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Social Entrepreneurship Program


The Social Entrepreneurship Program at the Brock School of Business employs the core business disciplines (economics, finance, accounting, management, and marketing) in the pursuit of a wide range of goals, not just profit. The Brock Social Entrepreneurship program matches a new generation of business leaders who have a passion for their community with the skills necessary to address today’s most difficult social problems.

Firms engaged in Social Entrepreneurship range from Fortune 500 companies to nonprofit co-operatives. Today, multinational companies such as Google, Coca-Cola, 3M Company, Cisco, and Target embrace social causes (such as the environment, education, community development, or clean energy) within their core mission. With our innovative curriculum, Brock students will have the skills necessary to meet the new demands of twenty-first century business.

Currently, the Brock program in Social Entrepreneurship is one of roughly thirty programs worldwide and the only academic program of its type in Alabama. Social Entrepreneurship uniquely matches the core mission of moral formation at Samford. Our distinguished faculty, combined with Alabama’s largest private AACSB -accredited business school, offers our Social Entrepreneurship students an unmatched experience.

Each day, nonprofits, businesses, and government agencies face daunting and complex social problems. Those problems deserve passionate, sophisticated, and technically competent entrepreneurs willing to think creatively and operate effectively. Through our graduates, the Brock program in Social Entrepreneurship is in the business of a better tomorrow.

A more detailed description of the program can be found here.


2016 Social Entrepreneurship Course Projects (ENTR 486)

  1. Steel City Fine Arts: To create wearable pieces of art, jewelry created from the re-purposed steel and iron from guns. There are currently thousands of weapons stored in our counties’ law enforcement facilities, and thousands more lay unused but unlocked in our neighbors’ homes. Through police donations and the operating of buy-back programs, we will gather these weapons and put them to a better use. By creating jewelry with a purpose and commissioned pieces of artwork, we can make Birmingham both a safer and a more beautiful city.

  2.  Magic City Food Hub: Will enable aspiring chefs to expand their businesses in a certified commercial kitchen space, avoid common pitfalls by taking basic business classes, and test market demand through special events and pop up restaurants.

  3. Hand in Paw: To improve human health and well-being through animal assisted therapy. They aim to ultimately facilitate and achieve a healing process through the unique therapy they provide and perform services to all patients for no price to them. The social change that they hope to create is brought through empathy, an outward focus, acceptance, mental stimulation, entertainment, physical contact, nurturing, socialization, physiological benefits, and rapport.

  4. Work4U: to provide meaningful work opportunities that enable Unless U students to foster life, social, and vocational skills.

  5. Inspire: Inspire is providing young women from grades kindergarten through twelfth grade form low-income areas through curriculum and experiences to enhance their education. Our purpose is to inspire these girls to believe in the impact they can have on their community through learning. By investing in these young women, we are striving to break the cycle of poverty in the Birmingham communities, one girl at a time. We are broadening their worldview by introducing them to new ideas, cultures, and experiences that pushes them to dream bigger. We also seek to provide parents with an affordable after-school program that gives parents a product in which they can be confident. This curriculum will encourage girls to learn, grow, and lead in their community and beyond.

  6. Feed the Change: A consulting business that reduces restaurants food costs and increases their profit margins while simultaneously preventing food waste and obesity. By using innovative techniques Feed the Change analyses a restaurants processes and portions to most effectively reduce food cost. Restaurant customers are then served a smaller healthy sized portion. This is a win-win situation the restaurant saves money, customers improve their health, and no excess food is unnecessarily wasted.

2015 Social Entrepreneurship Course Projects (ENTR 486)

    1. Fish Camp Films (FCF) seeks to target economic, educational, and artistic development among inner city Birmingham students while sharing their stories to promote change and unity among surrounding communities.

