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2018 Social Enterprise Boot Camp

On September 8, the school hosted its second-annual Social Enterprise Boot Camp, a joint cooperation between the Johns Hopkins SAIS Social Enterprise Accelerated Fund (SAF) and the Johns Hopkins University Social Innovation Lab (SIL) based in Baltimore, Maryland.

The one-day hands-on intensive program, led by Alex Riehm, director SIL and Professor Cinnamon Dornsife, faculty advisor of SAF, offered an introduction to the six-month SIL program. Johns Hopkins SAIS students, along with Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business students based in Washington, DC were provided intensive trainings focused on enhancing skills essential for launching and leading a community project, non-profit or mission-driven business.

SIL aims to accelerate emerging ventures and leaders that seek to change the world through the support of funding, mentorship, office space and workshops, as well as the opportunity to connect and collaborate with other entrepreneurs. Since 2011, SIL has supported 72 ventures. Currently accepting applications, it looks forward to welcoming its new cohort later this fall.

In addition to the Boot Camp, students also had the opportunity to participate in the PITCH YOUR IDEA competitive event, which offers a platform to present their novel ideas of emerging projects to a panel of social innovators.

This year, Master of Arts in International Economics and Finance (MIEF) student Franck Ouattara won first-place with his idea for the “Firefly Pen,” an integrated LED pen that projects light on surfaces. The pen will allow students in low electrification areas to study and read at night by providing them with an alternative light source. It is light, easy to use, reusable, and will feature renewable energy in upcoming versions. The pen will also improve education by increasing students’ productivity.