The Wayne State University group fosters a culture of social innovation and social entrepreneurship. Social entrepreneurship has gained increasing attention within social work schools and has expanded its macro training, particularly through the Modified MSW Concentration, Innovation in Community, Policy and Leadership (I-CPL).
Tomiko Gambleton is co-president of the Social Work Social Entrepreneurship (SWSE) Student Organization, along with I-CPL Social Work student Julia Stewart.
“Julia and I want to grow our organization and broaden our understanding of what social entrepreneurship is and how it helps us in our work as social workers. It’s rewarding to learn about and be part of a larger community where service to the community yields impactful tangible results,” Gambleton said.
Regarding the definition of “social entrepreneurs”, Mr. Gumbleton described them as “creators within the community.” They use their entrepreneurial knowledge, skills and abilities to address social issues such as homelessness, poverty and violence.
“We believe our social work training helps us make a lasting difference in our communities by working collaboratively with others and working creatively to address challenges.Through this creative process , we can tackle inequalities, bridge gaps and celebrate our culture and community,” she said.
Last December, the Group co-organized the “Social Entrepreneurship Conference” with the SSW Social Entrepreneurship Committee. Given the growing food insecurity and inequalities in the food space that the pandemic has highlighted, the conference focused on food production, distribution, retail operations, social innovation and enterprise. Attendees heard from social entrepreneurs, community-based food producers, program developers and thought leaders who are addressing food and environmental challenges through social innovation and entrepreneurship.
This year’s upcoming events include visits and tours of Detroit’s social enterprises (they visited two of them last fall). They also set aside a day to visit the Empowerment Plan, a place that provides employment and training to individuals experiencing homelessness.
Interested parties can join the group by visiting Get Involved. Faculty, alumni, staff, donors and community members are also encouraged to participate.
Author: Laura Hipshire email@example.com