The Spangenberg Family Foundation has made its second significant philanthropic contribution to support LSE by generously pledging $1,000,000 for an entrepreneurship initiative at the School.
The gift will provide seed money for student business ideas as well as support for entrepreneurship activities at LSE, which may include idea generation, learning and development, networking, mentoring, incubation and support services.
The funding from the Foundation follows their existing support for scholarships at the School. The Spangenberg Family Foundation Scholarship at LSE was endowed in 2011, and, from the beginning of the 2013/14 academic year, this scholarship endowment will support one MSc student from the USA per year.
The Spangenberg Family Foundation is a Dallas-based philanthropic foundation established by LSE alumnus Erich Spangenberg (MSc International Relations 1982), his wife Audrey and their son Christian. The Foundation gives to vulnerable members of society through a focus on education, healthcare and entrepreneurship.
Audrey Spangenberg, Chair of the Foundation, said: “Erich invariably says that LSE was a transformational experience for him. After graduating with distinction, it dawned on him that there really were no relevant bounds in pursuing his entrepreneurial aspirations. We believe strongly that there needs to be more exposure for students to entrepreneurship and greater access for a globally more diverse group of students, and that LSE is the best platform in the world to cultivate excellence in this field.”
The support for LSE’s entrepreneurship initiative given by the Spangenberg Family Foundation complements a range of other entrepreneurship activities open to students, alumni and staff at the School. LSE Careers run a number of events and services that aim to inspire entrepreneurial potential amongst LSE students and alumni including an annual Start-up Bootcamp, masterclasses, case study sessions and site-visits. In addition, LSE Entrepreneurs Society is currently one of the largest student societies at the School, with 1200 members.
Head of the Department of Management Saul Estrin will lead the initiative. He said: “It used to be the case that students came to LSE to learn about the public sector and government policies. But increasingly LSE students want to follow entrepreneurial careers, perhaps in new firms that they set up or in family businesses trying to make a mark in a new century. Many of them also want to use their entrepreneurial talent to give something back to society, through social entrepreneurship. This gift by the Spangenberg Family Foundation gives us the chance to meet many of these students’ aspirations.”