MIT Sloan students make a dent with Net Impact

Chapter is part of social entrepreneurship movement at MIT Sloan

Net Impact was something of a renegade organization when it began in 1993. Its aim was to inspire a new generation of leaders to use the power of business to build a better world. Twelve years and 10,000 members later, Net Impact has chapters from South America to Scandinavia to MIT Sloan, and change is happening.

Hands holding up globeNet Impact brings together business leaders and social entrepreneurs around the world who are revolutionizing solutions to societal and environmental challenges. The only organization of its kind, it helps its members find MBA-caliber jobs and internships in multinational corporations, startups, community development corporations, nonprofit social ventures, and research institutes. Chapters organize events that promote socially responsible business, and Net Impact spreads the word.

The Net Impact Service Corps offers members the chance to provide much-needed leadership and skill to nonprofit organizations through pro-bono consulting engagements. Volunteers partner with nonprofits that focus on a range of issues, from homelessness to education to the arts. They consult on projects related to finance, marketing, business planning, fundraising, strategic planning, and new program development.

One of the greatest benefits of belonging to Net Impact is the opportunity to exchange ideas, make connections, and experience the power of the network. Members have a real sense of satisfaction and empowerment at working together to create a more just and sustainable world. The key event for building such collaborations is the Net Impact Annual Conference, which gathers more than 1,000 MBAs to hear and learn from enlightened business and community leaders.

Net Impact's Case Competition attracts MBAs from business schools around the world. The spirited contest challenges students to “crack a case” using corporate social responsibility frameworks. At the annual Global Social Venture Competition, teams pitch their business plans before judges and compete for $45,000 in prizes. The GSVC is a joint venture between academia and industry dedicated to building an international platform for enterprises that dovetail financial and social goals.

Another feature of the Net Impact year is the Best MBA in Corporate Citizenship competition. MBA students submit papers that explore corporate citizenship and social responsibility. The winner receives a $2,000 award. Now in its 12th year, the contest has attracted a wealth of creative thinking about the challenges and solutions facing socially responsible business leaders.

Net Impact's information-rich website features winning papers from the Corporate Citizenship competition, educational resources, career tools, member profiles, and the success stories of MBAs who have completed internships and other Net Impact projects.

“Net Impact is just the tip of a social entrepreneurship movement at MIT Sloan,” says Dina Goldstein, MBA '06, head of the School's fast-growing Net Impact chapter. “There is incredible momentum at MIT Sloan. From the overwhelmingly successful spring symposium, ‘Make your Career (& Life) Make a Difference,’ to growing a socially aware curriculum, MIT Sloan is moving toward becoming a leading institution for social entrepreneurs.”

MBA students who would like to join the 50+ members of MIT Sloan's Net Impact chapter should contact Goldstein at dgoldstein@sloan.mit.edu.

Related Links

Net Impact
Q&A with MIT Sloan Professor Richard Locke on good corporate citizenship