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Saturday, Jun 10, 2023

University Gets Grant for Social Business Institute

California State University Channel Islands has received a three-year $300,000 grant for its new California Institute for Social Business from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the university announced. The grant, which is the business school’s first gift, will be used to begin laying the foundation for staff building, curriculum development and defining research. Dr. Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and founder of Grameen Bank, is the originator of the concept of microcredit and social business as a way to eliminate poverty. Yunus will participate in the strategic direction of the institute, which is expected to be the first of its kind in the nation. Yunus has served as a juror for the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation’s annual humanitarian prize. Social businesses are set up to solve social problems, such as malnutrition or poverty, according to the university. Once the business is running, investors have the option to stay in the business or request the return of their original investments, without taking dividends. All profits are reinvested in the business to sustain its work. The institute is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2011 and will offer core classes to undergraduate and graduate students. “Our mandate is to find ways to get students and faculty into the field to study local, national and international social businesses,” said Dr. Andrea Grove, associate professor of political science at the university. “There is no model for this institute. We will establish the prototype.” The build-out plans include curriculum for undergraduate and graduate level studies, field research of existing social businesses and an international social business competition.

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