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Social Venture Design – a short course on social entrepreneurship is being organised jointly by Acara and IIHS. The Social Venture Design course provides intensive, hands-on experience with entrepreneurship – particularly examples of social entrepreneurship and leadership in developing solutions to societal and environmental problems. This short course will enable learners to identify core issues and develop or redefine business model components of a proposed solution to an environmental issue. Students must already have a clearly defined problem statement identifying the challenges they aim to address, a target location or community, and a proposed solution that they wish to develop. We welcome and encourage participant teams working on projects to enroll in this class together. Solutions should address a problem that is about the “environment”, which broadly include areas such as clean water, sanitation, energy, air pollution, public health (e.g., malaria), food and agriculture, ecosystem services, and aspects of the built environment (e.g., housing). The course would also offer an opportunity to meet potential investors/supporters for the idea and chart out a longer incubation plan.

Acara is a program of the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment that prepares leaders to take on the environmental grand challenges facing the world. As a leading center at one of the United States’ largest universities, the Institute on the Environment is discovering solutions to Earth’s most pressing environmental problems by conducting transformative research, developing the next generation of global leaders and building world-changing partnerships.

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