    2. Bowo Uganda is a B2B social enterprise that delivers exotic Fairtrade® lumber to the North American market from Uganda. Off of this foundation the company sets the stage for proper harvesting and reforestation practices in Uganda, helps reduce poverty in the poorest sections of the country and provides extraordinarily attractive returns to investors. The Bowo model embraces a triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit where lumber is sourced only from suppliers with guaranteed replanting programs; where employees are paid fair wages in a safe and secure environment; and where finished products are sold at significant margins in North America
    3. Compassion Canopy is a dome-shaped greenhouse utilizing an aquaponics system that has been streamlined to be positioned in impoverished communities around the world. These systems will provide nutritious foods, jobs, and a source of revenue for the communities suffering from poverty and a lack of food sources.

    4. Sisterhood Alliance aims to create a relational network between girls being rescued from human trafficking and professional women in the United States. Our mission is to create opportunities for women to forge mutually beneficial relationships with their sisters in crisis across the globe.

    5. Connect Initiative equips impassioned social entrepreneurs with the strategic business education and practical business understanding that they need for their nonprofit and socially minded organizations to endure in the long term.


    2014 Social Entrepreneurship Course Projects (ENTR 486)

    1.  Work of Worth (WoW) seeks to improve the lives of people around the world through supporting international businesses. Our service is to connect international businesses to the American market by purchasing their goods. At WoW, we believe we can impact these needs through socially minded business practices. WoW will purchase from small businesses around the world that would not otherwise be able to have access to American capital. WoW will then sell the products to American businesses in order to generate a profit and additional capital to invest in more products. In the first year, WoW will solely focus on importing yarn produced from recycled saris in India. The company that we are in contact with employs women rescued from sex trafficking and gives them dignity in providing a stable job. 

    2. REV Birmingham Urban Food Project is working with food providers in food deserts to provide a source of fresh produce. These places are generally corner stores that have convenience foods that are largely processed and packaged for a long shelf-life and have approximately zero health value. The Urban Food Project purchases fresh produce from local farmers at wholesale price and sells it to the corner stores as no markup. They also provide technical assistance (purchasing, merchandising, marketing, data collection, etc.) to assist the corner stores in selling the produce that they purchase

    3. Royal Sports and Therapy(RST) is a state of the art physical therapy and wellness clinic, located in Amman, Jordan. In Jordan there is a great need for physical therapy to help treat and heal musculoskeletal problems that are brought on primarily by a sedentary lifestyle. RST will utilize the newest evidence-based techniques of manual therapy to treat musculoskeletal problems that are currently going untreated in Jordan due to a lack of modern physical therapy techniques being used. In addition the clinic will provide a multidisciplinary approach with nutritionists, and athletic personal trainers.


    4. Redemptive Cycles provides low-income individuals with one of the simplest forms of transportation – a bicycle. In an effort to build a community of learning, bicycle maintenance, and intentional cross-cultural relationships in Downtown Birmingham, Redemptive Cycles was opened in a storefront on 2nd Avenue with every intention to grow to a larger space. Offering quality new and refurbished bicycles, services to the community, and an earn-a-bike program where low-income individuals can contribute to the store’s needs in order to earn their own bicycle, RC has been a fully functioning organization for just under a year.
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    2013 Social Entrepreneurship Course Projects (ENTR 486)

    1.  Eat Between the Lines: Eat Between the Lines is a mobile restaurant that utilizes the crops of local, urban gardens to provide healthy food options to those stuck in food deserts. A food desert is a district with little or no access to large grocery stores that offer fresh and affordable foods needed to maintain a healthy diet. The U.S. Department of    Agriculture reports numerous food deserts across the greater Birmingham area, specifically in lower   income neighborhoods.

    2. Red Mountain Theatre Company: Red Mountain Theatre Company (RMTC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that operate in Birmingham, Alabama and is now in its 34th Season. It was founded as Summer festival in 1979 but was later transformed into the organization it is today. In 2007 they change their name to Red Mountain Theater Company. It owns the Cabaret Theatre located in Birmingham’s Theatre District, and summer main stage productions are performed at the Dorothy Jemison Day Theatre at the Alabama School of Fine Arts.

