Q. What are the purposes of the Mason Center for Social Entrepreneurship?

GW: Our job is to identify, educate and network the world’s future social entrepreneurs. While other centers focus on social entrepreneurs’ late-stage development, we focus on the student experience and identify students with great ideas and great potential that can change the world.


Q. Describe some of the latest

programs that your center has


GW: Just a week ago, Mason developed a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration on social entrepreneurship. Fewer than 10 of these are available worldwide and enrollment begins in the fall.


Q. How do you define social


GW: The actual definition is still being sorted out in the field. But personally, social entrepreneurship is about using transformative ideas to solve major social problems in financially sustainable and scalable means. In this sense, while a solution may work in one part of the world or for certain groups, a solution can be modified for equal or better impact in other parts of the world. For example, microfinance started out as a regional program. Now it is global.


Q. Is there anything else you want to share with Broadside?

GW: First, Mason is advantaged to have an interdisciplinary, university-wide social entrepreneurship center, which at other institutions would usually be housed within a business school. We want everyone to feel they can play a role. Also, our local geography is an asset, as Northern Virginia is a vibrant community that is home to the global headquarters of many international organizations. Our local geography, along with the diversity of Mason’s student body, is a major asset. As importantly, Paul Rogers, assistant professor of English, is the faculty director of the Mason Center for Social Entrepreneurship. This is a team effort, and he has been a wonderful partner on the academic side of things.


To learn more, visit the Mason Center for Social Entrepreneurship’s website at masoninnovation.org.