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New Master of Science in Social Entrepreneurship at USC Marshall School of Business

Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab continues pioneering education efforts

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The USC Marshall School of Business announces a new Master of Science in Social Entrepreneurship (MSSE) offered through the Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab, further expanding the opportunities for students interested in careers with social impact. 

In 2008, USC Marshall took a leading position in the then-underserved field of social entrepreneurship when it founded the Lab. The Master of Science in Social Entrepreneurship gives students the opportunity to learn business and entrepreneurship skills within a framework of achieving a social mission. The MSSE requires 26 units and can be completed in one year (full-time) or two or more years (part-time). All courses are held in the evening and weekends and focus entirely on the business aspects of social entrepreneurship. Requirements include: Cases in New Venture Management, Cases in Feasibility Analysis, Investing in Impact Ventures, and Marketing Management. Students can choose from electives such as Environmental Sustainability and Competitive Advantage or Designing High Performance Organizations. The program also includes a for-credit practical capstone project in which students will develop a business plan for a new social enterprise.

Traditionally, students looking to make a social impact in such areas as health, poverty alleviation, environment, education, and government pursued advance degrees in public policy and social work.

"The mission of the Lab always has been ambitious, supporting the next generation of leaders looking to devote their careers to finding and implementing innovative solutions to global challenges related to poverty, homelessness, education and health care.  We are providing students across USC with practical business tools to make a difference in these areas," said Adlai Wertman, founding director of the Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab and a professor with joint appointments at USC Marshall and USC's Rossier School of Education. "The new Master of Science in Social Entrepreneurship will further our goals by offering advanced study in business, entrepreneurship and social impact — the nuanced knowledge that students need to create, grow and manage successful social enterprises."

"With the creation of the Master of Science in Social Entrepreneurship, we are responding to increasing demand from our students who aspire to make a significant impact in business and society," said James G. Ellis, dean of the Marshall School of Business. "This program has the potential to transform the field by uniquely preparing aspiring social entrepreneurs."   

The MSSE is the latest innovation in the Lab's pioneering efforts to train the next generation of leaders in social impact. It builds on the popular Fellows program, which offers a select cadre of MBA students a variety of opportunities for professional development in the field, including funding for conferences and travel, one-on-one time with industry leaders, and subsidies for summer internships at nonprofits, as well as career mentoring and job assistance in partnership with Marshall's MBA Career Resource Center.

In the five years since it was founded, the Lab has developed numerous undergraduate and graduate courses, an interdisciplinary Social Entrepreneurship minor and an online learning environment for aspiring social entrepreneurs called VentureBuild. Now in its second year, a grant-funded undergraduate course, the Social Innovation Design Lab is using interdisciplinary teams of students to solve education challenges in Central California using Design Thinking. In addition to its Scholars Mentoring Program and Society and Business Fellowship, the Lab offers a cross-campus speaker series.

"We have developed a large network of leading social entrepreneurs in the Los Angeles area and around the world." said Wertman, who was president and CEO of Chrysalis, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization devoted to helping the homeless change their lives through employment.

"We are leveraging this network by connecting our students, faculty and alumni with these leaders, resulting in the sharing of best practices and the placement of USC students in impact jobs and internships across the globe."

The Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab, previously known as the Society and Business Lab and recently named with a gift from the Brittingham Family Foundation, was developed to study and teach about social entrepreneurship — the creation of a new kind of hybrid business model for organizations that balances a revenue mission with an equally important social, environmental or health mission. One of 12 Centers of Excellence at USC Marshall, the Lab builds on the University of Southern California's commitment to public service in the local community and around the world and leverages interdisciplinary partnerships with academic programs across campus.

About the USC Marshall School of Business
Consistently ranked among the nation's premier schools, USC Marshall is internationally recognized for its emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation, social responsibility and path-breaking research. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, one of the world's leading business centers and the U.S. gateway to the Pacific Rim, Marshall offers its 5,700-plus undergraduate and graduate students a unique world view and impressive global experiential opportunities. With an alumni community spanning 123 countries, USC Marshall students join a worldwide community of thought leaders who are redefining the way business works.

SOURCE USC Marshall School of Business

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