    3. Woodlawn Food Initiative: The Woodlawn Food Initiative is united to build a healthy community by partnering with local food providers to establish a source of healthy options in a food dessert and to support childhood nutrition education in an effort to reduce childhood obesity.

    4. Swagger Sports Training: SWAGGER Sports Training will operate as two separate entities in order to achieve the same mission. One entity is the revenue producing subscrption-based website that will provide members with access to over 500 sports instructional videos. SWAGGER will operate under a similar model as that of Lynda.com which provides subscribers with access to thousands of computer software training video.

    2012 Social Entrepreneurship Course Projects (ENTR 486)

    1. Map My City: MapMyCity is a geospatial mapping technology that provides customizable geographical information systems to nonprofit and for -profit businesses. The technology is designed to help social enterprises gauge the socioeconomic health of their communities. Users can visualize publicly socioeconomic data through heat maps as well as input crowd-sourced data to mark areas of need in their community. The technology will allow nonprofits to target their resources, increase their efficiency, and bring more effective social change to their community.

    2. The Foundry – Recycling Program: Improving The Foundry's operational efficiency and environmental impact by reducing costs, focusing on improved disposal of unused materials and goods, and freeing up capital and resources to be used in other areas of ministry.

    3. Invest IN: An online platform that gives students in the Brock School of Business to store, promote, and attract investment for their business plans. 

    4. Global Flavor: A restaurant that provides unique, high-quality global foods with a purpose - to sustainable eradicate hunger in the regions that these dishes come from.



    2011 Social Entrepreneurship Course Projects (ENTR 486)
    1. Jones Valley Urban Farm: Helping Birmingham grow organic produce and healthy communities through urban farming and education. The Power Point presentation can be found here.

    2. Dinotas Giftable Giving: Supporting the work of non-profits by creating innovative revenue and resource networks, specializing on tangibly recognizing social impact. The Power Point presentation can be found here.

    3. Birmingham - 365: Birmingham365 strives to create a current, relevant, cultural, and easy-to-use universal calendar for the entire Greater Birmingham Community.

    4. BMI  - Mobile: Seeking to lower childhood obesity in Alabama by administering school-based BMI tests, while educating parents and students on the future health risks associated with obesity and encouraging them to take preventive action.  


    2010 Social Entrepreneurship Course Projects (ENTR 486)

    1. Rent-able garden plots in Woodlawn. Community members will be able to lease a plot and equipment as well as purchase seeds. At harvest time, they can either eat their own produce or sell it at a local farmers market sponsored by the YWCA, Church of the Highlands, and Jones Valley Urban Farms. Jones Valley is also providing technical assistance and cooking courses to help promote nutritious eating in the community, which has limited access to grocery stores.

    2. Nonprofit Merger Law Clinic. The AAN has partnered with Cumberland Law School at Samford University to study the feasibility of this clinic, which will be housed at Cumberland and provide subsidized legal council to promote consolidation and merger activity among the 19,000 nonprofit organizations in Alabama. Currently, only about five percent of respondents in the 500 organizations students surveyed had considered a merger as a way to overcome the financial problems many of these organizations currently face because of declining revenues and increasing community needs.

    3. Nonprofit Incubator in downtown Birmingham. Students are working with a lease holder in Pepper Place to allow nonprofit organizations to jointly lease office space and share fixed infrastructure costs such as information technology, utilities, and administrative support. The model will be replicated at various sites across Alabama.

    4. Decorative Brick-Making Business. Other cities have combined artisans and businesses to promote economic development in the inner city. Using this model Main Street Birmingham has partnered with Space One-Eleven to start a custom decorative brick-making business. The objective is to anchor an artisan business corridor in downtown Birmingham and offer both job-skills training and employment to the local community.
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