Exploring Social Entrepreneurship

LAU Adnan Kassar School of Business holds social startup workshop by Daniel Ludwig and team.

Oct 25, 2016

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Social entrepreneurship is gaining ascending worldwide interest and proving to be an undeniable force for solving the social problems burdening our world.

To introduce social entrepreneurship to the LAU community, the Department of Hospitality Management and Marketing at the LAU Adnan Kassar School of Business hosted a hands-on workshop by Daniel Ludwig, a social and digital entrepreneur with experience in Fortune 500 companies, and his team of professionals, Orfeuo Lionor and Abbas Mouzannar. The workshop took place on October 7 and 8, in LAU Beirut, and targeted any person who wanted to learn how to create applicable social solutions. Non-profit organizations and members of the family business network were invited to take part.

The two-day workshop started with an introduction to five problematic areas—gender equality and inclusion; local environment and solving the local garbage crisis; access to education; local communities; sustainable development goals.

After gathering in teams around the problem of interest, the attendees began the process of finding the solution, which stretched over the two days. They explored the customer discovery part by developing stakeholder maps, identifying customer personas and interviewing possible outside users. Based on the knowledge formed, they drafted a value proposition for their work, developed a prototype and learnt how to build the right team for their start-up. Ludwig, Lionor and Mouzannar provided time for games to build team spirit and purpose. The participating teams presented their work, which incorporated vision and creativity in approaching social issues. To conclude, Ludwig and his team encouraged the participants to pursue ideas that facilitated solving social problems and believe in their solution despite any discouragement. They advised them to organize their actions into small steps toward a certain goal, and suggested ways to get funding, mentioning the accelerators found in Lebanon and the world.  

“The experience with the team added insight as to some of the challenges the youth in particular and entrepreneurs in general face,” according to Vartkes Keutelian. As an administrative manager of the micro-credit program at Makhzoumi Foundation, Keutelian was familiar with social entrepreneurship, however, he thought the workshop provided the appropriate methodology. “This will help me develop new services in the long run to entrepreneurs, and try to accommodate our services to their needs,” he added. For the MBA students, Eman Skaik and Dina Chamaa, it was a good experience in which they learnt the basics for creating a social startup. They also found the templates used for the sequential tasks to be useful.

Upon completion of the workshop, the attendees received a certificate of participation.