Feel-good T-shirts for college students

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Enthusiasm for social entrepreneurship has trickled from business schools down to the undergraduate level. BusinessWeek tells the story of T-shirt company Edun and Miami University of Ohio.

The idea: create sustainable employment in sub-Saharan Africa, get college students interested in social entrepreneurship, and keep making lots of fraternity and sorority T-shirts. Oh, and there's a Bono connection, of course.

A good idea, although the impact has been limited to date. As I read the article, it seems that $2000 has been raised, which will fund (a fraction of) a student trip to an Edun factory in Africa. Sounds like a lesson in boondoggles as much as social entrepreneurship, but the T-shirt purchases themselves do keep those factories going. Hopefully the anticipated roll-out to other schools will increase impact.

(From our friends at Wikipedia: "Boondoggle is also known in the business world, for trips taken to 'exotic' or popular locations for a meeting. Usually, these meetings could have been either handled over the phone or not occurred all together.")

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quitacet
January 13, 2007

well, de gustibus non est disputandum.