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Encouraging Student Participation In Social Entrepreneurship Opportunities

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Critical Success Factors for Technopolis Creation

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.610.1 - 12.610.9



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Paper Authors


W. Andrew Clark East Tennessee State University

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W. ANDREW CLARK is a nutritional biochemist with diverse experience in academics and industrial research. He received his Ph.D. in Nutrition from North Carolina State University in 1980 and served as Assistant Professor of Nutrition at South Dakota State University (1980 to 1983). From 1983 to 2001 he held various positions in research, management and business at Eastman Chemical Company. Dr. Clark is an Associate Professor of Entrepreneurial Business at East Tennessee State University.

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Peter Hriso East Tennessee State University

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PETER HRISO received his MFA from The Ohio State University in 1994 with an emphasis in Computer Graphics and Animation. He has been involved in all areas of digital media production including accident reconstruction, visualization, multimedia, and web development. His job titles and responsibilities have varied from animator, project manager, multimedia programmer and web developer. His main role has always been to bridge the gap between design and technology. Peter has worked with industrial, corporate and education clients including: Compaq, Ford, Daimler Chrysler, VW, Delphia, Siemens, and QWEST. Mr. Hriso currently is an Assistant Professor of Digital Media at East Tennessee State University.

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Craig A. Turner East Tennessee State University

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CRAIG A. TURNER is an Assistant Professor of Strategic Management at East Tennessee State University. His arenas of interest and research pertain to the effects of risk on decision-making and contextual determinants of entrepreneurial success and failure. He received his Ph.D. in Strategic Management from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 1999. His previous experience included 11 years at various positions involving financial and risk management in the citrus processing industry.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Abstract: Social entrepreneurs utilize the traits of commercial entrepreneurs; organizational abilities, opportunity identification, combining resources in novel ways, willingness to accept and manage risk and explosive growth or returns, to create enterprises that return high social value. As educators, we see opportunities where entrepreneurial skills can be applied to education, not-for-profit organizations, government offices and programs and philanthropic concerns and create service learning opportunities for students beyond the boundaries of the university. Many of us involved in higher education are frustrated with students who do not attend class, turn in assignments late or exhibit a lack of effort in classes where they pay tuition and receive a grade. It is a challenge, therefore, to gain the involvement of students in social entrepreneurship efforts where the reward (grade, pay or recognition) is not immediate or minimal and the trade-off (time management for their schedule) may be more fun or financially rewarding. This paper discusses the evolution for the process of enlisting student involvement in two distinct social entrepreneurship programs at our university. The first program involves linking university skill sets in the arts, digital media, technology and project management to the planning, implementation and evaluation of a regional arts and music festival held in the city where our university operates. Students involved in this social entrepreneurial venture work with community volunteers, city government officials and local business owners for a period of nine to ten months. In the first two years of sponsoring this program the strategy has evolved from enlisting the help of a student technology club (Edge Club, Digital Media) to working with a small volunteer student team (3 to 4 students). In each case, the organization or student team that worked on the project received no academic credit for the work involved beyond enhancement of their resume. Initial enthusiasm was high but tended to decline as the time horizon for finishing the project extended beyond the current semester and other activities or demands competed for the students’ participation. The second program also utilizes a student organization (Students In Free Enterprise, SIFE) to work on social entrepreneurship projects. In SIFE we have found that the students prefer projects that entail an afternoon of preparation for a short presentation, or service within a 3-4 day period. In that this group is involved in a “competition” with SIFE teams from other institutions at the end of the year, it is important that they seek projects that will differentiate themselves. The short-term projects that they prefer do little to accomplish this differentiation. The projects that truly differentiate are those that require a high degree of preparation for an event that culminates at the end of the semester, or even the following year. To that end, all students of this select team are required to create a long-term project that they will spearhead throughout the year. This leads to an escalation of commitment due to their “ownership” of that project. They are also required to assist another team member on their long-term project. Their efforts on these projects tend to be greater in that they realize that the other members will be assisting them on their project and they want to receive a conscientious effort from their teammates. This synergistic performance enhances both the number and quality of the projects. Using this method, we typically create 5 to 6 viable projects each year. Most teams that we compete with tend to have one major project per year. Using this system our university team has

Clark, W. A., & Hriso, P., & Turner, C. A. (2007, June), Encouraging Student Participation In Social Entrepreneurship Opportunities Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2633

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2007 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015