Taking Social Entrepreneurship beyond the Classroom

By Taylor Borden, Marketing and Communication Intern, Center for Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship

Professor Jan Detter’s Social Entrepreneurship class was designed to celebrate creativity and innovation while focusing on the “Pro Humanitate” spirit of Wake Forest.

As the semester winds to a close, it is clear that it did exactly that.

Gabby Henriksen, Kate Lair, Will May, Imani Menard and Madison Van De Hey, all students enrolled in the class, collaborated with Providence Restaurant to host a student night on April 18th.

Providence Restaurant is affiliated with Second Harvest Food Bank and works in conjunction with the Triad Community Kitchen Culinary Training Program, an opportunity for those who have criminal backgrounds or are homeless or unemployed. It is a food industry training program, where students learn about catering, kitchen safety, and develop basic culinary skills to boost their workplace readiness for future food industry endeavors. Jeff Bacon, who is heavily involved with the training program, is also the head chef at Providence Restaurant, where many of these students further hone their new skillset.

Providence Restaurant is a farm-to-table restaurant with a cosmopolitan twist working towards a worthy cause. These five students became extremely interested in the mission it was carrying out in the community throughout their semester in Social Entrepreneurship and worked closely with Chef Bacon to develop a Wake Forest student night.

Their initial goal was to create an opportunity for other WFU students to interact with a local nonprofit and form stronger ties with socially minded entrepreneurial endeavors beyond the university. Members of the WFU community came together that Tuesday night to enjoy appetizers and drinks along with 20% off their meal. It was a successful event and will be happening again next semester.

Gabby, Kate, Will, Imani and Madison were able to apply what they were learning in the classroom out in the wider Winston-Salem community, an incredible experience with a positive community outcome. Our program is constantly encouraging our students to pursue projects like these and we are so excited to see their great work flourish next semester, too!