MBA – Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship
The Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship MBA track and graduate certificate at Nebraska Wesleyan University teaches students how to become an entrepreneur with a cause. Packed with fascinating lessons from legendary entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Blake Mycoskie (Toms Shoes), and Muhammad Yunus, the courses within this program are not only entertaining, but also focused on experiential learning opportunities.
Students begin by investigating the makeup of a business idea that can make a positive societal impact. Next, they learn how to turn that business idea into a successful enterprise by defining the market and the customers they will serve, attracting supporters, collaborating with a team of innovative peers and mentors to apply class concepts, building their brand, and growing their venture or program.
As part of the NWU MBA program, students participating in this track or certificate can take advantage of program benefits, such as:
Students are matched with business mentors—established professionals whose experience, wisdom and expertise will add to the learning experience. The relationships students build with their mentors—much like the relationships they build with their NWU professors—help them build on their strengths and reach their career goals.
NWU integrates networking opportunities into this program to help students build their professional network. Connections made through this program can open doors to new employment options, promotions, partnerships, and business opportunities.
Experiential or Applied Learning
As part of this track students will constantly be challenged to solve local and regional problems for non-profits and social businesses by creating economically sustainable solutions. Applying in class learning towards real problems helps ingrain and accelerate learning.
Cohorts develop as students work collaboratively to complete applied class projects. The Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship track and certificate are built on five courses:
BUSAD 5350 – Social Entrepreneurship
Social Entrepreneurship is centered on one’s interest in leading a nonprofit or a for-profit organization in an area of community need through entrepreneurship. The area of community need can be on the local level—at-risk youth, elderly needs, or recent immigrants language acquisition needs—and it can be on the national or international level—ecological and environmental issues and healthcare needs.
BUSAD 5430 – Innovation
This course focuses on strategy and techniques for successfully leading entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, and innovation in any organization. During the course, students will explore the concepts and applications of sustainable business, including creating, leading, and managing business enterprises. Additionally, approaches for leading entrepreneurial individuals and companies will be examined.
BUSAD 5470 – Start-Up – Market Validation and Minimum Viable Product
This course will take the ideas developed in the Innovation course and assemble the necessary business framework to determine a minimum viable product for business success. Students will also work in groups to prepare ideas to pitch to potential investors. Course concepts include defining the market and customers you will serve, and mapping your stakeholder impact, all while collaborating with a team of innovative peers and mentors to apply the concepts learned in class to begin building a growing venture or solving an existing social problem.
BUSAD 5480 Incubator – Strategic Planning for Emerging Enterprises
In this course, viable business ideas take life as students choose their most advantageous business/program structure, attract funding, build a marketing plan, understand financial statements, financing mechanisms such as angel investors and venture capital, company valuations, guerilla marketing, and ultimately develop the skills to startup a business.
BUSAD 5600 – Social Enterprise Acceleration (S.E.A.) Lab (capstone course)
Students will have the option to fulfill their capstone experience through the completion of a social enterprise lab. In this lab, students are empowered to launch a social enterprise or new program for an existing social business or nonprofit as a group and with the support of community mentors. Weekly diagnostics allow additional learning opportunities and for students to collaboratively solve the many challenges facing a startup venture or new program idea.