Endowment Creates Social Enterprise Center at Columbia 

A new center created at Columbia Business School will help develop the next generation of business leaders’ understanding of how management impacts society and the environment.

In a statement released Wednesday, Columbia Business School announced that Sandra and Tony Tamer made a “transformative endowment gift” that will also serve as the educational, curricular, research, and strategic hub of all social entrepreneurship activities at Columbia.

Columbia Business School Dean Glenn Hubbard thanked the Tamers for their generosity, noting that the new Tamer Center will build upon the school’s existing Social Enterprise Program, “(…) allowing for a more robust array of options for the growing number of Columbia community members who are looking to put social problem solving at the heart of their careers.”

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The new Tamer Center for Social Enterprise at Columbia Business School will:

  • Establish the Tamer Fund for Social Ventures: The Fund will provide seed grants of up to $25,000 to select nonprofit, for-profit, or hybrid early-stage social ventures that demonstrate a high degree of social innovation and impact.
  • Enhance the Loan Assistance Program: This program helps alleviate the financial burden of repaying education loans while pursuing a career in the public, nonprofit and social entrepreneurial sectors. The new Center will increase the number of alumni who can receive financial support, as well as the duration of that financial commitment from a maximum of five years to 10 years.
  • Broaden the Summer Fellowship Program: The Summer Fellowship Program pairs social enterprise students with organizations that are creating social and environmental value. Currently reserved for business school students, the program will now include graduate and undergraduate students from across Columbia University so that social ventures may benefit from student talent across disciplines.
  • Support Social Entrepreneurs at the Columbia Startup Lab: The Tamer Center will offer additional financial support to social entrepreneurs who are participating in the Columbia Startup Lab and who receive funding from the Tamer Fund for Social Ventures.
  • Develop a Social Entrepreneurs Network: Aspiring social entrepreneurs need to tap into an advisory network of seasoned professionals and experts. To create such a network, the Tamer Center will leverage the School’s Social Enterprise Leadership Forum, a collection of 100 leaders, practitioners, funders, policymakers, and faculty members who regularly participate in social enterprise and entrepreneurship events at Columbia.

“Columbia is uniquely qualified and positioned to serve as a source of inspiration and education for budding social entrepreneurs,” said Tony Tamer. “Combine that with its already well-established Social Enterprise Program and its strategic position in New York City (…) and you have all the ingredients necessary to be the preeminent center and source of leadership talent for the social enterprise community.”

“One of the most exciting opportunities is bringing the diverse interdisciplinary perspectives of Columbia together,” added Sandra Tamer. “Students studying business, engineering, law, medicine, or public policy will now be able to come together to develop new ideas, innovative solutions, and practical models to solve emerging challenges facing society today.”

To learn more about the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise at Columbia Business School, please visit www.gsb.columbia.edu/socialenterprise.

This article has been re-published as per the terms of LEAP Partners Program with Stacy Blackman Consulting.

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