KINGSTON, NY, USA, January 9, 2020 -- GCSEN, The Global Center for Social Entrepreneurship Network (GCSEN Foundation) headquartered in Kingston NY celebrated another successful year, accomplishing several key milestones. Heading up the list is its publication in December of its innovative book entitled “GET TO WOW! EXPLORING YOUR INNER SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR”. The book takes readers on a self-guided, graphic journey toward identifying their core passions, leading to the creation of financially sustainable social ventures which address entrenched social problems. Authored by GCSEN’s Mike Caslin, Tony DiMarco, Harv Hilowitz and Wheaton College President Dennis Hanno, the book is available on-line at www.gcsen.com/getwow, at retail bookstores, and on Amazon.

2019 was a strong year for GCSEN. We built on our innovative on-line offerings, were involved in numerous educational & economic development forums and published our new “GET TO WOW!” book.”— Mike Caslin, Founder & President, GCSEN


GCSEN is dedicated to spreading the vision of Social Entrepreneurship to students and adult learners across the world. Its credo is to “Make Meaning, Make Money, and Move the World to a Better Place” via Social Entrepreneurship education and activation. Social Entrepreneurs run economically sustainable businesses and non-profits with a “4 P” mission, addressing an entrenched social problem to benefit People, Profit, Planet & Place.

GCSEN Founder and President Mike Caslin said, “2019 was a strong year for us, as we built upon our innovative thought leading educational offerings, were involved in numerous regional economic development forums and published our innovative “GET TO WOW!” book. We continue to develop working relationships with Rutgers University’s School of Continuing Education, and with the nationally-ranked Gener8tor accelerator, associated with the University of Wisconsin. With Fala Technologies in Kingston NY, GCSEN is developing the EvergreenGen space which includes a FabLab, business incubator, digital media TV studio, and Regional Resilience Accelerator, primarily for life-essential product manufacturing. These developments have put us in a great position to move forward in 2020. It all starts in a few days with GCSEN’s first Social Venture Boot Camp of 2020 at Wheaton College (Norton, MA) for students from ten campuses. We’re simultaneously hosting GCSEN’s second Social Venture Research Institute Boot Camp there, for faculty and regional business and non-profit leaders interested in furthering Social Entrepreneurship efforts.”

In October 2019, GCSEN co-sponsored the 1st Annual VENTUREFEST at SUNY New Paltz College, bringing out 300 business leaders and students to discuss the emerging startup business ecosystem in New York’s Hudson Valley. The event included a high-powered Entrepreneur’s Panel, moderated by SUNY New Paltz Business School / GCSEN faculty member and Hudson Valley Startup Fund Founder, Johnny LeHane. The event included a PitchFest, where eight startup entrepreneurs delivered two-minute competitive pitches for monetary prizes.

In September, the prestigious Diana Davis Spencer Foundation (DDSF) renewed its Innovation in Entrepreneurship Education Grant for $700,000 to GCSEN. The amount represents DDSF’s historic support of GCSEN since 2015, totaling $3.1 million. The funding has been used for certifying over 500 students as Social Entrepreneurs, activating four college partner campuses (Wheaton College, SUNY New Paltz, Vassar College, Saint Peters University), hiring 3 FT positions, 15 consultants and 15 accredited internship positions, and supporting 30 local vendors.

In April and May, six GCSEN trained teams advanced in NY State’s Business Plan Regional Competition, held at Marist College (Poughkeepsie NY). Two of GCSEN’s SUNY New Paltz teams finished in first place in their divisions, with three teams finishing in second place. Along with GCSEN’s Vassar College social entrepreneur student, who was the first-place winner in her category, all six GCSEN-trained teams competed in the Final Business Plan Competition in Albany, NY.

Also in April, Wheaton and Vassar GCSEN certified students participated in a highly competitive women’s startup pitch event. The Draper Competition for Collegiate Women Entrepreneurs held at Smith College (Northampton MA) had two GCSEN certified social entrepreneurs compete for recognition and top prizes. This prestigious competition was designed to hone skills that undergraduate women need to advance through the entrepreneurial processes, from venture ideas to business creation.

Throughout 2019, GCSEN participated in a number of high-profile educational and business forums, promoting social entrepreneurship education, regional resiliency and thought leadership. Mike Caslin was the keynote speaker at the New Jersey Collegiate Business Administration Association’s meeting in May, held at Essex County College (Newark, NJ), attended by 30 faculty members and administrators. In June, Mike Caslin co-chaired “A Constructive Conversation for Capitalism 3.0” presentation with Martin Kirk, New Economy Consultant with the NoVo Foundation, at the Smart Cities Green Tech Conference held in Newburgh NY.

In October 2019, working with a keystone document GCSEN researched and created on the maker ecosystem of the City of Kingston NY, Mike Caslin and GCSEN’s Tony DiMarco presented Phase 1 of the Kingston Makers Project at the Surviving The Future forum. And in November, Mike Caslin co-presented on Innovation & Entrepreneurship at the Hudson Valley Future Summit, held at SUNY New Paltz. His co-presenters were Sarah Lee, CEO, Economic Development Dutchess County NY, and Martin Kirk of the NoVo Foundation. Additionally, GCSEN acted as an informal advisor to students at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation as they worked on their Hudson Valley Regional Urban Design project. On the global stage, startup entrepreneurs from the Kamiyana Accelerator Program in Tokushima Japan reached out to GCSEN for support and advice on how they can solve regional problems there.

GCSEN Founder & President Mike Caslin is an internationally recognized thought leader of Social Entrepreneurship, currently lecturing at SUNY New Paltz School of Business (NY), and Saint Peter’s University Business School (Jersey City NJ). He is a past faculty member of Babson College, CUNY-Baruch College Zicklin 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.

The GCSEN Foundation is an IRS-approved 501(c-3) not-for-profit organization, accelerating social entrepreneurship education and social venture formulation around the world.

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