Columbia Business School has long been committed to advancing the practice and understanding of social enterprise having trained leaders with a commitment to solving social and environmental issues for over three decades. By supporting new ideas from faculty and industry leaders, as well as the curricular and extracurricular opportunities of students, the Business School educates leaders to use business knowledge, entrepreneurial skills, and management tools to address social and environmental challenges.
In 1981 Professor Ray Horton founded the Public and Nonprofit Management Program, which was renamed the Social Enterprise Program in 2000, and widened to include social entrepreneurship, corporate social responsibility, and international development. The mission was to advance the understanding of how business can contribute to society and the environment, by emphasizing the vital role that social enterprise plays in transforming communities.
In 2015, The Tamer Center for Social Enterprise was established by a generous gift from Sandra and Tony Tamer, which expanded the existing Social Enterprise Program at Columbia Business School. The new funding allowed for the launch of the Tamer Fund for Social Ventures, expansion of the existing Loan Assistance program, extension of the Social Enterprise Summer Fellowship Program to Columbia students beyond the Business School, funding for social ventures at the Columbia Startup Lab and further development of the advisory network for Columbia’s social entrepreneurs.