DCU joins leading entrepreneurship network

DCU is the first university in Ireland to be designated an ‘Ashoka U Changemaker Campus’, joining a network of colleges and universities supporting the field of social entrepreneurship in education.

The ‘Changemaker Campus’ is a worldwide partnership of leaders in social innovation which was started by Ashoka, a non-profit organisation which supports social entrepreneurship.

President of DCU Professor Brian MacCraith and DCU lecturer Dr Emer Ní Bhrádaigh travelled to San Diego, California for the annual Ashoka Exchange conference on the 21st-23rd February. At the Exchange they were formally interviewed by three different panels before the accreditation was confirmed.

Speaking to The College View before the trip Ní Bhrádaigh explained they would be interviewed about existing social entrepreneurship in DCU, about “what we do and what we plan to do. What we see as our weaknesses that we’d like to develop, what we see as our strengths that we would like to build on”.

Two Ashoka representatives also visited DCU campus in January as part of the accreditation process where they met students from different societies including DCU Saint Vincent de Paul and Enactus.

On what the Changemaker status means for DCU Ní Bhrádaigh said “It’s about joining a network, it’s about being with like minded people…it’s about developing all aspects of social entrepreneurship on campus but also about what DCU can contribute to this international network.”

She explained that one of the reasons DCU applied for the initiative is that entrepreneurship is part of the university’s strategic plan vision.

As well as being interviewed for the accreditation MacCraith was a panelist at a conference in San Diego called ‘Growing a campus-wide ecosystem for social innovation’, alongside other university leaders.

An Ashoka social entrepreneur will visit DCU on 25th March. Dr Abdulfattah Abusrour is an Ashoka Fellow and founder of Beautiful Resistance, an arts-based community initiative in

Aisling Kett

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