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Using Your College Degree to Engage in Social Entrepreneurship

By: Blakely Fraasch, Content Creator Intern

 

For those of who you may have recently graduated from college, congratulations! Welcome to the “real world” of adjusting to your first entry-level position. You’ve traded in long nights of homework for cubicles, business casual, and bimonthly paychecks. But sooner or later, there will come a time when you start to wonder… Is this it? Is this all I get to do now?

 

Fortunately, you don’t have to be stuck climbing the corporate ladder the rest of your career. Regardless of what degree you graduated with, you can dedicate yourself AND your professional career to any social cause you feel most passionately about. Your degree and versatile college experience could be the key to a promising future in Social Entrepreneurship.

 

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Social Entrepreneurship

 

Social Entrepreneurship thrives off diversity of thought, and whether your degree is in Business, Psychology, Finance, Social Sciences, Criminal Justice, or even Underwater Basket Weaving, you could make a radical difference in your community.  So maybe now you’re wondering: what’s the big idea with social entrepreneurship? Is it actually something I could be interested in?

 

At SEED SPOT, we define a Social Entrepreneur as someone who is creating a product, service, or technology that improves lives or makes the world a better place. Therefore, you do NOT need to possess a specific major to become a Social Entrepreneur.  A social entrepreneur needs simply to be passionate about solving a societal or community issue.

 

Humanities or Social Science Degree:

  • Course work teaches basic business principles like how to sell an idea and how to manage people and employees.
  • Gain relevant knowledge on how to make connections with businesses, people, and problems.
  • Business Insider describes Humanities as a savvy degree with various business and interpersonal knowledge benefits including: understanding people and social issues, writing, analyzing situations, and problem-solving.
  • Many people overlook Humanities as a major, so go you for pursuing it! Click here for more information on how to apply your Humanities degree to Social Entrepreneurship.

 

Business (Marketing, Finance, Management, etc.) Degree:

  • The College Board explains that a business major’s course work revolves around various business principles including:
    • Accounting, or how to make sense of numbers
    • Finance, or how to make profitable investments.
    • Marketing, or learning how to sell, set an appropriate price, and promote a product or service.
    • Analyzing strengths and weaknesses within a business, and managing change.
    • Understanding economics and statistics.
    • Managing people, keeping a business on track, and embodying exceptional leadership skills.
  • Business majors acquire strong interpersonal and problem-solving skills through course work and relevant projects.
  • Business majors are also equipped with versatile knowledge about international business and how it works.

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Oftentimes, the most valuable aspect of a Business, Humanities, or Social Science degree is versatility; a degree in any of these fields can be applied to social issues far and wide.  Knowledge from your degree gives you the tools to create systematic solutions to social issues. Now you just need to find out which issue you want to tackle.

 

Finding a Social Issue that Interests You

 

Social Entrepreneurs tackle pressing social issues in a productive way in order to help improve other people’s lives.  Here are some simple guidelines to follow when considering what social issue might interest you:

  • Understand What You Want To Do
    • Build from your past – what did you enjoy as a kid? Forbes Business Journal identifies that our truest passions emerge in childhood. So think back to some of your favorite activities or most memorable childhood experiences – what experiences shaped you? What has revolutionized your way of thinking
    • Engage in reflection – what problems directly affect you, your family, or your friends’ daily lives? How can these problems be resolved? And finally, what can you do to directly trigger this social impact?
  • For inspiration, SEED SPOT alumni have created unique solutions for various social issues. Some examples range from:
    • TheraSpecs: A devices to halt persistent migraines.
    • SkateAfterSchool: An after school organization providing skate board equipment and lessons to underprivileged youth.
    • Paper Clouds Apparel: A T-shirt making company that uses drawings from children with special needs, puts them on T-shirts, and sells them. They also donate half of their profits to specific causes.
  • Play To Your Strengths
    • Find a way to use something you’re good at and create social change.
    • Through SEEDSPOT, three guys with a passion for skateboarding created the SkateAfterSchool program to help improve the daily lives of underprivileged youth.

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  • Understand How Your Degree Can Help
    • Regardless of your degree, you have spent four years cultivating your unique interests, professional network, and social skills. Now APPLY them.
    • Reach out to your professors, your sports coaches, and other mentors for support in turning your hard skills into a socially-conscious business venture.
    • Draw on the lessons you learned in your courses, extra-curricular activities, and various workshops you attended to dream big and plan strategically.
    • Think back on your long nights of cramming for tests and writing research papers and remind yourself of the RESILIENCE you possess.
    • Utilize your interpersonal skills to communicate your social issue to potential investors or community partners that can support you.

 

Don’t let your degree turn into wasted knowledge (and money) by letting yourself fall into an uneventful run-of-the-mill job.  Don’t let fear or lack of experience hold you back from pursing your passion. The youthful mind and energy of a recent grad could be just as powerful as the experience of a seasoned businessman or woman. Find a way to use your creative spirit, innovative eye, and unique college experience for the right purpose. Connect with SEED SPOT to take the next step to making Social Entrepreneurship your pathway to a purposeful life and career!


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Are you an early stage entrepreneur interested in a program at SEED SPOT? Attend an upcoming info session to learn about our program offerings!

Corinn Perry

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