2008 Teaching and Learning Symposium

2:30-4:30 p.m., May 6, 2008
HUB Ballroom

Session Description



Creating Social Entrepreneurs: The Foster School of Business Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition (GSEC)

Jane George-Falvy and Wren McNally - Foster School of Business

The Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition (GSEC) is a business plan competition in which students from around the world find creative, commercially sustainable ways to address problems of poverty in the developing world. GSEC attracts diverse, interdisciplinary student teams for a competition supported by multiple departments across campus, the business sector, and members of the social venture community. Through partnership with the Department of Global Health and support from other campus units, GSEC provides an opportunity for students of varying backgrounds to blend their knowledge and experience in a collaborative effort that applies their learning to furthering economically sustainable social change. GSEC builds the skills of future global business leaders, creates more cross-culturally competent students, and contributes to the understanding of culture and business practices in other countries.

GSEC participants have a unique opportunity to increase their global awareness and develop their knowledge and understanding of how to take a business plan from inception to implementation with the advice and involvement of a wide base of knowledgeable contributors Business plans are evaluated on three criteria: 1) effect on the quality of life and poverty alleviation in the developing world; 2) financial sustainability; and 3) feasibility of implementation. The competition spans a five month period and culminates with GSEC Week at the University of Washington in Seattle.

GSEC business plans have covered various issues such as healthcare, education, the environment, energy, information and communication technology, social services, agriculture, and manufacturing. Some examples include organic farming projects in Zimbabwe and Ghana, mobile pharmacy units in rural India, water treatment systems in Vietnam, soil composting in China, sunflower oil production in Kenya, low-cost mobile wind turbines in Kazakhstan, biofuel in India and Ghana, and seaweed farms in India.




Index of Symposium Presenters