Avery Guides Students Through Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Mary AveryMary Avery, professor and director of business management at Ripon College, is teaching an innovative new course on social entrepreneurship and innovation. “The idea of the class,” says Avery, “is to use community needs (identified through interviews, surveys, etc.) to develop problem solving skills.” As part of the course, students work individually and in small groups with community partners or create their own community service initiatives.

The projects, thus far, have tackled community efforts focused on environmental sustainability, education, the arts, economic development, and other worthwhile causes. Students have worked with organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America, the Ripon Education Foundation, and the Green Lake Fine Arts Foundation, as well as on-campus entities such as Sustainability Coordinator Samara Hamzé.

In addition to these many collaborations, Avery is working with creative enterprise consultants in the Center for Social Responsibility to assist in the development of the Imagination Network of Wisconsin, an “entrepreneurs and inventors club” overseen by the Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corporation (FLCED). According to Avery, Ripon College students will work in concert with FLCED, Moraine Park Technical College, UW-Oshkosh, SCORE and others to “develop a robust entrepreneurial support system that encourages, fosters and nurtures ‘homegrown’ businesses in Fond du Lac County in order to increase grown of new establishments and new jobs over time.”


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