Our Story & Impact
In 2014, award-winning boutique consultancy Short Enterprises and university partners announced a Clinton Foundation sponsored "Commitment to Action" focused on addressing the barriers to growth in the social enterprise sector.
By working to address these barriers, the initiative aims to empower organizations using market based solutions to solve our planet's most pressing social, environmental, economic, and community challenges. The "Startup Insider Initiative," as it was originally known, was announced in October 2014 at the 4th Annual Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities Conference at the CNN Center in Atlanta on October 24-26, 2014.
With the buy-in and support of a number of university partners, the initiative quickly grew to include the development of a new social enterprise institute, programming, research efforts, and community engagement initiatives focused on tackling the barriers to growth faced by the sector in a comprehensive and holistic fashion. These efforts were recognized and featured by the Huffington Post and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative as “What’s Working in Small Business.”
Officially unveiled in early 2015, the Global Social Enterprise Institute was founded at the Madden School of Business, Le Moyne College, and quickly developed a global consortium of over 250 university and institutional collaborators.
Opening of the Madden School of Business.
Noteworthy collaborators have included, but are not limited to, Ashoka U Commons, Clinton Foundation, the White House, U.S. Department of Education, Hatch, LLC, London+Acumen, Posible México, Stanford, Yale, State University of New York College of Environmental Science & Forestry, the Agribusiness Program at the Jefferson Community College, the New York State Small Business Development Centers, and Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs.
Institute founder W. Michael Short at the Madden School of Business, Le Moyne College.
With the support of this global network of collaborators, the Institute is now successfully operating programming focused on: (1) assisting social enterprises to overcome barriers to growth, (2) consolidating the silos of technical assistance resources available, and (3) reaching globally to create cross-sector partnerships, open new market opportunities, and facilitate engagement with investors, communities, and government agencies.
The Institute's approach is built on a firm belief in creating world-class opportunities for hands-on, engaged experiential scholarship (“learning by doing”). The Institute also leverages a “trans-disciplinary” approach to entrepreneurial development, which is facilitating collaboration between various sectors in order to encourage breakthroughs in theory, practice, policy, job creation, and economic development outcomes. This feature of trans-disciplinary collaboration is especially relevant as society faces complex environmental and social problems that require new and transformative solutions.
To date, the Global Social Enterprise Institute has engaged with over 1,500 individuals and 300 social entrepreneurs throughout the world via programming, initiatives, lectures, workshops, presentations, coaching, business plan support, pro bono consulting, and technical assistance. Furthermore, over 400 undergraduate and graduate students have been engaged in the Institute’s efforts through internships for credit, extracurricular engagements, lectures, and in-class experiential learning opportunities in eight university courses. Additional success to date includes spearheading the strategic planning efforts for the creation of an innovative Proof of Concept Accelerator with nine collaborating universities and community organizations with a particular focus on revitalizing a neighborhood with the highest levels of poverty concentration in the U.S. among Hispanics and African Americans. The Institute was also accepted into the Ashoka U Commons, which is facilitating collaboration among a number of university social entrepreneurship programs.
With the Institute and its socially responsible funding platform SourceFunding.org successfully launched, efforts are focused on implementing a multi-year strategy aiming to: (1) create 1,000 jobs, (2) facilitate $50 million in new business development, (3) streamline access to the $6+ trillion in capital earmarked for sustainable investments with the development of a new social enterprise impact assessment framework, and (4) leverage the combined reach and resources of a growing international network of university and institutional stakeholders in order to facilitate and foster significant economic development outcomes.