In the past two decades, innovation has played a vital role in addressing urgent development challenges in low- and middle-income countries, such as reducing hunger or accessing clean drinking water. Innovation can have many forms, from community-grown solutions to high-tech products. A growing facet of innovation is social innovation, a concept that particularly focuses attention on ideas and solutions that create social value – frequently through social entrepreneurship.
Our work in Social Entrepreneurship aspires to drive collective social impact in countries such as Rwanda, Kenya, South Africa and Vietnam by researching, designing and implementing out-of-the-box solutions with and for local social entrepreneurs and communities.
At the moment, we mainly focus on teams of students and/or professionals who engage with local “clients” in a consulting/mentoring format. Participants will be pushed to the limits of existing systems to develop solutions that are tailored specifically to complex social or environmental problems. They will also gain a new orientation and way of thinking to lead sustainable development efforts through social innovation and entrepreneurship.
Our ambition for the near future is to launch permanent Social Entrepreneurship Incubators in Rwanda, Kenya, South Africa and Vietnam, starting with a public-private partnership with the University of Rwanda.
Opportunities for international students, faculty and professionals:
- Research: Collaborative research initiatives, research fellowships (unpaid), project-specific research practica
- Education & training: Social Innovation Lab field courses for students and similar Business Mentor Programs for professionals