A cycle of service-learning and social enterprise: Redefining the parameters of community partnerships and service-learning outcomes
Leigh Gilchrist, Assistant Professor, Vanderbilt University [leigh.z.gilchrist@vanderbilt.edu]
Sharon Shields, Professor, Vanderbilt University [sharon.l.shields@vanderbilt.edu]
Ravi Patel, medical student, Vanderbilt University [ravi.patel@vanderbilt.edu]


Keywords: Social enterprise, conceptual framework, social entrepreneurship

Track: Theoretical or conceptual frameworks to advance research

Format: Team presentation

Date & time: Friday 2:00-3:10
Location: Salon 5

This presentation will examine the outcropping of a social enterprise (Nashville Mobile Market) from a Vanderbilt undergraduate service-learning course. Drawing from the evolution of this course-enterprise relationship, we are proposing a framework, which illuminates a cycle beginning with a service-learning course to the development of a social enterprise and back to the classroom. This framework is built upon an understanding of a sustained community-student-engagement web representing the connections of partnerships aimed at connecting students, community, and faculty. This framework is moving us to reframe faculty roles, create a sustainable web of partnerships, and develop generative-reflective student learners.

Social enterprises are broadly defined as the use of nongovernmental, market-based approaches to address social issues, and these social enterprise efforts have become an increasingly popular means of funding and supplying social initiatives (Kerlin, 2006).Similar to service-learning, social enterprise models are built upon community initiative and respond to the needs and deficits in the community. Social enterprise represents a vital area of inquiryfor service-learning researchers and practitioners as they begin to question the boundaries of community partnerships and student outcomes set by previous efforts in the field.

Austin, J., Stevenson, H., & Wei-Skillern. (2006). Social and commercial entrepreneurship: Same, different, or both. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 30(1), 1-22.

Cushman, E. (September, 2002). Sustainable service learning programs. College Composition and Communication, 54(1), 40-65.

Eyler, J., & Giles, D. (1999). Where’s the learning in service-learning? San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Kerlin, J. (2006). Social enterprise in the United States and Europe: Understanding and learning from differences. Voluntas, 17, 247-263.

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