On Friday, January 22 the 2021 GCSEN Social Venture Boot Camp graduates after a three-week intensive teaching the foundations of 4P Social Entrepreneurship.
KINGSTOWN, NEW YORK , UNITED STATES, January 22, 2021/KTVN/ -- In just one short day, the number of Wheaton College (MA) students to have graduated from the GCSEN Foundation Social Venture Boot Camp will have surpassed 100! Through the sponsorship and support of the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation (DDSF), Wheaton College President, Dennis Hanno and DDSF Endowed Professor for Social Entrepreneurship Imran Chowdhury, GCSEN has been able to offer this program at no cost to budding social entrepreneurs for the past 6-years. The 2021 cohort is composed of 22 mission-driven social entrepreneurs including 18 teams across 12+ majors across the world, from Boston, USA to New Delhi, India which makes 2021’s class our largest boot camp yet! When initially asked why she wanted to join GCSEN Social Venture Boot Camp, Maggie Whitcomb (Wheaton ‘23) stated that she has “chosen to take many classes surrounding social justice issues, focusing on music and the environment. I drafted a Projects for Peace proposal for a composting project and developed an idea for a project that would bring peace to a community by making a plan, creating a budget, and presenting my idea to my class. With every new piece of information that I gain from these classes, I have more of an urge to act. This opportunity would give me a chance to figure out how to take what I know and use it to dive deeper and make a tangible difference.”
During the first week of the boot camp, students were oriented through GCSEN’s SE101 “Principles of 4P Social Entrepreneurship” course. Developed by GCSEN Founder/President and College Professor, Michael Caslin and his world-class team, this 12-hour course is designed to teach students from anywhere in the world the fundamental tools of 4P (People, Profit, Planet, Place) Social Entrepreneurship needed to succeed in a millennial-driven economy. Students completed SE101 in just 5 days where topics ranged from 4P local economy building and marketing to building a team and discovering their uniqueness. After completing SE101, students were ready to move into the SE102 intensive social venture formation. During Week 2, students are given everything they need to develop a successful social venture with practical steps. Daily sessions are led by Caslin, Chowdhury, and GCSEN Managing Director, Tony DiMarco. The Social Venture Boot Camp also hosts 2 dozen social entrepreneurs, lecturers, and coaches that share valuable lessons and social entrepreneurial insights with students. Most mornings, the boot camp is kicked off with a “Heroes Café” virtual coffee house where the 4PSE heroes of today meet the 4PSE heroes of tomorrow!
When Reva McPollum, Founder of online-learning platform Lessonbee, was asked how to differentiate a “ right investor from a wrong investor,” she left students with this sound advice, “you know it, you know it in your gut. Learn to trust yourself. Also, look at the investor's portfolio. Over time you’ll build a strong ecosystem where you can ask people within that ecosystem, ‘do you know that investor.’ That’s why a program like GCSEN is so important. It’s important to build these connections with other entrepreneurs.”
Prior to ending her session, Founder of Digging Deep Project and creator of Shadow’s Edge, Sherri Sobrato, left students with these encouraging words, “Honor where you came from. Trust in what you know and have experienced. Believe in who you are and must become. At the heart level, trauma and life challenges can push us each through a level of pain to an even better place to be... if we have the right types of support. In my journey, I have come to realize how universal loss is. I believe teens today need new ways of support that help them be seen and heard. They need relevant and engaging cool tech experiences that meet them where they are and help them through their lived experience of being overwhelmed; and by doing so help them rise up. Based on thousands of hours of listening and counseling teens, as a Social Entrepreneur I have helped lead Digging Deep/Shadow’s Edge to a new type of intersectionality - where digital gaming meets narrative art therapy and wellness. I believe each GCSEN 4P Social Entrepreneur can and must use their past and their experiences to mobilize their potential to help people -inside and out- and by doing so they can better change the outside world.”
Gearing up for the final pitch on Friday, DiMarco looks forward to seeing what 120+ hours of hard work in three-weeks can do for the new class of Meaning Makers, “I am amazed by how far our Wheaton College students have progressed over three-weeks, from learning the basics about social entrepreneurship to pitching their new social ventures with confidence on the final morning of the program, they’ve been a true inspiration.” When the boot camp first started, some of the students did not have an idea on what they wanted their social venture to be. After 3-weeks of coursework, mentorship and world class coaching from a record 24 speakers and coaches, the soon-to-be GCSEN Certified Social Entrepreneurs are ready to present their idea to other social entrepreneurs, collegiate leaders, and supporters from all over the world! It’s important to note that since the start of the boot camp, the overall average confidence has increased from 57.5% to 93.8%. As a team, "we look forward to seeing how their heightened confidence impacts their pitch and ultimately, the world!"
Support the GCSEN Meaning Makers who are moving the world to a better place by attending the Final Pitch for the social entrepreneurs this Friday, January 22nd from 8:30am-12:00 pm through our GCSEN Zoom Conference! (Meeting ID: 840 6566 0487 / Passcode: 834724)
For more information on GCSEN go to www.GCSEN.com and enjoy our featured GCSEN video short stories and life-changing learning lectures! Press Contact- Mike Caslin, Founder/CEO, Mike@GCSEN.com, cell- 001-212-444-2071 or GCSEN Media Relations Coordinator Junior Consultant Zara Ayanna Salmon (W’18), Zara@GCSEN.com.
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