18 days, five thousand dollars and the opportunity to give five students the learning experience of a lifetime.
This is the current goal of the Mason Center for Social Entrepreneurship (MCSE) and while the days tick down the staff in this division are working harder than ever to reach the numbers.
Starting on June 16, MCSE is launching their annual Social Innovation Program (SIP) . The program invites ten cohorts from around the country and from over 15 different institutions, who have been accepted into the summer program, to come and participate in a five week, learning intensive atmosphere.
MCSE sponsors the program only has enough funds to grant ten students scholarships for the $3,750 tuition fee.
In the hope of giving 15 total students the chance to participate in this outstanding program, instead of the initial ten, MCSE has launched an 18 day campaign with the online site Indiegogo to raise the $5,000 necessary to provide those five students with scholarships.
“We are flexible funding and verified non -profit because all of our money is going through Mason, and one of the reasons that we choose Indiegogo as a platform is because of the perks they can give you for your contribution,” Brun said.
“We take rising seniors or recent graduates mostly, we’ve had a couple of master students this year as well,” said Rachel Brun, director of engagement at the MCSE.
The five week program consists of one week in the classroom from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The program brings in guest lecturers, faculty and affiliated entrepreneurs with the center, to meet with the students to lecture on the programs four different lenses.
The next four weeks, the students will conduct two or three capacity building projects with a team, essentially a consulting project, assisted by the program’s community partners, followed by a lean startup where they essentially start up some kind of organization.
“They’ve found some of their leadership skills, they’ve found what they wanted to do, but they still need those tools to work further,” Brun said.
Those are the tools that the program intends to provide these students with.
With only nine days left, in the fundraiser the program hopes to reach the desired funds to allow five additional students a valuable learning opportunity.