Social entrepreneurs improve the quality of life for others by using innovative thinking to creatively solve problems in our communities. These individuals view problems as opportunities to bring people together to effect change, leverage limited resources, and create value.
Incorporating entrepreneurship as an educational theme supports a set of skills that will be essential in the future. The Entrepreneurs in Residence program introduces students to community entrepreneurs who, through their experiences in recognizing a need or niche, articulating and actualizing a plan and their healthy tolerance for risk, engage students as entrepreneurial thinkers.
Through social entrepreneurship programs and activities, students practice:
- Innovation: the ability to find new approaches to problems
- Vision: the ability to set goals and design plans of action
- Resourcefulness: the ability to secure resources needed to address an issue or problem
- Perspective: the ability to see issues or problems from multiple perspectives
- Social Responsibility: the value of contributing to the community
Social entrepreneurship activities could include:
- making a movie calling citizens to action
- organizing an event
- publishing a persuasive article or document
- bringing together a volunteer team
- starting a business that provides a living while serving a community need
- starting an organization
Student Project Examples
DoBands HawaiiInspired by the Stanford University DoBands project, a group of 10th-graders initiated Punahou-based "DoBands" Hawai'i with the goal to make our world a better place, one small commitment at a time.
Local KINE* Film Festival '09 Three 10th-grade students and a 6th-grade student collaborated to organize a student film festival. It encourages creative expression in youth through filmmaking while calling attention to important social issues. The ’09 film festival theme was "What Sustains You?"
*KINE: Kids in New Enterprises
LEAF Leaving Earth A Future (LEAF) is a project involving 8th-grade and 9th-grade students, an 8th-grade teacher, and community resources to focus on encouraging restaurants to commit to sustainable practices.
Let's ROCK! Let's Recognize Our Community's Kupuna (ROCK)! was started by 9th-grade students who want to improve the quality of life for Hawai‘i elders. Punahou students interview elders, write profiles onmemorablemoments from their lives, and highlight themin celebrationswith families and care home friends.
Project Citizen A grade 8 Social Studies unit focuses students on identifying public policy problems in our community. 8th-graders research the problem, develop a class portfolio highlighting the issue, propose alternative policies, and arrive at a public policy action plan. The project culminates with the presentation of the research and policy action plan to a panel comprised of community leaders. EIRs serve as resources for students and teachers during the research and policy design phases of Project Citizen, and as project review panelists.
CapSEEDs Course A grade 12 course that caps the senior year with an innovative SEEDS curriculum - Social entrepreneurship, Economics, Environment, Deeds of service and Sustainable solutions. The vision of this culminating program is to graduate students with a global perspective, who will use their talents with intellect, passion and compassion to design sustainable solutions that create positive social change. EIRs share their personal social entrepreneurship journeys with students and serve as consultants as students plan their CapSEEDS projects.