University of Bayreuth, Press Release No 104/2021 27 July 2021
New "Social Entrepreneurship" professorship from autumn 2021 at the University of Bayreuth
As one of the first universities in Germany to do so, the University of Bayreuth is including the subject of "Social Entrepreneurship" in its range of courses with a new junior professorship created specifically for this purpose. The University is thus taking an innovative and important step to highlight the topic of start-ups in their social relevance, and is further expanding its strong offering for those interested in this exciting field.
"We are clearly seeing a trend towards social entrepreneurship in business and society. Until recently, it was still considered a niche topic with its participatory orientation and public welfare-oriented goals. Today, the number of start-ups with business models based on social issues such as migration, climate change, and social cooperation is increasing enormously," explains University President Prof. Dr. Stefan Leible. "We are responding to this development with our new professorship. In doing so, we are not simply fulfilling a societal need, we are also consolidating our reputation as 'GründerUni Bayreuth' (Founders’ University Bayreuth) and expanding our range of courses to students in a field full of promise."
On 1 September this year, Dr Eva Alexandra Jakob will take up the tenure-track W3 state-funded junior professorship for Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Bayreuth. Her doctorate on social responsibility in established and new companies at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, which she completed in 2019, as well as the expansion of research activities with doctoral funding in the context of start-up support based thereon, make her an ideal addition to the already existing teaching and research body of the Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation. The topic of social entrepreneurship has intrigued her for several years. For example, she raised the profile of social entrepreneurship in the TecUP technology transfer and start-up centre at the University of Paderborn, and created various qualification and networking formats within this framework. In addition to this and other practical activities, such as a DAAD-funded project to promote start-ups with a focus on green technology in Ghana, Dr Jakob has been researching various issues in the areas of social entrepreneurship and corporate social responsibility since 2014.
In fact, the topic is not entirely new to the Bayreuth Campus. With activities such as the Social Entrepreneurship Camp and successful student initiatives such as enactus, which recently took second place in the National Cup, the University recognised the relevance of the topic very early on, and implemented corresponding initiatives. "I would like to build on this motivation and momentum, and grow the University of Bayreuth into a significant and innovative centre for all those aspiring to tackle our most pressing social problems," says Dr Eva Jakob. More interactive platforms are planned to skill up those interested in founding a start-up, and to promote networking with already active founders, investors, and SMEs. In addition to these new formats, research on social entrepreneurship is to be more thoroughly integrated and expanded.
The professorship will begin its work in the winter semester by supplementing teaching with further offerings in the area of social entrepreneurship. An important function of the professorship will be to offer the teaching of skills, but also to network stakeholders and to establish further suitable forms of cooperation to support (prospective) founders in navigating their way between business models and social relevance. Parties interested in this, who would like to support the development of the University of Bayreuth as an important centre for social start-ups, are all welcome.