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BAR HARBOR, ME—College of the Atlantic received a grant for $100,000 from the William Carey Foundation to kick-start student enterprises and further the Sustainable Business Program.
The Carey funding will help the college operate the college’s Sustainable Ventures Incubator for a two-year pilot period. This incubator is an essential and unique feature of the college’s Sustainable Business Program. As part of their education, students in the incubator are mentored in the skills needed to start sustainable ventures. The aim of this program is to develop the local economy and link classroom learning to real-world experiences. COA students already have started both for-profit and non-profit ventures ranging from developing bio-fuel conversion kits for cars to international development in Afghanistan to urban agriculture.
All student ventures in the incubator emphasize sustainability as both an essential component of competitiveness and a powerful force for positive social, environmental, and economic returns. Once accepted into the incubator, students receive professional assistance and funding—critical resources and services that support the early stage of student-launched enterprises for twelve months.
Says Jay Friedlander, the Sharpe-McNally Chair in Green and Socially Responsible Business, who runs the Sustainable Business program, “We are grateful for the funding from the Carey Foundation. It is a validation of both COA’s Sustainable Business Program and the necessity of fostering student enterprises to create a vibrant sustainable economy. College students have long been trendsetters at the forefront of social, environmental, and economic change. What they lack are resources; the funding from the Carey Foundation maximizes their opportunity for success.”
With only about ten known institutions of higher education in the United States offering an undergraduate curriculum in sustainable business, COA’s program stands out for its support of traditional and social entrepreneurship. The Carey funding will help the college operate the Sustainable Ventures Incubator for a two-year pilot period. The W. P. Carey Foundation, founded by Wm. Polk Carey in 1988, is the embodiment of his philosophy: Doing good while doing well.
College of the Atlantic was founded in 1969 on the premise that education should go beyond understanding the world as it is to enabling students to actively shape its future. COA’s distinctive interdisciplinary approach to undergraduate education—human ecology—is especially well suited to developing leaders in all sectors of society to address the compelling and growing human needs of our world.