Georgetown Leads Jesuit Entrepreneurship Center Alliance to Harness Innovation for Good
A community of educators and innovators hosted their inaugural meeting of the Jesuit Entrepreneurship Center Alliance to discuss how universities can use entrepreneurship to positively impact society and serve the common good. The meeting took place during the annual Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers Conference in Dallas, Texas, which convenes entrepreneurship centers from across the globe to discuss the curricular approaches and best practices for teaching entrepreneurship in higher education.
The Jesuit Entrepreneurship Alliance welcomed 27 university entrepreneurship center leaders from 21 Jesuit business schools across the globe who are committed to ensuring future entrepreneurs have the skillsets and mindsets necessary to address global challenges, identify solutions, and create positive change. The alliance was initiated by the International Association of Jesuit Business Schools and organized by Jeff Reid, founding director of Georgetown Entrepreneurship, and Wendy Bolger, founding director of the Simon Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Loyola University, Maryland.
“Now more than ever, we need leaders with an entrepreneurial mindset who can use business to serve the common good,” said Reid. “This has been the mission of Georgetown Entrepreneurship for over a decade, and we are pleased to work alongside other Jesuit business school leaders to broaden our global impact in entrepreneurial programming and innovation. Together, we can empower future generations to explore their passions and pursue new ventures through the principles of Jesuit education.”
Rooted in the teachings of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, Jesuit business schools focus on concepts of discernment, reflection, and purpose-driven leadership throughout the curriculum – traits that are often inherent in the mindset of an entrepreneurial leader. Jesuit students also learn the Ignatian concept of “magis,” which encourages them to do more and do more for others in the world.
“Applying the lens of Jesuit values to entrepreneurial ventures is an opportunity for students to connect to a centuries-old tradition of innovative thinking and proceed into future entrepreneurial ventures with an orientation toward problem-solving and social justice,” said Bolger. “The Jesuit Entrepreneurship Center Alliance stimulates dialogue with colleagues who are both like-minded, wildly creative, and inspirational in their programs, so there is ample common ground, as well as models to which we can aspire.”
New and existing colleagues came together in the alliance to discuss new ways to collaborate across schools to expand entrepreneurship education within the context of our Jesuit traditions, as well as to foster a collective commitment to serving the common good, said Shaun Johnson, associate director of Fordham Foundry at Fordham University.
“By infusing entrepreneurship with Ignatian values, this alliance cultivates a unique space where entrepreneurial education intersects with self-awareness, empathy, boldness, and problem-solving,” said Johnson. “Gathering was an inspiring experience, offering a glimpse into how entrepreneurial ventures can be deeply grounded in centuries-old Jesuit traditions and geared towards meaningful societal impact.”