Social Entrepreneurship Seniors Begin Capstone Projects

Warner Pacific seniors in the Social Entrepreneurship program

Warner Pacific Social Entrepreneurship seniors Luwam Kahassay, Gimena Olguin, Anthony Sims, Kristi Gifford, and Emily Potts with Business Professor Dr. Roger Martin, Warner Pacific VP for Advancement Dr. Aaron McMurray, John Friese, Carrie Atkinson, Junea Rocha, and Warner Pacific students Thalia Garcia, Milo Lopez, Edgar Contreras, Ricky Ruiz, and Jonathan Hillis.

During their senior year, Social Entrepreneurship students identify a need within the community and create a small entrepreneurial business to meet that need (their Capstone Project).

On January 13, 2015, the 2015 Capstone Projects were presented in front of John Friese from Starve Ups (an entrepreneurial start up group in Portland), Carrie Atkinson from Sock It To Me (in Portland), and Junea Rocha from BraziBites. Students received feedback to prepare for the Capstone Project competition.

  • Luwam Kahassa – ArtCart, helping people engage their creative side
  • Anthony Sims – KooksLife, using business to help skateboarders
  • Gimena Olguin – UniMe, United Minority Entrepreneurs
  • Kristi Gifford – BU Fitness Wear, serving women 18 to 50 years of age who live motivated and active lives
  • Emily Potts – VEAS, using photography for people to see both the good and the bad of life

Each Capstone Project is made up of a team that includes the student, a Social Entrepreneurship Advisory Board (SEAB), community partners, and faculty members. This team works toward the common goal of creating free enterprise while meeting community need, providing students the opportunity to apply classroom theory to real life practice. By the end of the semester, the student and his/her team will create an Executive Summary, full Business Plan, and presentation of the project.

The culmination of the Capstone Project is a cash award for the best Business Plan, allowing students to become real-world social entrepreneurs by the time they graduate.

Student Story: Emily Potts

WPC Student Emily Potts[By Dr. Andrea Cook] As a student in the College’s new Social Entrepreneurship major, Emily Potts ’16, has discovered that there is power in business and when done right, it can change the world.

When asked to share her thoughts on the program, Emily had this to say:

“My coursework has shown me that entrepreneurship is an opportunity to fundamentally change the lives of people for the better. Warner Pacific is not only teaching me the practical skills I will need in the future, but the College has been a key factor in helping me develop as a person. The people and classes here have challenged me to dive deeper into all aspects of my life and ask the hard questions. Warner Pacific is helping me develop my strengths and recognize my weaknesses so that when the next phase of my life comes, I will be prepared to serve others at my full potential.

There is a special place in my heart for the people of Guatemala. When I graduate, I hope to move to Guatemala and work for a non-profit with the ultimate goal of starting my own organization that will help empower the people there; especially women and children.”

I’m inspired by students, like Emily, who are working hard to pursue the intersection of business and social justice. Programs like the Social Entrepreneurship major are opening the doors to innovative ideas that will have a lasting impact in our communities.

WP Offers Oregon’s 1st Social Entrepreneurship Major

Social EntrepreneurshipCommitted to developing young leaders who work toward positive change in the city, Warner Pacific College has launched a new degree program, the Bachelor of Science in Social Entrepreneurship. The first of its kind in Oregon, the Social Entrepreneurship major at Warner Pacific equips students with the expertise needed to create innovative business ventures that address society’s most pressing challenges.

A social entrepreneur identifies small- and large-scale social problems and takes responsibility for providing sustainable solutions. Social entrepreneurs are visionaries, committing their lives to transform society. At Warner Pacific College, a service-oriented, faith-based approach to community outreach will help students exploring the Social Entrepreneurship major to gain practical experience through dynamic coursework, motivating them to engage with the community and the world beyond.

During the senior year, in conjunction with their internship, Social Entrepreneurship majors will be required to identify a need within the community and then create a small entrepreneurial business to meet that need; this is known as the Capstone Project. At the core of the Capstone Project, is a team made up of the student, a Social Entrepreneurship Advisory Board (SEAB), community partners, and faculty members. This team will work toward the common goal of creating free enterprise while meeting community need, providing students the opportunity to apply classroom theory to real life practice. The culmination of the Capstone Project is the awarding of a cash prize for the best business plan, allowing students to become real-world social entrepreneurs by the time they graduate.

“I am very happy for the opportunity to participate on the Social Entrepreneurial Advisory Board at Warner Pacific as they roll out this exciting new Social Entrepreneurial Major,” said Tom Mears, Burgerville Chairman. “More and more, the world and Portlanders are realizing that there is a better way to conduct business that allows companies to thrive while contributing to the overall well-being of the entire community; where faith and work are not separate and distinct but actually are integrated as one and the same. I look forward being a part of these students’ development and to watch the impact they will have on our community.”

Earn your B.S. in Social Entrepreneurship,  contact a Warner Pacific Enrollment Counselor at 800.804.1510 or admissions@warnerpacific.edu.

For information regarding the creation of this new academic program, contact the Chair of the Department of Business at Warner Pacific College, Dr. Roger W. Martin, at 503.517.1035 or rmartin@warnerpacific.edu.

Portland-area business owners who would like to learn more about serving on the Social Entrepreneurship Advisory Board (SEAB) should contact Dr. Aaron McMurray, Vice President of Institutional Advancement and External Relations, at amcmurray@warnerpacific.edu or 503.517.1220.