Stanford GSB Awards $160,000

Two 2011 Social Innovation Fellows focus on environment and international development.

June 06, 2011

The Center for Social Innovation at Stanford GSB has awarded funding totaling $160,000 to two social entrepreneurs who have been named 2011 Social Innovation Fellows.

Brenden Millstein, MBA ‘10, is founder of Carbon Lighthouse Association, whose mission is to enable corporations and individuals to eliminate their carbon footprint in an easy, trustworthy manner. Kwabena Amporful, MBA ‘08, will launch Institute of Teacher Education and Development (INTED), a scalable program to improve the quality of secondary school education in Africa. These alumni join a select group of Fellowship winners who together are addressing critical social and environmental issues around the world; for example, generating livelihood for rural poor in Asia, providing immigrant work opportunities spanning Latin America and Europe, and closing the achievement gap for underprivileged high school students in the United States.

“Our primary focus at Stanford GSB is to transform students — to think, act, and even dream differently than when they arrived at school,” said Garth Saloner, Philip H. Knight Professor and Dean of Stanford GSB. “The Social Innovation Fellowship supports the dreams and passions of our graduates, as they courageously set out to change the world for the better.”

The Social Innovation Fellowship, launched in 2008 through the generous support of the Robertson Foundation, is a key component of the ever-expanding Social Entrepreneur Initiative at Stanford GSB. This Initiative includes a broad set of academic offerings and programs to cultivate the next generation of leaders focused on solving complex global, social, and environmental issues.

Students can choose from many electives in Stanford GSB’s Public Management Program such as Evaluating Entrepreneurial Opportunities, Social Entrepreneurship, and Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability, and upon graduation can receive a Certificate in Public Management and Social Innovation. Co-curricular programs provide important hands-on exposure to social ventures, such as Service Learning Trips to visit social entrepreneurs around the world, Board Fellows to learn about board governance, and Venture Philanthropy Fellows to participate in grant making. In addition, a Social Entrepreneur Series series of workshops, speakers, and other events helps guide students with social venture fundraising, business structures, and legal considerations. More than 120 students and alumni participated in the Social Entrepreneur Series series this year.

The Social Entrepreneur Initiative has paved the way for more students and alumni to apply for the Social Innovation Fellowship, and this year drew a record number of applicants for the program. “As portfolio director at the Mulago Foundation, I invest in many exemplary social ventures, and see the incredible impact that they have throughout the world,” said Laura Hattendorf. “In my opinion, the Social Entrepreneur Initiative at the Stanford GSB is one of the most valuable programs we can offer to students so that they can ultimately be ‘change makers’ around the world for social good.”

The Social Innovation Fellowship will continue to support budding social entrepreneurs, with up to three Fellowships to be awarded each year through 2014. “We are pleased with the success of the Fellowship so far — most recently with the announcement that two Fellows have been selected to the prestigious Echoing Green Fellows program,” said Gina Jorasch, director of the Public Management Program. “Through their inspiring examples, and our work expanding the social entrepreneur ‘eco system’ at Stanford GSB, we hope to encourage more students and alumni to pursue their dreams of tackling some of the toughest challenges our world faces.”

About the Center for Social Innovation at the Stanford Graduate School of Business

Through research, teaching, and community engagement, the Center for Social Innovation seeks to build and strengthen the capacity of individuals and organizations to develop innovative solutions to social problems. Created in the year 2000, the Center houses the student-facing Public Management Program, an academic option within the MBA and Sloan Masters programs that prepares business leaders to apply management principles to social and environmental concerns. Among the first of its kind in the nation when introduced in 1971 the Public Management Program was intended to serve as a bridge between industry and government.

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