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£30M London Institute Adds To B-Schools' Social Entrepreneurship Focus

A new social entrepreneurship centre at London School of Economics joins the growing list of top universities and b-schools pioneering social impact and start-ups.

Mon Apr 27 2015

London School of Economics will open a new centre in the UK capital dedicated to social entrepreneurship after receiving a £30 million donation from hedge fund founder Paul Marshall.

The latest top academic institution to invest in social entrepreneurship, LSE joins a list of leading business schools including Stanford and Oxford to launch centres focused on philanthropy and social impact.

The Marshall Institute for Philanthropy and Social Entrepreneurship, to be housed on the LSE campus in Holborn, is designed to improve the impact, effectiveness and appeal of private contributions to the public good.

“It will nurture deeper understanding of how philanthropy and social entrepreneurship work, and deliver improvements in philanthropic performance and leadership,” said Professor Craig Calhoun, director of LSE.

Business schools say this generation of students and particularly Millennials are keen to generate social value in their careers.

Stewart Thornhill, executive director at the Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at Michigan’s Ross School of Business, said: “There is a greater desire to make a difference in the world beyond making a pay check or making loads of money.”

Two-thirds of the £30 million donation from Paul Marshall, who is the co-founder and chief investment officer of leading hedge fund group Marshall Wace LLP, will go towards building the centre; the rest will fund its operation.

It will be chaired by Sir Thomas Hughes-Hallett, an investment banking veteran and director of the King’s Fund, a healthcare think-tank.

Sir Thomas said that there is a great need and demand for an institution that combines practical experience and academic rigour to produce the future leaders of social entrepreneurship.

“Private contributions to the public good of time, talent and treasure will be the crucial ingredients of a successful society and a new, more responsible model of capitalism,” he added.

The Marshall Institute will focus on learning – with a master’s program – research and development, community work and stewardship of initiatives related to philanthropy and social entrepreneurship.

It aims to sign up 150 students on its master’s course by 2017 and more than 100,000 for its online programs.

The institute will also build collaborative partnerships with other universities, policy makers and practitioners. It will “prioritise innovation above all else”.

It joins a number of top academic institutions pushing these topics. In the US, Stanford GSB runs the Center for Social Innovation; Kelley School of Business has its Global Social Entrepreneurship Institute.

In the UK, London already has the Centre for Charity Effectiveness at Cass Business School, and there is the Skoll Centre at Oxford’s Saïd Business School, which recently ran an Impact Investing Program.

Gayle Peterson, director of the course said that articipants have said that the experience has been "energising, affirming and challenging", and has inspired them to deliver strategies and projects with both financial and social returns.

Business schools have been pushing impact investing in their MBA programs, with funds set-up and led by students at Wharton, Haas School and UNC Kenan-Flagler among others.

And Spain’s IESE Business School last year launched a new MBA elective that focuses on social entrepreneurship.

Professor Antonino Vaccaro, who teaches the program, said that impact has to go beyond corporate social responsibility. Companies are beginning to realize this, he said. “They’re also discovering that a social focus makes them more competitive.”

Philanthropic donating has risen since the financial crisis, with UK charitable donations hitting £10.4 billion in 2012-13, according to the Charities Aid Foundation.

The number of £1 million-plus donations rose by 50% in 2013 when compared with the previous year, according to Coutts, the private bank.

But a new report on the UK’s social investment market – After the Gold Rush, which was co-authored by Alex Nicholls, professor of social entrepreneurship at Oxford Saïd – found that there needs to be a more principled approach to social investment.

Alex said that since the crisis, there has been increasing interest in how capital might be harnessed for social good. But he added: “The danger here is that we simply recreate models from mainstream financial markets and expect them to work in the social sector, while at the same time letting social values succumb to the power of capital.

“Instead, we need fairer, more open and inclusive investment models that can help tackle inequality.”

Student Reviews

Bayes Business School




On Campus

Best Journalism school in Europe

When I first stepped onto the campus of City, University of London, I knew I was in for a ride - and not just on the Tube! With its vibrant energy and an impressive repertoire of programs, City U became my home away from home. The Journalism program was kind of a big deal. Rumour was that we were the best in Europe! The lecturers were not just experts in their field; they’re practically journalistic royalty. They were invested, passionate, and had a knack for turning the most flat press release into a riveting news story. With their guidance, I’ve learned to navigate the chaotic world of media like a pro. The campus was a melting pot of every culture, being that we had such a diverse international crowd. Being in the heart of London, I had the world at my fingertips - there was always a new corner to explore, a hidden gem of a cafe to discover, or a street performer! City, University of London wasn't just a university; it was a chapter in my life story that I’ll never forget.




On Campus

Learning environment

The teacher-learner ration is manageable, giving each learner a chance to gain personal attention. It is also easier following up on the progress of a student, as the numbers per class is not large. the conducive environment for learning includes clean classes, standard desks, world class instructional facilities and the opportunity to engage lecturers even after their sessions. The team spirit at City is above board, with learners getting chance to learn both from instructors and colleagues. This is the university of choice; the place to be.




On Campus


I liked that each class had a manageable number of learners, making the professor-learner ratio favor knowledge acquisition. I also liked that study schedules were manageable, and not overwhelming. The focus on talents and gifts even within the learning environment makes it possible for learners to achieve the best of their potential, and this has worked to the advantage of those that have schooled at City, University of London




On Campus


The diversity at City University facilitates interactions and is a direction toward the unity of the world. The classes are well built to match the number and needs of all students regardless of the elements of diversity that set people apart. The use of technology in delivery makes learning even more interesting and achievable. At City University there is no distinction pegged on the issues that make people unique.




On Campus


The team of lecturers at the Uiversity are well experienced. Their level of insight and the methodologies of delivery works for the interes of the leaeners. My learning experience was largely boosted by the level of knowledge of the professors at the institution, and their passion to transfer the same to learners. I appreciate every class I attended because of the level of insight I was able to gather




On Campus

The best university I’ve been to

The campus and the people I've met have made it a wonderful experience. I was reared in a small town with a graduating class of only 88 individuals, so moving to City University was a huge adjustment for me. My dorm has more residents than my whole high school combined! I enjoy the atmosphere here, and everyone is so friendly. Outstanding academic options and a stunning campus. Really great from beginning to end. The educators genuinely love what they do, and the students are ready to learn. On or around college, there is always something to do with friends, and the social scene is particularly warm.




On Campus

Bayes Business School

As a student at City university attending Bayes Business School I would totally recommend choosing this university as the experience is exceptional with great social networking opportunities . Professors are significantly helpful, delivering with excellence and professionalism. Everyone is happy to help and make you feel welcomed in such an esteem university as City, offering exceptional development and guidance through out the course.




On Campus

Economics and Politics

Incredibly amazing university, the way they polish students and help them boost their morale and think intellectually is worthwhile. Many universities have international partnerships to allow exchanges between their students. The most obvious subjects for these opportunities would be those that involve languages, and the study of people and places.




On Campus

Clinical biology

I really like it it’s perfect for me with not too many people and not too few either. All the modules are amazing. I love the toy bar. I love all the societies that I’ma part of. Especially the colour Bollywood society