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Columbia Business School Launches New Center for Social Enterprise 

300px-Columbia_University_01The big news out of Columbia Business School (CBS) today is the creation of a new center devoted to social enterprise. A generous endowment gift from Sandra and Tony Tamer will establish the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise, which will be devoted to developing leaders focused on impacting society and the environment through management. The new center will also serve as a hub for all future social entrepreneurship activities at Columbia.

The Tamers’ gift expands CBS’s existing Social Enterprise Program, establishing the Tamer Fund for Social Ventures, which will provide seed grants of up to $25,000 to select nonprofit, for-profit or hybrid early-stage social ventures centered on social innovation and impact. It also allows for expansion of the existing Loan Assistance program, which helps alleviate the burden of repaying educational loans for MBA graduates who pursue careers in the public, nonprofit and social entrepreneurial sectors. The Tamers’ gift will expand this program, increasing the number of alumni it helps as well as the duration of the loan assistance from a maximum of five years to 10 years.  

The new Tamer Center will also provide for an extension of the Social Enterprise Summer Fellowship Program to Columbia students beyond the business school, funding for social ventures at the Columbia Startup Lab and expansion of the advisory network for Columbia’s social entrepreneurs.

“The new Tamer Center will unleash the full potential of Columbia’s social enterprise and social innovation activities, allowing for a more robust array of options for the growing number of Columbia community members who are looking to put social problem solving at the heart of their careers,” CBS Dean Glenn Hubbard said in a statement.

The Tamers enlisted the help of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA), which identified CBS’s Social Enterprise Program as the right partner for their goals. Tony Tamer is the founder and co-chief executive officer of H.I.G. Capital, a private equity and venture capital fund.

“The business school is already known for its exceptional ability to train leaders with keen problem solving and decision-making abilities,” Mr. Tamer said in a statement. “Combine that with its already well-established Social Enterprise Program and its strategic position in New York City, one of the most vibrant and active social enterprise communities in the world, and you have all the ingredients necessary to be the preeminent center and source of leadership talent for the social enterprise community.”

Sandra Tamer stressed the value of being able to unite Columbia’s diverse interdisciplinary perspectives through the new center. “Students studying business, engineering, law, medicine or public policy will now be able to come together to develop new ideas, innovative solutions and practical models to solve emerging challenges facing society today,” she stated.

Learn more about the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise at Columbia Business School.