EUR students have launched ‘The Social Enterprise Challenge’ for the third time. Combining business concepts and social welfare, the challenge aims to invite ideas from students for profitable business models that, at the same time, promote positive social change.

Anyone interested in social entrepreneurship can join this year’s Case Challenge, which kicks off on April 12th. In four sessions, students select a social issue – which may range from poverty and hunger to education and unemployment, and the like – develop a business plan to tackle the problem, and learn how to successfully pitch their ideas. At the heart of the project is thus the desire to create profit as well as positive social impact.

People, planet and profit

Indeed, current RSM student Tooba Arshad and ex- RSM student Tobias Goedbloed, initially launched the Social Enterprise Challenge in 2011 to counter the general understanding that all a business must do is to create profit. “We want to help create future leaders who are not just profit-oriented, but who also engage in socially responsible business practices by considering their triple bottom line – people, planet and profit,” Arshad explains.  

Past case challenges

Accordingly, the first case challenge, launched in 2011, focused on creating a sustainable business model for an ambulance service in Pakistan, whereas last year’s project aimed at developing a sustainable sanitation solution for a village in India.

Benefits of participating

Appreciating the project’s cornerstone of teaching students to do business which creates profit and value for society, Robin Bouwman, a 20-year old International Business Administration (IBA) student, joined the Case Challenge two years ago. “Looking back on these two years, I can say that I gained a lot of experience in terms of teamwork, applying theory to real-life situations and getting an entirely fresh view on conducting business”, he says.

From theory to practice

IBA student Mae-Ann Snijders, who participated in the Case Challenge last year, agrees. “It was a great way to apply everything I had learned theoretically to actual real-life situations. It made me realize that although things look nicely on paper, it’s a whole other story in practice. Creating a sustainable business plan was exciting because of the potential it had to positively affect lives.”

How to register

Interested in registering for this year’s Case Challenge? Send an email to socialenterprisechallenge@gmail.com and visit its Facebook page for more information. NL