Seeds of Sustainable Entrepreneurship in an MBA

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Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management on the U.S. Pacific Coast has offered full-time MBA’s as well as international MBA’s and more advanced socially responsible educationbusiness management training for years. Recently it has added another flavor to the mix. This new ingredient is value-laden education that goes beyond mere economics, finance, accounting and marketing for students who intend to pursue an entrepreneurial career that aligns with their own values. That new zest added is socially responsible education.

According to Cable News Channel MSBNC a small but increasing number of business school entrants are now more interested in socially responsible enterprises and working for non-profit organizations than big banks. This trend may be caused by a combination of a change in attitudes, and a current sense of repulsion towards aspects of the financial sector held responsible for the current financial melt down.

To meet this new challenge the Graziadio School of Business and Management in Malibu has broken out a socially responsible educationnew Certificate in Socially, Environmentally and Ethically Responsible Business Practice under the appropriate acronym SEER. The objective of this new add-on module is to train graduates in ways to introduce a value system to their firm through socially responsible education.

The academic framework emphasizes corporate environmental and social responsibility as well as an ethical approach to finance in business. Moreover it also teaches that incorporation of these concerns into the delivery of a product or a service is a necessary condition for sustaining a long-term competitive advantage too.

Other, longer-term benefits are that customers want products and suppliers that they can believe in. They also have socially responsible educationa need to do business with firms that are transparent in their dealings and are good corporate citizens too. This all adds up to a great deal of sense – after all, communities do want companies that add value to them, instead of just taking it out of their hands

As more people become aware just how delicate the environment is around them, they are increasingly demanding more than mere lip-service to responsible business practice at Top 500 Company level.  Could there come a time when a leader who was trained in socially responsible education was in as much demand as an astute accountant? Now that would be a turn up for the books, would it not?

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