Students in Ethiopia
Students working in Ethiopia as part of Social Enterprise @ Goizueta. FILE PHOTO

As businesses increasingly focus on creating an impact beyond the traditional “bottom line,” and as non-profits are increasingly being called about to be more efficient and effective in their generation of social impacts, Emory University’s Goizueta Business School is taking steps to encourage a stronger and broader social orientation in the application of business thinking and prepare students for challenges ahead.

Social Enterprise @ Goizueta was officially recognized as a research center by the business school faculty in February. This represents another step in accomplishing its stated goals of integrating business principles and market-based solutions to create meaningful societal impacts. Like all research centers at Goizueta, Social Enterprise @ Goizueta plays a role in research, outreach and teaching activities.

“Several years ago, we began reflecting more seriously on a business school’s broader role in society,” said Peter Roberts, Associate Professor of Organization & Management and head of the center. “It became clear that we have an obligation to have something meaningful to say to folks working across a wide spectrum of organizations – from for-profit to non-profit enterprises. With the help of some Goizueta students, we began to hone in on places where business acumen and market-based solutions are being called upon to address critical social and environmental issues.

“These initial conversations led us to where we are today and where we aspire to go in the years to come. We plan to be among the thought and impact leaders in the critical and growing social enterprise sector.”

This will be reflected in a variety of basic and applied research projects that are supported by the center. At the same time, graduate and undergraduate students have the opportunity to take classes that focus on impact investing and entrepreneurship, corporate social responsibility and non-profit marketing and consulting. Roberts and his team also coordinate several trips for research and hands-on learning, including an ongoing program centered in Nicaragua, a project that seeks to develop poverty-fighting wine industry in Ethiopia and another that seeks to establish a world-class eye clinic in Honduras.

Here in the U.S., Social Enterprise @ Goizueta works with organizations like Village Capital, Habitat for Humanity, UNICEF and SunTrust. The center has also taken on several projects for the City of Atlanta’s Office of Sustainability. Here “we can offer the accumulated business acumen of our students to the city,” Roberts says. “The students learn a ton and the city benefits as well.”

Through a newly-launched fellowship program the center offers MBA students mentorship from its Executive in Residence, David Kyle, who has extensive experience in the traditional business and non-profit sectors.  Social Enterprise @ Goizueta Fellows also have the assurance of a stipend for summer internship work in the social enterprise sector and are fully engaged in the Center’s many outreach activities.

The center is planning a reception to celebrate its accomplishments at 5:30 p.m. April 26 at Goizueta Business School. If you would like to attend or if you would like more information on Social Enterprise @ Goizueta contact Ellen Williams (

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About Emory University’s Goizueta Business School

Emory University’s Goizueta Business School is home to an Undergraduate degree program, a Two-Year Full-Time MBA, a One-Year MBA, an Evening MBA, an Executive MBA (Weekend and Modular formats), a Doctoral degree and a portfolio of non-degree Emory Executive Education courses.