Center for Advancement & Understanding of Social Enterprises

Center for Advancement & Understanding of Social Enterprises

This sustainability centre is part of NBS's Sustainability Centres Community, representing business schools from around the world. Find out more.

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Center for Advancement & Understanding of Social Enterprises

Albany, United States

Massry Business Center
University at Albany, State University of New York


CAUSE’s purpose is to be a hub of activities that helps entrepreneurs and businesses solve social problems by applying business principles and making effective use of markets.

Main Activities

We host regular events, our current emphasis is on food desert/security with a special issue on this topic forthcoming in the Journal of Public Affairs. We have also held an annual conference on Veterans in Economic Transition (VET) which led to a $500K scholarship for veteran students and more recently a partnership with headstrong that provides free mental health services to veterans funded by large corporations and foundations.

We partner with Rockefeller College’s Institute of Nonprofit Leadership and Community Development to hold workshops, such as a recent one on “Social Enterprise & Earned Revenues”. Additional community engagement activities involve judging business plan competitions, offering micro-loan program, and a sustainability program where MBA teams offer recommendations to local organizations. We also invite speakers who can offer unique perspectives on social enterprise topics. Plans for the future include a research workshop about B-Corps and networking events for local social enterprises.

We have been involved in numerous scholarly publications such as journal articles and book chapters, including P. Miesing & M. Aggestam (eds.), Educating Social Entrepreneurs: A Workbook of Commentaries, Exercises, and Cases, Business Expert Press as part of the United Nations PRME (Principles for Responsible Management Education) Book Collection, 2017.

We supervise MBA research projects, independent studies, and theses that focus on social enterprises, one of which resulted in the creation of Rise High in Schenectady, NY dedicated to teach local school kids STEM and other skills to success in a fun and nurturing environment.

We are exploring dual degree programs with institutions in China and Latin America, including a Study Abroad initiative with Chile’s Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María-Chile which will provide social enterprise and environmental projects in Patagonia.

We are currently engaged in writing a grant that will allow us to explore the nexus of sustainability, environment, and water (SEE).


Paul Miesing