NEW YORK—Columbia Business School today announced the creation of the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise. The new center, made possible through a transformative endowment gift from Sandra and Tony Tamer will help develop a new generation of business leaders that understand how management can contribute to, enhance, and impact society and the environment. Additionally, it will serve as the educational, curricular, research, and strategic hub of all social entrepreneurship activities at Columbia.
“Columbia is uniquely qualified and positioned to serve as a source of inspiration and education for budding social entrepreneurs,” said Tony Tamer. “The Business School is already known for its exceptional ability to train leaders with keen problem solving and decision-making abilities. 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 added: “One of the most exciting opportunities is bringing the diverse interdisciplinary perspectives of Columbia together. 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.”
“On behalf of the entire Columbia community I want to thank Tony and Sandra for this extraordinarily transformative opportunity,” said Columbia Business School Dean Glenn Hubbard. “Building on the School’s existing Social Enterprise Program, 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.”
Specifically, the new Tamer Center for Social Enterprise at Columbia Business School will:
- Establish the Tamer Fund for Social Ventures: The Fund will provide seed grants of up to $25,000 to select nonprofit, for-profit, or hybrid early-stage social ventures that demonstrate a high degree of social innovation and impact.
- Enhance the Loan Assistance Program: Established in 2005, the Loan Assistance Program helps alleviate the financial burden associated with repaying education loans while pursuing a career in the public, nonprofit and social entrepreneurial sectors. The new Tamer Center will expand this program by increasing the number of alumni who can receive financial support as well as the duration of that financial commitment from a maximum of five years to 10 years.
- Broaden the Summer Fellowship Program: The Summer Fellowship Program pairs social enterprise students with organizations that are creating social and environmental value. Organizations benefit from access to MBA talent while students are rewarded with the opportunity to apply their MBA skills to challenging issues. Currently reserved for Business School students, the program will now be broadened to include graduate and undergraduate students from across Columbia University so that social ventures may benefit from student talent across disciplines.
- Support Social Entrepreneurs at the Columbia Startup Lab: Located in the heart of Silicon Alley, the Columbia Startup Lab is a collaborative working environment that supports 71 alumni entrepreneurs from across the University. The highly sought-after incubator space offers participants subsidized rent, networking opportunities, and programming designed to help them take their startups to the next level. The Tamer Center will offer additional financial support to social entrepreneurs who are participating in the Columbia Startup Lab and who receive funding from the Tamer Fund for Social Ventures.
- Develop a Social Entrepreneurs Network: Critical to ensuring a successful experience at Columbia for aspiring social entrepreneurs is the development of an advisory network of seasoned professionals and experts. To create such a network, the Tamer Center will leverage the School’s Social Enterprise Leadership Forum, a collection of 100 leaders, practitioners, funders, policymakers, and faculty members who regularly participate in social enterprise and entrepreneurship events at Columbia. The Tamer Center will also seek to build new partnerships with similarly focused and established advisory networks, to expand the impact of the Network into new industries and areas.
The Tamer Center is being introduced at a time when management skills are increasingly recognized as critical to solving many of society’s social and environmental challenges. Companies increasingly believe that in order to be successful over the long term, they need to be more thoughtful and strategic in considering their social impact. And social problems represent ripe opportunities for entrepreneurial thinking and solutions.
The Tamers worked with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA), which assisted them in identifying the Social Enterprise Program at Columbia Business School as the right partner for their goals.
To learn more about the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise at Columbia Business School, please visit www.gsb.columbia.edu/socialenterprise.
About Columbia Business School
Columbia Business School is the only world–class, Ivy League business school that delivers a learning experience where academic excellence meets with real–time exposure to the pulse of global business. Led by Dean Glenn Hubbard, the School’s transformative curriculum bridges academic theory with unparalleled exposure to real–world business practice, equipping students with an entrepreneurial mindset that allows them to recognize, capture, and create opportunity in any business environment. The thought leadership of the School’s faculty and staff, combined with the accomplishments of its distinguished alumni and position in the center of global business, means that the School’s efforts have an immediate, measurable impact on the forces shaping business every day. To learn more about Columbia Business School’s position at the very center of business, please visit www.gsb.columbia.edu.