As the School announces its new LSE Entrepreneurship unit, launched at an event in October, the Annual Fund has also been supporting entrepreneurship initiatives run by student bodies at the School.
Beneficiaries include the LSESU Social Entrepreneurship Society and the Hong Kong Public Affairs and Social Service Society (HKPASS).
With the launch of LSE Entrepreneurship, which will offer courses for students, public lectures, networking events and interactive apps, Director Professor Craig Calhoun said: “This is very much connected to the School’s long-term agenda of understanding social change and exploring how social sciences can contribute to these discussions.”
The last round of Annual Fund support for linked projects underlines this priority area. The Social Entrepreneurship Society hosted SHIFT 2014, its 2nd annual social entrepreneurship forum on campus where attendees heard from the founders of social entrepreneurship organisations such as MakeSense and SolarAid, as well as experts in the University of Oxford’s Skoll Centre.
“Due to the interdisciplinary nature of social entrepreneurship, it can be difficult for traditional research to address the topic. Therefore we hope events like SHIFT can act as a platform to catalyse inter-departmental discussion and develop academic programmes in the field,” said Muhammad Erkan (BSc Accounting 2016), who helped to organise the conference. “It is also a great means of showcasing alternative careers for LSE students while promoting them to practitioners.”
Also in early 2014, HKPASS launched their annual Hong Kong Entrepreneurship Competition, which invited business proposals that addressed the capital requirement and unique business environment of Hong Kong, with the best four entries presented at the HSBC headquarters in Canary Wharf. Judges included Nat Wei, the youngest member of the House of Lords and its first member of Chinese origin, and Stephen Phillips, Chief Executive of the China Britain Business Council.
Complementing student-led initiatives such as this, the Entrepreneurship Unit was launched in October and is led by director Professor Alnoor Bhimani. He said: “We live in an age of entrepreneurship. Our new unit will explore entrepreneurial thinking to help students develop, in true LSE fashion, an understanding of what is one of the greatest forces of change today.”