Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 12pm

Columbia Business School Expands Social Enterprise Resources: MBA News

Columbia Business School expanding social enterprise resources

Social enterprise has a new hub at Columbia Business School, with the launch of a dedicated center that aims to expand on the work of its existing Social Enterprise Program.

The Tamer Center for Social Enterprise is an acknowledgement of the increasing popularity the area holds among students of the school:

“We’ve seen growth in interest in social enterprise from students across campus, both at the undergraduate as well as graduate level,” said the center’s senior director, Sandra Navalli, adding: “We’re excited by what we can accomplish by scaling up and developing new programming to build connections and provide new opportunities in the social venture ecosystem.”

The center is to become the point of reference for all teaching and research in the field of social entrepreneurship at Columbia Business School. 

The vision is to build on the work of the Social Enterprise Program, whose founder Ray Horton described the news as a “dream come true” for those who had “worked long and hard to create a great center in a great business school.” Horton, a faculty member at Columbia Business School since 1970, directed the Social Enterprise Program from its incipience in 1998 until 2009.

Supporting those moving into the social entrepreneurship arena

One of the center’s new initiatives is the creation of a seed fund that will generate grants of up to US$25,000 for social ventures. It also intends to develop a social entrepreneurship network from the school’s Social Enterprise Leadership Forum – a body that includes funders, policymakers, and faculty members who have been actively involved in events of this nature at Columbia Business School. An existing loan program for graduates pursuing careers in the public and nonprofit sectors, as well as in social entrepreneurship, will be widened to allow more alumni of the school to benefit, and to support them for a longer period of time.

The center’s name stems from the donation received by Sandra and Tony Tamer, who had been working with the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) to find a suitable partner for their goal in supporting social entrepreneurship, which according to Tony Tamer is to develop “a preeminent center and source of leadership talent for the social enterprise community.” Tamer, a former partner at Bain & Co. cofounded Miami-based private equity firm, H.I.G. Capital, with fellow Harvard MBA alumnus, Sami Mnaymneh back in 1993. 

Tim is a writer with a background in consumer journalism and charity communications. He trained as a journalist in the UK and holds degrees in history (BA) and Latin American studies (MA).