Program Spotlight – Social Entrepreneurship

ALI StudentsThe American Language Institute (ALI) at San Diego State University will offer a Social Entrepreneurship certificate program beginning in spring 2015 focusing on businesses that solve social problems. Students will study business trends and innovative entrepreneurships, then create a business that will positively impact society.

“A lot of universities are starting to create entrepreneurship programs,” said Kelly Shah, ALI program director. “This program will make us distinctly market competitive.”

Students will take a variety of social entrepreneurship and business content classes in English instruction with a curriculum incorporating case studies, guest speakers, on-campus resources and technology. There will also be field trips where these international students can witness real-life experiences in the United States.

In addition, students are given admission to the SDSU Entrepreneur Society, thus being able interact with American students and gain networking opportunities. The ALI is collaborating with the Zahn and Lavin centers on main campus in providing resources to assist in the students’ creation of social enterprises.

Classes will be structured to improve entrepreneurial skills, business knowledge and practical English ability while focusing on successful social business models and strategies. Students will also be required to take a weekly Social Entrepreneurship seminar that provides instruction on social entrepreneurship ideas and tools to develop their ideas into social enterprises.

Students must be at a high-intermediate to advanced level of English to be admitted into the program. “Our goal is for students to come here and learn social entrepreneurship skills so they can create a business and take it back to their country to develop,” Shah said.