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MBA Students & Social Entrepreneurship: A Trend Toward A Degree In Doing Good

First Posted: 01/02/2011 8:21 pm Updated: 06/18/2012 3:57 pm

Business school students today may not have their eyes set on big bonuses quite like their predecessors.

Studies show that they're turning their finance and entrepreneurial skills towards founding socially responsible businesses.

MSNBC reports that more and more students pursuing business school degrees are basing their courses on an eventual career in the nonprofit sector.

The Wharton School of Business at University of Pennsylvania has seen an increase in applicants who want a degree in social enterprise.

Emily Cieri, the director of Wharton's entrepreneurial program, told MSNBC:

"Ten years ago our students were primarily interested in working in finance and consulting. We're seeing a large increase in the number of students with entrepreneurial backgrounds...They are saying they've come to school to understand how to run an entrepreneurial company with much higher growth and have a greater impact."

Individuals are now taking a business-model approach to solving social problems. Ashoka, a nonprofit that's helped social entrepreneurs start charitable businesses for 30 years, visited the University of Maryland recently to hear students from its business school's Center for Social Value Creation pitch social business plans.

David Wish attended the event to promote his organization, Little Kids Rock, which provides instruments and music instructions free to schools. He also wants to become an Ashoka fellow.

Wish told NPR:

"Being in the presence of people who have devoted their life's work to that is really an inspiring thing."

LISTEN:

Read more about the trend towards socially responsible degrees and businesses at MSNBC.

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Filed by Lauren Sullivan  |