Elon University / Today at Elon / Entrepreneurship course gives students opportunity to make a local impact
Students in Elena Kennedy’s Entrepreneurship for the Greater Good course had the opportunity to research, create and consult with local professionals at four community partner organizations during the spring semester.
Students of Elena Kennedy’s Entrepreneurship for the Greater Good course, Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship, had the opportunity to research, create and consult with local professionals at four community partner organizations during the spring semester.
Their final projects addressed a variety of needs such as a promotion for local restaurants, collecting community data for a proposed social neighborhood and startup business listing app, and creating a fundraising campaign. funds.
Student groups have collaborated with partners such as the Burlington Downtown Corporation, EarlyGroove, Burlington Woman’s Club and Burlington Beer Works. Each group worked closely with their partner to analyze needs, conduct research, and create deliverables to be used to grow businesses in the region.
Kennedy, who also serves as Doherty Emerging Professor of Entrepreneurship, has taught the course for six years and intends to choose partners who exhibit more non-traditional aspects of entrepreneurship. For example, Burlington Beer Works is a cooperative-owned brewery and restaurant, founded and run by community members. The Burlington Woman’s Club is a non-profit organization that uses income from its thrift store to fund local causes and scholarships.
“A key facet of social innovation and social entrepreneurship is learning to listen to others. As many change advocates say, “those closest to the problem are also closest to the solution”, and it’s important that our students interact and work in partnership with people who are looking to create things in our community,” Kennedy said. “Our community partners also serve as great mentors for our students and challenge them in ways that are difficult to create in a traditional classroom.”
Peter Bishop, Director of Economic Development for the City of Burlington, attended the final presentations and was particularly impressed, noting, “Dr. Kennedy’s class provided professional-level analysis and information that will help the Burlington Downtown Corporation and our community to research options for creating a social neighborhood downtown. We are happy to use the report!