The CAUSE is Social Entrepreneurship

The newly created Center for Advancement & Understanding of Social Enterprises is working with the community to support businesses with a dual purpose, satisfying both a social and a
business mission.

Social entrepreneurship is more involved than donating a percentage of profits to a good cause. Management professor Paul Miesing, the founder and director of CAUSE said, “Social enterprise allows us to turn an environmental or social problem into economic opportunity.” For instance, the first of many CAUSE conferences and forums focused on developing new assistive living technologies. ALT-1 connected innovators and entrepreneurs with an interest in developing products and services for senior citizens and people with disabilities. CAUSE is collaborating with local nonprofit Living Resources and its CEO Fred Erlich B.A. ’69, M.S.W. ’72, M.B.A. ’94 to stimulate interest in startups wanting to use this technology. See box below to see all that CAUSE has accomplished in a few short months.

The recently established CAUSE advisory council is looking to fulfill their social and business mission by working on eliminating food deserts, the lack of healthy food in low income neighborhoods.

See more stories on entrepreneurship in this issue: The path of entrepreneur Norm Snyder ’83,  the opening of the Blackstone LaunchPad and Standish Professor of Entrepreneurship Bill Wales exploring the health care system of Costa Rica.

Fred Erlich and Paul Meising
Julianne Clouthier and Michael Zakkour
Living Resources CEO Fred Erlich, B.A. ’69, M.S.W. ’72, M.B.A. ’94 and CAUSE director, Associate Professor Paul Miesing, at the first CAUSE conference, ALT-1
Julianne Clouthier ’15 speaks to author Michael Zakkour at the first event of the CAUSE speaker series.

CAUSE Events past and future

ALT-1 Assistive Living Technologies: Shaping a Future Where Technology Enables Independent Living. June 2015

Forum on Social and Economic Development: The Role for Entrepreneurship. June 2015

Forum on Social and Economic Development: Cuba – Cross-National Comparisons and Analyses. February 2016

Speaker Series: Michael Zakkour, “GLOBALIZATION 2.0: How Alibaba, Amazon and Chinese Consumers have Remade the World” in conjunction with the UAlbany Confucius Institute
and the Confucius Institute for Business. March 2016

Forum on Social and Economic Development: Organizing a book volume for SUNY Press – Social and Economic Development in Transitioning and Market-Based Economies:
Social Enterprises, Entrepreneurship and Microenterprise as Integrating Institutions. September 2016

ALT-2 Assistive Living Technologies: Veterans. Fall 2016


CAUSE Advisory Council

Robert Bullock,
Deputy Director for Operations, the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government

Diane Conroy-LaCivita ’87,
Executive Director, International Center of the Capital Region

James Dias,
Ex-officio UAlbany Vice President for Research

Fred Erlich, B.A.’69, M.S.W. ’72, M.B.A.’94,
CEO, Living Resources

Laurie Kirchman,
Entrepreneurship Coordinator, Radix Center

Steve Lobel ’70,
Vice President, Anchor Agency, Inc.

Linda MacFarlane ’88,
Executive Director, Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region

Patrick Pipino MBA ’96,
Owner/President, Ben & Jerry’s of Saratoga

Robert Schwartz,
Founder and Chairman, Schwartz Heslin Group, Inc. and UAlbany lecturer

Janet Tanguay,
Entrepreneurship Manager, Capital Region Chamber of Commerce