William Paterson launches Center for Socially Responsible Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Anthony Bowrin, the dean of the Cotsakos College of Business at William Paterson University, acknowledges that the business world has forever changed.

“Economic activities have shifted as we move beyond the pandemic,” he said. “Many businesses, such as those led by women and minority entrepreneurs, need support to recover and evolve their organizations.”

The Cotsakos College of Business wants to help, Bowrin said.

On Thursday, the school announced it has formed a Center for Socially Responsible Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

The goal of the center is to create a facility that will empower current students, alumni and members of the general public in various industries and geographical locations to formulate new business ideas and develop socially responsible innovations for their new or existing organizations, school officials said.

The center will support individuals from diverse backgrounds in developing organizations that align economic, social and environmental goals, and guide them in generating economic prosperity, environmental sustainability and social inclusion.

Plans include educational services integrated with academic programs in a variety of disciplines, including STEM, the arts, social sciences and health, among others.

Among the center’s initial offerings will be flexible e-learning opportunities, including a virtual New Venture Incubator course. Participants can develop their for-profit or nonprofit organizations by completing online sessions supported by a community-based interactive approach. The center will also produce research in entrepreneurship and innovation focusing on organizations that align economic, social and environmental goals.

Plans include offering the virtual New Venture Incubator to interested participants, including current students, alumni and members of the general public, who have career interests in various industries and diverse academic backgrounds or work experiences.

Ana Siqueira, a William Paterson University associate professor of management who will serve as director of the center, said the center aims to be instructive in many ways.

“Some of the themes of the virtual New Venture Incubator course will include developing entrepreneurial ingenuity, sources of capital, formulating the business model, mission and vision of the organization, taking the business online, community entrepreneurial solutions, as well as social and environmental responsibility,” she said.

Joshua Powers, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, said it’s about giving back in a new world of commerce.

“We formed this center so that our highly qualified faculty can serve as a resource for entrepreneurs and support business development initiatives in the region, nationally and internationally,” he said.