The objective of the Inclusive Entrepreneurship Initiative is to create venture ecosystems within local communities through bridging social, digital, and economic divides.
Business plays a uniquely vital role in addressing major social and economic challenges faced by overlooked and marginalized communities in New York City and around the world. From addressing housing shortages and income inequality to lowering barriers to banking and broadband access, businesses can contribute novel resources, organizational know-how, and innovation capacity that complement solutions from the public and private sectors. The Inclusive Entrepreneurship Initiative at Columbia Business School draws on this spirit by focusing on entrepreneurship and venture creation as a primary means of addressing social issues facing local communities where solutions from other domains might be less effective.
Practicing inclusive entrepreneurship means conferring access to mentorship, networks, digital tools, and financial resources for current and aspiring founders, investors, and startup joiners, who might otherwise face systematic exclusion from the formal economy. Doing so stimulates economic growth by (1) expanding the pool of entrepreneurial potential in local communities, and (2) multiplying the diversity of perspectives that are necessary for social innovation.
Through this initiative, the center creates collaboration opportunities for local business and community leaders with Columbia students, faculty, staff, and alumni, and is aimed at creating a model that can be replicated across other communities. We invite you to explore the range of our programming outlined here and encourage you to take part or reach out for more information.