The 2009 Global Consortium of Entrepreneurs Centers Conference at Rice looked at ways entrepreneurship and innovation drive the global economy.Î¾ The idea is to build effective entrepreneurship programs at universities that will benefit society and underdeveloped countries.Î¾ Bruce Bachenheimer is director of entrepreneurship studies at Pace University's Lubin School of Business in New York City.
"Entrepreneurship is really a way of thinking and acting.Î¾ It's about being able to recognize opportunities, analyze opportunities and make them happen.Î¾ Entrepreneurs are very motivated, driven, passionate, persistent people, and I believe the only real difference between a commercial entrepreneur and a social entrepreneur is their underlying purpose.Î¾ The social entrepreneur is trying to make the world a better place, basically to enhance the capacity of society someway."Î¾
Social entrepreneurs focus their efforts on a social issue.Î¾ That can mean setting up a business or non-profit that benefits another country, for example.Î¾
"Domestically, like early childhood education opportunities.Î¾ It could be internationally providing, you know, clean drinking water in sub-Sahara Africa, or fighting AIDS or poverty or protecting natural resources.Î¾ And the idea is just how do you harness that spirit and focus that on a pressing social issue, as opposed to simply a new business."
Bachenheimer says the field of social entrepreneurship has exploded in the past five years, and that says a lot about this generation wanting work with meaning.Î¾ Over 300 university-based entrepreneurship center directors and professors attended the consortium at Rice.Î¾ Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.