Continuing Education and Professional Development, the Academy offers a variety of classes ranging from marketing to career planning. It includes basic courses suitable for everyone, no matter their career choice. Classes teach how to start a B Corporation, which is a specific structure that requires owners to show they are socially responsible, as well as how entrepreneurs can improve their existing businesses’ performance through sustainable practices. Future courses will include socially responsible investing and affordable housing development.
Both the structure and mission of B Corporations are appealing because “consumers are becoming increasingly picky about where they want to spend their money,” said Corinna Moebius, who came up with the idea for the Academy and is one of the instructors.
“In recent years, growing numbers of consumers are striving to match their purchasing habits to their values, and that means opportunities for entrepreneurs,” Moebius said.
In addition to providing a wide selection of course topics, the Academy gives students numerous ways to build vital social contacts through its partnership with local entrepreneurs, a speaker series, internships and opportunities to meet potential investors.
Making a Difference
While consumers are becoming more socially responsible, so are entrepreneurs. Many people wanting to start their own businesses are demonstrating new ways of looking at their future ventures.
“They don’t want to go back to the same old, same old,” Moebius said. “They want to make a difference by making the world a better place to live.”
And that is where MDC’s Social Entrepreneurship Academy serves a vital workforce need by helping this new breed of entrepreneurs excel. The Academy’s courses have generated a lot of interest, especially among hard-working people whose challenge is finding the time to take classes. To meet that growing demand, the Academy is developing plans for offering online courses.
— Staff Report
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