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Sep 4, 2014

Why would a millenial work for your company?

This question was posed by Robert Rubenstein in a blog post for the TBLI FOUNDATION (Stichting TBLI), a nonprofit under Dutch law, which seeks to serve the global ESG and Impact Investment communities through Conferences, educational services, investor research and tools. Their mission is to increase understanding and awareness of the benefits of a value(s) based financial system, and thus help mobilize money flows into ESG and Impact Investing to ensure a brighter future.

I was particularly taken with his exhortation at the end of his blog:  “With all this supply and demand by students, why aren’t the recruiters of the leading corporations and financial institutions positioning themselves as Impact Investing or Social Enterprises advocates or supporters (my emphasis). This is a golden opportunity with so many students wanting to either start their own social enterprises or work for companies that support these initiatives. If student and alumni interest continues to grow, demands on the financial sector (wealth managers, investment banks, asset managers, service providers) and non-financial sector will become equally large. Responding too slow and too late could impact recruitment, client retention and new clients. Seize the opportunity and show the best and the brightest why working for your organisation can achieve both career and fulfilment goals.”

BRAZEN PITCH:  In Central Ohio we have a great opportunity for corporations to become impact investment or social enterprise advocates or supporters.  We are actively fundraising for the nonprofit Center for Social Enterprise Development and seeking investors in the social impact fund CINCO Fund.  Go to www.cincohio.com to learn about both opportunities to link your company with social enterprise.

Reflecting the greater global awareness of the importance of and student interest in social enterprise, there is the $1 million student social entrepreneurship prize offered by the Hult Prize Foundation, a “not-for-profit organization dedicated to launching the world’s next wave of social entrepreneurs. It encourages the world’s brightest business minds to compete in teams to solve the planet’s biggest challenges with innovative ideas for sustainable start-up enterprises.”

The blog notes the expanding demand by business school and college students for coursework in social enterprise. He says, “When I visited Wharton, I was told that the most popular club at the Business School was Social Enterprise.  Other universities, echoed those thoughts.”

I too have noted that the interest in social enterprise is far greater among the student body than among the faculty. But some universities have responded strongly.  For example, he notes that the Harvard Business School has gone from 300 students enrolled in social enterprise-related courses to 600 students over just five years.  According to data by the Bridgespan Group, he notes that the number of MBA courses with social benefit content in the last five years  has gone from 45 courses to 95 at Yale, from 30 to 74 at UC Berkeley, and has reached 12 and 8 at Cornell and UPenn, respectively.  It would be useful to know the social enterprise-related course offerings of our local Central Ohio universities.

So the bottom line is, if you want your company to appeal to millennials, your company needs to support their passions  — and that increasingly is social enterprise and socially responsible business.

Retool your grant program and your investment portfolio to include support of social enterprise in your community!  www.cincohio.com