Prestigious Diana Davis Spencer Foundation Grant again awarded to GCSEN

Prestigious Diana Davis Spencer Foundation Grant again awarded to GCSEN



KINGSTON, N Y, USA, September 25, 2019 --                                                                             

GCSEN, The Global Center for Social Entrepreneurship Network (GCSEN Foundation) has announced that it has been chosen as the recipient of a fourth consecutive Diana Davis Spencer Foundation’s (DDSF) innovation in entrepreneurship education Grant. The prestigious award, by invitation only, is for $700,000, representing DDSF’s historic support of $3.1M to GCSEN since its inception in 2015.

“Kudos to GCSEN for all its efforts at Wheaton College, bringing Social Entrepreneurship education to the students. You are truly making a difference.”
— Diana Davis Spencer, Chairperson & President DDSF

This critical funding has been utilized by GCSEN to develop and roll out a series of innovative "4P" Social Entrepreneurship (SE) offerings for People, Profit, Planet and Place, including its highly regarded 
Social Venture Boot Camps for college students and adult learners; its on-line blended-learning courses with personalized coaching; fellowships for certification for college administrators, faculty and business leaders in Social Entrepreneurship; and the certification of 500 Social Entrepreneurs via its college partners Wheaton College (MA), SUNY New Paltz School of Business, Vassar College and Saint Peter’s University Business School (Jersey City), and soon to be joined by Rutgers University School of Continuing Education. GCSEN has also created fourteen F/T or P/T jobs and six college internships in the Hudson Valley as a result of the funding. Additionally, GCSEN has announced its Venturator R&D space in Kingston NY, which will include a FabLab business incubator and Regional Resilience Accelerator, primarily for life-essential product manufacturing entities.

Headquartered in Bethesda MD, the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation is dedicated to empowering America’s political, social, and economic freedoms, promoting the nation’s founding values by supporting a variety of research, advocacy, entrepreneurial and educational organizations. The Grant primarily supports a number of GCSEN's innovative deliverables with its National Campus Pilot Program Partner, Wheaton College (Norton, MA) for year 2019-2020.

Chairperson and President Diana Davis Spencer said of the award, “Kudos to GCSEN for all its efforts at Wheaton. You are truly making a difference." To Wheaton SE students she added, “I can’t speak more highly of GCSEN and Mike Caslin. You have a great opportunity to make changes and move the world to a better place. I’m so happy that Wheaton is doing this with GCSEN. I look forward to hearing more about your ventures.” Foundation CEO Abby Spencer Moffat said to Wheaton SE students, "I know you're going to have challenges throughout your lives and throughout this journey. Use these trials as opportunities to grow. You are a magnificent group. You are going places and I expect to see you on the map of life!"

The Grant’s deliverables include these GCSEN activities at Wheaton College:

  • Monthly seminars highlighting Social Venture market entry and start-up coaching. Increased awareness of SE on campus; increased SE Venture BootCamp recruiting, supporting Wheaton students’ SE venture development.
  • GCSEN supporting Career Counseling, providing career guidance, professional references and letters of recommendation.
  • Wheaton SE Club support as needed, with lectures, coaching and strategic guidance of students and faculty.
  • SE Program administrative support re strategy, tactics, technical assistance, mentoring and cross-campus relations.
  • On-campus SE Social Venture BootCamp and support, Jan 12-17, 2020. Providing GCSEN’s Social Venture Research Institute (SVRI) 2020, for faculty and administrative SE Certification, Jan 16-18, 2020.
  • Thought Leadership work with SVRI Fellows, including Wheaton faculty, to share findings and SE best practices.
  • Faculty Development; faculty and administrator certification using GCSEN developed classroom tools, web-courses, posters and case studies.
  • Campus Partner Support to provide access and program support to GCSEN’s growing campus partner base and academic associations including IAJBS Ignited (International Association of Jesuit Business Schools), LACN (Liberal Arts Career Network) and other higher education campuses (e.g. LYIT- Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Donegal, Ireland) that seek to embrace GCSEN's SE initiatives.
  • GCSEN lifetime alumni support and access to GCSEN’s Regional Resilience Accelerator, FabLab and Incubator in Kingston NY.
  • GCSEN’s continual R & D and refinement of its offerings, including the Social Venture Experience web courses and learning tools (posters, books, courses, case studies, papers), etc.

GCSEN Founder & President Mike Caslin said, “We are so fortunate to have earned this recognition from the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation. The organization’s faith in GCSEN’s activities at Wheaton, and its responsiveness and generosity to our needs is humbling and exciting. Our heartfelt gratitude and thanks for its support cannot be overstated. As over the past five years, we will continue our efforts bringing quality Social Entrepreneurship programs and support to Wheaton College and to our other campus partners. Our goal is to continue to be a worthy steward of DDSF’s mission, support and trust.”

GCSEN has been featured in numerous publications and media platforms, including MarketWatch, Yahoo Finance, and as an “On-trendpreneur” in Trends Journal. The New England Journal of Higher Education stated, “GSCEN’s research has conclusively shown that SE education results in significant content knowledge gains retained by students; shows significant gains in self-confidence; is ranked highly as a life-changing learning experience by students; and is highly recommended by students to their peers. Additionally, SE students participating in GSCEN programs created a business formulation rate near 50%, far above the typical campus average.”

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 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 visionary grants of over $10M from DDSF.

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.

For more information about GCSEN, or for an interview with Mike Caslin,
call 212-444-2071; e-mail & visit

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