College of Wooster Professor Addresses Value of Social Entrepreneurship in India
Faculty member quoted in The Telegraph and The Times of India
WOOSTER, Ohio — Amyaz Moledina, associate professor of economics and co-founder of the Global Social Entrepreneurship (SE) program at The College of Wooster, was featured recently in two of Kolkata’s (India) leading English daily newspapers: The Telegraph and The Times of India. Moledina spent part of June and July in Bangalore and Kolkata where he made presentations, set up workshops, and participated in a panel discussion about social entrepreneurship and the challenges that accompany it with young professionals and NGO officials.
Moledina’s workshops and lectures in Kolkata began with a United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF) event for NGOs. He joined Ashoka Fellow Ratnaboli Ray and Ananya Bhattacharya to identify the challenges that come with practicing social entrepreneurship. Ray is the founder of Anjali, a mental-health rights organization that works in underdeveloped countries like India. Bhattacharya is the director and vice president of Banglanatak, a grass roots social enterprise that uses a “culturally based approach for development and community skill empowerment,” according to its website. The goal of the workshop was to introduce social entrepreneurship (what it is and how it differs from social business and social enterprise) to 60-70 local NGOs. Moledina described the session as an interactive one in which the NGOs formed small groups to identify solutions to proposed problems that may occur when working in SE.
“Social entrepreneurship is about a process and people that want to solve the worlds most pressing problems,” said Moledina. “When you are trying to be that bold, you must also be able to speak openly and plainly about your organizational challenges and be willing to learn from your mistakes so that you can scale your impact."
Moledina was invited by the Kolkata Chamber of Commerce to address 60-70 young professionals, ages 28-38, about how social entrepreneurship can be a vehicle for both social and economic development. He hoped to show how this way of thinking could be used to solve such problems as poverty and rights issues around the world. The lecture was moderated by Sudha Kaul, the founder, trustee, and vice chairperson of the Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy.
Moledina’s presentation in Bangalore, two weeks prior to those in Kolkata, focused on how undergraduate programs like Wooster’s Global SE can be used to build skills that employers need. “It is about employability,” said Moledina. “In India, 80 percent of students are unemployable because they have no real-world experience or applicable expertise. In these scenarios, Global SE, the four-year old program that we started here in Wooster, can be used to give students the skills they need through work in a world that has to think beyond business.
- Story by Libby Fackler ‘13