Wharton Social Wealth Program
The Wharton Societal Wealth Program (WSWP) is unique in its approach to social entrepreneurship. The basic hypothesis of the WSWP is that entrepreneurship may serve as a tool to combat social problems using a dual-mission for profit model. A key objective of the Societal Wealth Program is to harness resources to study how such firms succeed and scale and what key challenges they face that are unique to such firms. If successful a virtuous cycle is created: the more the problem is alleviated, the more the entrepreneur will earn, and the more the entrepreneur is motivated to further alleviate the problem. Projects are designed and tested out in the field in seed projects, and those that succeed will be scaled to other regions and continents.
"Wharton is positioning itself to combat social problems by mobilizing business in ways that create self-sufficiency for the poverty-stricken of the world, rather than generate dependency. We will be drawing on the talents of the entire University community to conceive of and generate business-driven solutions with significant impact."
Ian MacMillan, Dhirubhai Ambani Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship; Professor of Management; Director, Sol C. Snider Entrepreneurial Research Center
Two of the current projects which epitomize Societal Wealth’s mission of creating new economies and providing positive societal impact are introduced below:
- Zambia: An animal feed plant in Zambia was started in conjunction with Penn’s School of Veterinary Medicine, with six workers mixing feed with shovels on a cement floor. Today, over 100 workers are employed at the plant, which produces poultry feed for more than 1200 new chicken farmers who grow and sell the equivalent of 2.5 million daily protein servings per month in a region formerly regarded as poor and nutritionally deficient.
- USA: We are conducting research in technology commercialization, firm creation, and competitiveness with a view toward the deployment of technology in economically depressed regions.