The University of Michigan's Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies is formally kicking off its Social Venture Fund this week.
The fund's purpose is to provide capital to "double-bottom-line" businesses in Detroit and southeast Michigan. Firms involved in education, healthcare, environment, finance, nutrition and urban revitalization will be the fund's primary targets.
The Social Venture Fund will also serve to introduce to students and the public the idea that businesses and society are inextricably linked, fund managing director Gautam Kaul said. "Leveraging the breadth and depth of the University's research and resources, the Social Venture Fund will provide a new breed of forward-thinking companies the strategic capital they need to change the world," he noted.
The fund will also provide valuable educational opportunities to students at the university's Ross School of Business, Zell-Lurie Institute executive director Tom Kinnear said.
"Combining rigorous and tangible venture capital experience with the more intangible, but critically important, social valuation experiences distinguishes us from our peers in entrepreneurial education," Kinnear indicated.
With corporate social initiatives growing larger and more ambitious, it appears that business and social good are linked as never before. The Zell-Lurie Institute is looking to move that trend forward.