KINGSTON, New York, April 16, 2019
KINGSTON, New York, April 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- GCSEN, The Global Center for Social Entrepreneurship Network (GCSEN Foundation) recently had two of its program alumni, Ms. Gyana Srivastava and Ms. Khadeedja Muheto, both of Wheaton College, Norton MA, participate in the prestigious Draper Competition for Collegiate Women Entrepreneurs held at Smith College, Northampton MA. GCSEN is dedicated to spreading the ideas and practice of Social Entrepreneurship to higher education students and adult learners across the world. The organization's credo is to "Make Meaning, Make Money, and Move the World to a Better Place" via Social Entrepreneurship education and empowerment, and its Social Venture Experience offerings.
The annual Draper Competition at Smith College is designed to hone the skills that undergraduate women need, to advance through the process from venture idea to creation. Through three rounds of tough competition, students demonstrate an understanding of a business or social problem, why the problem requires a new venture to address it, how their idea presents the best solution to the problem, and what resources, partnerships and activities it would take to successfully launch the venture. This year over 1000 women from forty-eight Draper Schools, including Wheaton College and Vassar College, applied to participate, with over $100,000 in cash and scholarships awarded to the winning competitors.
Ms. Gyana Srivastava, Wheaton College (2021) entered into the competition's Social Impact Track and reached the Top 75 Competitor's Tier in the overall competition. Her venture, entitled Gurukul Dance, is an initiative designed to create a dance company for special needs children in India. An economics and psychology major, she participated in GCSEN's Social Entrepreneurship Bootcamp at Wheaton in January 2019. In 2017, Ms. Srivastava was awarded Wheaton College's "Next Genius" Scholarship. A student from The Cathedral and John Connon School in Mumbai, she was selected from a pool of 6,000 Indian high school applicants for the full scholarship. Ms. Srivastava said, "GCSEN gave me the confidence I needed to think out my idea and turn it into a professional level pitch deck. The Draper Competition at Smith College was exciting, and my social venture is now ready to be actualized in India this summer. It took a lot of work but was well worth the effort. I really believe in Gurukul and now have the tools I need to actualize it. Thank you GCSEN!"
Ms. Khadeedja Muheto attended GCSEN's Social Entrepreneurship Bootcamp at Wheaton College in January 2018 as a GCSEN intern. There, she was introduced to the core concepts of 4P social ventures for People, Planet, Profit and Place. A double major in math and economics, she graduated from Wheaton College in 2018 and is currently the College's Coordinator of Entrepreneurship Programs, WiN Hub and High School Enrichment Activities. Ms. Muheto acted as mentor for Ms. Srivastava's Gurukul Dance venture in the competition. Ms. Muheteo said, "GCSEN was the catalyst that gave me the confidence to move into the world of social entrepreneurship. I'm now working for Wheaton College in our WiN Hub Social Entrepreneurship office. I mentored Gyana's social venture through the Draper Competition and the feedback we got from the other competitors and the judges was fantastic!"
The WiN Hub at Wheaton was created in collaboration with the Diana Davis Spencer '60 Foundation, to introduce the transformative force of social entrepreneurship to the Wheaton community. Through programming, events and workshops, students gain the confidence and competence to follow their passions and launch their own social enterprises. Under Wheaton's WiN Hub is its Social Venture Launch Program, which includes GCSEN's Social Venture Boot Camp experience.
GCSEN Founder & President Mike Caslin said, "We are ecstatic that participants in our Social Venture Bootcamps did so well at the Draper Competition. GCSEN is at the cutting edge of Social Entrepreneurship research, education and leadership. We saw how hard Ms. Muheto and Ms. Srivastava worked on this social venture presentation, which will become a viable business someday. Every campus and business can benefit from learning what GCSEN has tested and proven. Participants in our programs consistently rate it as a life-changing experience, with significant knowledge gains and ten-time increases in business formulation rates. The positive ripple effects our programs have on individuals and on campuses has been dramatic, and we continue to build on our successes."
Since 2015, GCSEN has developed and rolled out a series of innovative Social Entrepreneurship Experience (SVE) offerings including its highly regarded Boot Camps for college students and adult learners, and its on-line blended learning courses with live coaching, SE 101 & SE 102. These courses earn successful participants college accreditation and GCSEN's SVE Certification, as well as access to GCSEN's life-long on-line support community. The courses have been taught at Wheaton College, SUNY New Paltz, Vassar College and Saint Peter's University (Jersey City) and are currently under discussion for implementation at other campuses.
The organization has recently accelerated its offerings by initiating an intensive "prac-acdemic" two-day Fellowship experience specifically designed for college faculty, key administrators and business leaders. Called the Social Venture Research Institute (SVRI) program, it features innovative learning experiences using new methodology in collaboration with best practices, fostering the growth of "4P" Social Entrepreneurship, for People, Planet, Profit and Place. The goal is to enable enrollees to be prepared and inspired to train the next generation of Social Entrepreneurs across the globe.
GCSEN Founder & President Mike Caslin is an internationally recognized thought leader of Social Entrepreneurship, currently lecturing at SUNY New Paltz Business School (NY), and St. Peter's University Business School (Jersey City, NJ). He is a past faculty member of Babson College, CUNY-Baruch College Zicklin School of Business, Marist College School of Business and Manhattanville College. He has spent the last three decades studying, lecturing and facilitating efforts to promote social entrepreneurship on a global scale. GCSEN's leadership and influence in the field of Social Entrepreneurship in Higher Education continues to build, as seen in its support of Wheaton College's successful effort in 2017 to create enhanced social entrepreneur programming, facilitated by a grant of $10M from the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation of Bethesda, MD.
Caslin is a graduate of Babson College's prestigious Fast-Track MBA Program at the Olin Graduate School, considered one of the top-ten in the world. The Founder and President of GCSEN Foundation, he was co-founder and CEO of NFTE (Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship) from 1988-2008. Caslin has been a featured lecturer at the Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Dartmouth Tuck School of Business, Columbia Univ. Business School Eugene Lang Center for Entrepreneurship, the International Association of Jesuit Business Schools Conferences, and The Fund for American Studies events, where he inspires college students annually from over seventy different campuses. Mike Caslin has also been a Subject Matter Expert Witness for the United Nations, the U.S. Congress and The White House. The GCSEN Foundation is an IRS-approved 501(c-3) not-for-profit organization, accelerating social entrepreneurship around the world.