Building the next generation of changemakers

There are A LOT of young people who want to work in sports. They can be found, of course, in sports management programs from the undergraduate to doctoral levels, and in pretty much any business or liberal arts program. Frankly, they can be found anywhere. And when it comes to having a desire to work in sports, let’s not forget those already working who would love to trade in for something sports-related.

With such high demand, what can we do as an industry to increase the dearth of opportunities? One way is to tap into the entrepreneurial juices of the young and old. A trend we are seeing that has relevance for the sports industry is the increase in social entrepreneurship programs. The inherent “social” component of sports, and the need to create more opportunities, an inherent aspect of entrepreneurship, within the industry should encourage collaboration between companies and league properties and these emerging entrepreneurs and companies. Hopefully we will see that take place.

You can read the full article from Diana Middleton at the Wall Street Journal at, with an excerpt below.


M.B.A.s Seek Social Change; Enterprises With a Cause Gain Ground on Campus

by Diana Middleton

During his M.B.A. studies at University of California at Berkeley, Jeff Denby told everyone his ultimate career goal: to start an underwear company.

Soon, professors and classmates at the Haas School of Business began to call him “the underwear guy.”

But Mr. Denby—who had formerly worked in industrial design and went to business school interested in supply-chain management—decided early in his program that he wanted to create a company that was about more than just boxers or briefs. In his view, it was critical to create a product that was environmentally friendly and sustainable—and whose sales could help support good causes.

This type of social entrepreneurship – that is, building a for-profit company with a social conscious or linked with a social cause – is becoming increasingly attractive to would-be business founders. The idea is to make money while either directly impacting consumers with its services or funneling a portion of profits to charities. Often, these companies employ people or source resources from economically depressed areas of the world that then also benefit from the charitable donations from the profits.

And with an increased interest in socially-responsible money-making, business schools have been pushed to create a whole host of courses and study tracks to help M.B.A. students sort out the best way to pull it off. Schools like University of Oxford, Cornell University and Dartmouth College have all seen increased demand for instruction in social entrepreneurship.

Some administrators say it’s a generational progression of business-school students who have grown up more socially aware. Others say a lack of traditional jobs has spurred an interest in entrepreneurial ventures—and the focus on societal impact is partly a matter of trying to escape the stigma of the “greedy M.B.A.”

“I think the interest in entrepreneurial ventures with social value [is about] more than the fact that people can’t get jobs as easily,” says Colin Mayer, dean of Oxford’s Saïd Business School in the U.K. “There’s also a sort of underlying sense of guilt about what happened during the crisis.”

(The article continues at