On February 7, 2020 at GSOM SPbU, the "School of Social Entrepreneurship", a series of seminars, was completed. The School was held with the support of JTI and with the participation of the Our Future Foundation for Regional Social Programs. The seminars were attended by students of different SPbU Departments.
The main topics of the seminars were: the role of social entrepreneurship in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), social problems and their solutions, features and typology of business models in social entrepreneurship, social impact assessment and marketing in social entrepreneurship.
The classesbegan in December 2019 with an orientation seminar in which students discussed the activities of the UN SDGs. Then, until February 2020, they have worked online in groups to study the current social and environmental problems of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region in the context of sustainable development. On February 5, 2020, the participants presented the results of their group work, which were devoted to the rehabilitation of children with disabilities, the problem of food waste, the development of remote regions, the socialization of people who have served sentences in prison.
During seminars from February 5 to 7, SPbU professors, experts and researchers in the field of social entrepreneurship, as well as active social entrepreneurs from St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region, delivered lecturers for students.Yury E. Blagov, Associate Professor, Department of Strategic and International Management and Director of the PwC Center for Corporate Social Responsibility, told the students about the importance of social entrepreneurship in solving social problems, the boundaries of this phenomenon and its legislative design. The topic was continued byYulia N. Arai, expert of the Our Future Foundation for Regional Social Programs and Towards Change, a researcher at the PwC Center for Corporate Social Responsibility, Senior Lecturer, Department of Strategic and International Management at GSOM SPbU. She spoke about various features of business models in social entrepreneurship.
David I. Barkan, professor of marketing at GSOM SPbU, held a seminar “Marketing in Social Entrepreneurship,” in which he spoke about important aspects of positioning, pricing, promotion, and communication in social entrepreneurship.Anastasia A. Petrova-Savchenko, Academic Director of the Bachelor program "International Management", researcher at the the PwC Center for Corporate Social Responsibility at GSOM SPbU, highlighted issues within the “Social Impact Assessment” session, related to the relevance of social impact assessments, the main difficulties of conducting an assessment in social entrepreneurship, and also demonstrated the use of social impact assessment tools using concrete examples.
Social entrepreneurs, representatives of organizations the "Rabota-i" Center for the Employment of former residents of Orphanages and Young People with Disabilities, the "Liberty" Travel Company for the Disabled and the "Thank You" charity store shared with the seminar participants the experience of creating and developing their organizations. They talked about the difficulties of interacting with various groups of stakeholders, as well as about the opportunities that exist in the field of social entrepreneurship. At the end of the series of seminars, all participants received personal certificates, a publication on the benefits of social entrepreneurship, issued by the publishers of St. Petersburg University and the Our Future Foundation for Regional Social Programs.
This is not the first year that the School of Social Entrepreneurship at GSOM SPbU has invited students from different universities, helping them understand the current social and environmental problems, as well as identifying their solutions.