Georgia MBA launches social innovation emphasis

New emphasis combines profits and purpose

Matt Weeks | Aug. 06, 2019

A new emphasis in social innovation will position Georgia MBA students to apply their acumen to the interconnected worlds of business and society.

Beginning this fall, students in the Terry College’s Full-Time MBA Program can add the social innovation emphasis through 15 credit hours of dedicated coursework, including an applied learning experience in the social innovation space.

"Increasingly, Terry students want to balance profits with purpose – as do many companies that hire our students. The new area of emphasis in social innovation speaks to that,” said Terry College Dean Benjamin C. Ayers. “By giving our students the skills necessary to do good while doing well, the Terry College is evolving with the marketplace and the job-ready skills that can be put into practice immediately.”

Through the emphasis, Georgia MBA students will have opportunities to work with a variety of businesses seeking to benefit their communities. 

“Corporations will continue to play a key role in influencing both society and government. This area of emphasis will equip Georgia MBA graduates with the right skill set to make a difference in both areas at once,” said Santanu Chatterjee, director of the Full-Time MBA and MS in Business Analytics programs. “It’s a great fit for students who want to use their education to further community-minded initiatives through a business perspective.”

Terry MBA students have already completed capstone projects with several certified B Corporations. The certification requires them to consider the impact of their decisions on workers, customers, suppliers, the community and the environment. 

Recently, a team of Georgia MBA students helped Athens-based home builder Imery Group achieve B Corporation status, the first home builder in Georgia to do so.

“I’m truly grateful to the student team from Terry College. … We couldn’t have done it without them,” said Imery Group CEO Luis Imery (MBA ’03). “We’ve always tried to be transparent and accountable in the way we do business. The B Corp assessment rewards this approach and challenges us to go even further in creating benefits for the community.”

In addition to private-sector businesses, students adding the social innovation emphasis have opportunities to partner with educational and nonprofit organizations, such as Extra Special People, Creature Comforts, Books for Keeps and the Clarke County School District, bringing their business skills and know-how to the public sector.