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The opportunity to connect theory with practice is a key component of undergraduate education, particularly for students pursuing a Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA) degree.  IE Universitystudents in Professor Rachida Justo’s “Social Entrepreneurship” class have benefitted from this hands-on experience through a course focused on pro-bono consulting work.  The objective is that students end up having a well-rounded knowledge of the issues faced by social entrepreneurs.

For three months, more than 20 BBA students have been working in small teams with clients of a Madrid-based incubator called UEIA: The firstEuropean accelerator for technology-basedsocial projects. This initiative hasarisen from the need of what the third sector is facing, which is currently in a time of change and requires reinvention towards future sustainability.

The IE University course includes both related classroom work and frequent communication (via email, conferencing and onsite visits) to shape a viable consulting project addressing a specific area of organizational need.

“For an undergraduate student studying business, the opportunity to work with a social enterprise for three months can be quite eye-opening,” said Rachida Justo, who also teaches entrepreneurship in IE’sMBAand Executive Educationprograms.  “And not only have these students gained valuable experience but they’ve made real impact.  In fact, the social enterprises have responded as enthusiastically as the students and many have already begun to implement ideas generated by the students. It shows how beneficial a diverse working environment can be for entrepreneurship activity.”

Last Monday, in the final session of the course, each team of BBA students presented the culmination of the work to their clients at the UEIA headquarters

During this particular program, the BBA students are working with the following five social enterprises associated with UEIA:

  1. Afables:the first social service that recommends help at home. Help for people who experience personal and family dependence, giving them the opportunity to choose from a website the best expert qualified to help with their needs, based on ratings, reviews and recommendations from other users. www.afables.com
  2. Cien-pies:city education for children between the ages of 4-11 years old. Coordinationvia web, with GPS tracking, to take children walking to school, guided by professionals. Meanwhile social education is being reinforced in a practical and amusing manner. www.cien-pies.es
  3. Creciclando:sharing platformthat encourages responsible drinking for parents with babies and children, and pregnant women. www.creciclando.com
  4. Trip-Drop:portal that incorporates solitary experiences when travelling in Spain and around the world. Publishes needs of different centres in the world, so that travellers and neighbours can personally meet them. www.trip-drop.com
  5. Pasaporte verde:Promotion of ecotourism via a Smartphone application that connects to the beneficiaries and landscape suppliers. pasaporteverde.es

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