The Power of Connections

One of my mentors in medical school often says, “Life is about people.” This has always resonated with me – I believe connections bring meaning to our lives, and for me, they’ve also been a major influence on the choices I’ve made. Through my years of work with the traumatic brain injury (TBI) community, I’ve…

Scope of Impact or Depth of Impact?

Every society has some manner or form of social problem, need or gap that needs to be filled. The world has plenty of problems that keep social entrepreneurs busy trying to innovate, replicate and scale all sorts of business solutions to help improve outcomes in these societies. Many times we get so passionate about all…

The Mighty Generalist

Just seven weeks ago, I learned the definition of social entrepreneurship and this week, I completed my first business plan. Needless to say, ID 511 was an exhilarating crash course in how to design a social venture. Having never seen log frame or PESTEL or SWOT analysis before, I wondered on multiple occasions whether it…

Inspiration for the part-time entrepreneur

This semester has been a whirlwind introduction to the world of social entrepreneurship and given us an impressive toolbox of knowledge and strategies to use as we try to plan and execute ventures going forward. As graduation looms near in May, however, I find myself wondering: where will I find the time? As a part-time…

My key social entrepreneurship takeaways

Social Entrepreneur – what can be a cooler job than being one. You realize the dream of being an entrepreneur  while working towards a social cause. It is a beautiful combination. So you pick up your entrepreneurial spirit and your passion for social justice, devise a plan and go to the funders – asking for money…

Innovation – what is it!

Innovation in healthcare has been cited to be the next big thing by media, Silicon valley and the innovation guru’s. Innovation is the word that fills me with trepidation what is innovation, am I supposed to come up with something that’s a total game changer, a brilliant idea beyond imagination.  As it turns out the…

The importance of focus

Although this was a relatively short article in the Huffington Post, featuring only a few examples, this piece further reinforced my understanding of the impact that very focused, small solutions can have on large scales of people. One thing I have learned in this class, and is reinforced by this article, is that being hyper local…

Exploring Social Innovation and Enterprise In Ethiopia

Although I’ve often heard of the buzz words “Social Entrepreneurship” and “Social Innovation” I never really took the time to understand what it was all about until I took this class. It has definitely broadened my perspective on how to think about problem solving and formulating a solution in the form of a social enterprise….

Using Visual Tools to Develop Your Venture: Lines and Tables and Bullet (Points), Oh My!

Introduction Visual learners unite! For the last seven weeks, I have been working with two classmates in Dr. Teresa Chahine’s Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship course to develop a social venture that aims to reduce unmet need for personal and respite care services among long-term care beneficiaries and family caregivers in the U.S. For our team, Dr. Chahine’s book was…

Oral Health: why isn’t it appealing to funders?

As I am refining my business plan for my non-profit organization, Just Health 510, I am confronted with the challenge of how to make oral health appealing to funders. Bottom line: the average person is not inclined to glance at images of edentulous (missing teeth) individuals or rampant caries. I’m a dentist and to be…

Messages from Miami

Message from Teresa to Students!   “I just met this really cool guy at the AshokaU Exchange in Miami! He started something called Miami Soup, where he throws dinners that generate a profit, which is then used to fund a social venture that guests vote on during the dinner. It’s also being done in Detroit…

The Unexpected Evolution of an Idea

As someone who has always thought about the world through a public health lens and only worked at non-profits, I had never thought I would start a business. My focus has always been on food and nutrition, with the goal of using policy and research to change the food environment to create healthy default options. Living a…