UChicago Receives $5 Million for Social Entrepreneurship Program

The University of Chicago has announced a $5 million gift from trustee and Booth School of Business alumnus John Edwardson (MBA '72) to expand its offerings for social entrepreneurs.

The funds will be used to establish the Edwardson Social Entrepreneurship Program as part of Chicago Booth's Social Enterprise Initiative and expand SEI programming in other areas.

Edwardson's gift also will create a $2 million matching gift fund for SEI, underwrite a Social New Venture Challenge, and support co-curricular programming for students and post-challenge ventures by expanding participation in the Polsky Accelerator, which offers funding, office space, and mentorship to several social ventures each year. In 2013, Edwardson gave $5 million to fund the initiative's signature component — the John Edwardson, '72, Social New Venture Challenge, an annual social entrepreneurship competition that helps students figure out what form their social venture should take, how to fund their enterprise, and how to identify and cultivate a network of sector-specific advisors.

"I am delighted to support and expand the reach of Booth's Social Enterprise Initiative, particularly with the proven success of the Social New Venture Challenge," said Edwardson. "It's clear that many Booth students and alumni, as well as other UChicago students from a variety of disciplines, are committed to making a meaningful impact on social issues, and this gift will bolster that commitment for current and future students."