the social sector. CASE’s programs made her keenly aware of the nuances of the social sector. The hands-on learning and start-up support offered through CASE gave her the opportunity to refine and implement her business venture. “I came from a purely nonprofit background,” Lipstein says. “And I started a for-fee business that works with nonprofits. I am now able to come at it using a business lens. I’m able to use business constructs and strategies to help my clients.”
ver the years, CASE has continued to innovate and expand its work to stay at the cutting edge of social impact. One way CASE has changed is the addition of impact investment—the practice of investing for social and environmental impact as well as financial return—as one of the center’s focus areas. Established in 2011, CASE founded the globally recognized Initiative on Impact Investing (CASE i3), which includes a two-year student fellowship program, research partnerships, and innovative tools such as CASE Smart Impact SMART Capital, an online START: M.B.A. toolkit for entrepre- student chats neurs seeking impact with former Durham mayoral investment. CASE has also led candidate and efforts such as the Blackspace Social Entrepreneur- founder Pierce ship Accelerator at Freelon.
“I don’t think there’s been a more important academic institution for social entrepreneurship than CASE.” Duke (SEAD), a global-health scaling accelerator, funded by USAID. The ventures raised more than $56 million and improved health outcomes for more than 30 million beneficiaries during their time in the SEAD program. After his Day in Durham visit, M.B.A. student Woodward wonders out loud about running a high-quality teacher-placement service that would match school districts with the right teacher for their environment. Or maybe bring in
master teachers to train new hires. Before enrolling at Fuqua, he worked in various positions in education from program management for a national teacher policy-advocacy group (Teach Plus) to talent acquisition at the largest charter-school network in Los Angeles (Alliance College-Ready Public Schools). He wants to help organizations in the urban-education sector create more sustainable business models and talent-management practices.
“I want to make changes so that students have access to high-quality education,” he says. Woodward says that education nonprofits depend heavily on state grants and wealthy contributors. “I like the idea of creating an organization that can sustain itself, like TROSA.” He’s just at the start of his CASE journey, but he’s sure his coursework and experiential-learning opportunities with CASE will guide him in implementing best practices. “The thing I know above anything else is I want to make a social impact,” says Woodward. n DUKE MAGAZINE
Published on Nov 29, 2017