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Partner Highlight: CSU’s Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise MBA

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At Philanthropiece, we have always felt that a strong community begins through strong connections. We have worked in partnership with the great people over at Colorado State University’s Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise MBA program since its inception in 2009. It’s a partnership that has provided us with a wealth of opportunities to learn and collaborate.

The GSSE program has educated over 100 social entrepreneurs and has launched over 30 ventures that have lead to positive impact in 20 countries. To boot, they provide these insights about about what it means to educate the changemakers of our world, to incubate and scale their ventures:

  • You can teach business skills such as accounting and finance, but you can’t teach passion, experience, or failure.
  • Team work is hard, multi-cultural team work solving problems at the Base of the Pyramid is harder, but going at it alone is the hardest of all.
  • There is no right or wrong way to start a business, and there is no right or wrong type of business.  More importantly, there are outcomes, impacts, and stakeholders.
  • While mentorship and business planning are crucial, early stage entrepreneurs also need time to test business models, and that means finding funding to support them to work on their ventures full-time, before their ventures are investment-ready.
  • The allure of hockey-stick growth patterns is strong, and assumptions are easy to make, which quickly leads to an infeasible business model.

These are some great insights to keep in mind as we head into another year of learning. Our hats off to our partners at GSSE, thanks for growing with us!

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