The Social Innovation Initiative of the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the Sam M. Walton College of Business is a multidisciplinary initiative through which University of Arkansas students, faculty and staff have the opportunity to learn about pressing social and environmental problems affecting our community, and work directly with some of the organizations determined to solve these problems.
Social Innovation Challenge
The initiative's primary program is the annual Social Innovation Challenge.
To participate, partner organizations (many of them local) identify challenges in their daily operations or strategic planning that students could help address through the design of viable and sustainable solutions.
Through a network of classes, students are invited to form interdisciplinary teams and tackle problems using entrepreneurial principles, while fostering their own creativity and skills. We're a resource for faculty seeking service-learning partners, for students looking for thesis research material, and for anyone on campus with an interest in social innovation.
How do I get involved?
1. Enroll in a course affiliated with the program. For the Fall 2019 semester specific courses are participating in the Social Innovation Challenge.
- MGMT 4243 - Ethics and Corporate Responsibility
- MGMT 3933 - Entrepreneurship and New Venture Development
- ARTS 5913 - Social Justice and the Arts
- SCWK 4733 - Social Work Practice III
- MGMT 3673 - Social Entrepreneurship
- Students who participate in the Fall 2019 Social Innovation Challenge may elect to further develop their projects in the context of a spring semester MGMT course that focuses on project implementation.
2. Join the Social Innovation Initiative Facebook group to network with other students, faculty, mentors, and partners interested in social entrepreneurship.
3. Attend one or more of Social Innovation workshops:
- Intro to Social Entrepreneurship
- Start with the Problem
- The Heart of the Customer
- Prototype and Iterate
- Setting Your Idea Free
- Bootstrapping 101
- Speed Consulting
1. Contact OEI Director of Social Innovation Rogelio Garcia-Contreras (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss connecting an existing course to the Social Innovation Initiative.
2. Refer students interested in social entrepreneurship to OEI Director of Student Programs Deb Williams (email@example.com).
3. Join the Social Innovation Initiative Facebook group to network with students, other faculty, mentors, and partners interested in social entrepreneurship.