Social entrepreneurship class brings together Katies, Girl Scouts, 3M, and robots

Sales for Social Impact course

Six students are participating in the Sales for Social Impact course offered through the Center for Sales Innovation at St. Kate's. Aimed at exploring what it takes to create an organization with a mission that improves people’s lives, the social entrepreneurship course focuses on understanding how organizations develop sustainable business plans through a combination of guest speakers, readings and one big semester-long class project.

Each year, students in the class collaborate with a real-world client to address a challenge the organization is facing. This year’s partner is the Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys.

“I think the Girl Scouts are a perfect match for St. Kate’s,” says Mary Jacobs, Director of the Center for Sales Innovation. “Our missions — to teach girls and women to be confident, capable leaders — are so in sync that it just made sense to partner with one another.”

The students, who include sales and public health majors, were tasked to come up with a plan that would increase Girl Scouts’ participation in a summer robotics program hosted at St. Kate’s through the Science Museum of Minnesota. The event is an opportunity for young girls to build, program and learn the circuitry of robots while practicing their mathematical and problem solving skills.

"Sales for Social Impact” is funded by a grant from 3M. On December 5, the St. Kate’s students will present their business plan to a panel at 3M, along with peers from 12 other universities who are also offering this course.

“This class is unique,” says Jacobs. “The teamwork, research and problem-solving skills that the students learn are priceless. I often have students tell me that this is their all-time favorite class and mention how valuable the experience is on their resumes and during job interviews.”

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By Kristen Wunderlich