Social Entrepreneurship

CareerCast - Life-long Career Development

“How can I make a positive difference in the world and be profitable?” This is a question more and more Chicago Booth students and alumni are asking themselves, and they’re finding the answer in social-entrepreneurial ventures. In this CareerCast, Susan Davis, president & CEO of BRAC USA, shares her unique historical perspective on opportunities, challenges, and trends in social entrepreneurship from her diverse work at the Ford Foundation, as a senior advisor to New York University’s Reynolds Program on Social Entrepreneurship, and as the coauthor of Social Entrepreneurship: What Everyone Needs to Know.

Aired June 18, 2010

Susan Davis is a thought leader in international development and civil society innovation. She is a founder and current president & CEO of BRAC USA, a newly created organization to support BRAC’s global expansion to Africa and other countries in Asia. In addition, she was a founding board member and chair of the Grameen Foundation and current board member. She serves on Ashoka’s international board committee that selects Ashoka Fellows. She is also senior advisor to New York University’s Reynolds Program on Social Entrepreneurship. Previously she led Ashoka’s Global Academy for Social Entrepreneurship, cofounded the University Network for Social Entrepreneurship, and oversaw Ashoka’s expansion to the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia.

In addition, she served as a senior advisor to the director general of the International Labor Organization. Prior to that, she led the global advocacy group Women's Environment & Development Organization. She has extensive microcredit experience from her years with the Ford Foundation in Bangladesh and from her work with Women’s World Banking. She also served as a funder and volunteer representative to start Ashoka Bangladesh. Earlier, she was the assistant director of the export trading company of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. She serves on numerous other boards, including Project Enterprise, Sirleaf Market Women’s Fund, and African Women’s Development Fund USA. She is on Mary Robinson’s Advisory Council of Realizing Rights: the Ethical Globalization Initiative and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She was educated at Georgetown, Harvard, and Oxford Universities.

Building Social Business: The New Kind of Capitalism That Serves Humanity’s Most Pressing Needs by Muhammad Yunus (2010)

Social Entrepreneurship: What Everyone Needs to Know by David Bornstein and Susan Davis (2010)

Mission, Inc.: The Practitioner’s Guide to Social Enterprise by Kevin Lynch and Julius Walls (2009)

The Power of Unreasonable People: How Social Entrepreneurs Create Markets That Change the World by John Elkington and Pamela Hartigan (2008)

Social Entrepreneurship: New Models of Sustainable Social Change edited by Alex Nicholls (2008)

Tactics of Hope: How Social Entrepreneurs Are Changing Our World by Wilford Welch (2008)

How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas by David Bornstein (2007)

Strategic Tools for Social Entrepreneurs: Enhancing the Performance of Your Enterprising Nonprofit by J. Gregory Dees, Jed Emerson, and Peter Economy (2002)

Susan Davis Social Entrepreneurship

Read an excerpt from Social Entrepreneurship: What Everyone Needs to Know by David Bornstein and Susan Davis.

read the excerpt