Past Event

Social Entrepreneurship Workshop for High School Students

August 17, 2020 - August 21, 2020
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Ready to be a social entrepreneur or just want to learn more about it?

Calling all high school students to apply for our social entrepreneurship workshop between August 17 - 21, 2020, organized by Building Blocks at Columbia University and Columbia Global Centers | Istanbul.


- Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. on July 22.
- If selected for the workshop or wait-listed, you will receive a notification including the payment method no later than July 29.
- Payment for your registration fee (750TL) must be received by August 3. 
- The workshop will be conducted in English; participants should have an excellent command of both written and spoken English.

This course is designed to give high school students an introduction to social entrepreneurship and empower them to create innovative solutions for their local and global communities.  

During the 5-day workshop, students will:
(1) Apply an entrepreneurial way of thinking to yield social impact
(2) Become familiar with the commonly used business model canvas and funding terms
(3) Speak to founders about their entrepreneurial journeys
(4) Design their own ventures and present their pitches

Curriculum topics
Day 1: Entrepreneurial Thinking - What is social entrepreneurship? Who is an entrepreneur? What problems exist and how can entrepreneurship be used to solve these problems?
Day 2: Business Model Canvas & Funding Strategies - What are the core elements of a
successful startup? How does one understand what a business does and how it makes money?
Day 3: Ideation - Where do new venture ideas come from? How do founders tackle major social problems? How can one improve society with a sustainable and/or profitable business model?
Day 4: Pitch Writing & Making - What is the role of storytelling in the venturing process? How do I tell a good story? What does it mean to have a good story?
Day 5: Pitch Practices & Competition - Final touches on your presentation and perfecting your pitches! What are the key takeaways from the course? How does this all fit together?

***Participants will receive a certificate of participation.***

About Building Blocks
In our interconnected and rapidly advancing society, innovation and entrepreneurship are becoming increasingly important. Building Blocks seeks to respond to these new dynamics by inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs. Building Blocks is is an initiative of Columbia Organization of Rising Entrepreneurs (CORE), the largest student-run organization at Columbia University, working to inspire, educate, and launch the next generation of student entrepreneurs.


Instructors & Teaching Assistants

Bhoomika Kumar (Instructor)

I am a rising sophomore at Columbia College, studying Biology and Statistics. I am interested in the intersection of biomedical sciences, healthcare, and entrepreneurship. On campus, I am involved with biomedical research at Columbia Medical Center (CUMC) in Dr. Sam Sia’s lab, working with point-of-care diagnostics and understanding their potential in healthcare markets of developed and developing countries. I am also an Operating Committee Leader (OCL) in the Columbia Organization of Rising Entrepreneurs (CORE), particularly involved with running the Almaworks Startup Accelerator. I have startup experience in the fields of biotech, beauty, and wellness, and have been interning at two startups this summer! Fun Fact about me: I have been dancing (Indian Classical!) ever since I was 4 years old, and I am a dancer on Columbia Taal. An avid supporter of sustainable innovation, I am always open to the discussion and debate of new ideas (both good and bad ideas!).

Shahreen Hossain (Instructor)

I am Shahreen Hossain, a rising sophomore at Barnard College of Columbia University studying neuroscience. I joined the Columbia Organization of Rising Entrepreneurs spring semester. As a pre-health student, entrepreneurship makes life beyond exciting. I'd call it my "good" stress. This summer I have been heavily involved in building out our Almaworks Fellowship. Meanwhile, I am interning for a non partisan platform to improve our democracy and doing environmental science research at Barnard to minimize arsenic contamination in well water at my hometown, Bangladesh! I grew up in New York. I am also an adventure enthusiast. Right before Covid-19 I traveled to Montreal, Paris, all of Morocco, and Amsterdam in 11 days with the money I saved from working multiple jobs during high school. Adana and Istanbul are high up on my travel list!

Angela Liu (Teaching Assistant)

Angela is a rising senior at Columbia University studying financial economics and English. Born in Chicago and raised in Portland, Oregon, Angela’s passion for startups and venture capital began in high school after taking a course called Economics of Innovation and co-founding her startup, StandTall Desks. Throughout college, Angela has gained professional experience in early-stage venture capital at Harlem Capital and consulting at McKinsey & Company. When Angela isn't finishing a problem set or planning an event for CORE, she can be found running in Central Park, curling up with a good book, and exploring cafés around New York City.

Sajjad Zafar (Teaching Assistant)

Sajjad is a rising Sophomore at Columbia University. Originally from Karachi, Pakistan, he is studying Computer Science and Economics at Columbia. On campus, one of the clubs he is involved with is CORE and he is extremely passionate about Entrepreneurship, particularly in developing countries like his own. He is also interested in Data Science and Developmental Economics.

Noga Hurwitz (Teaching Assistant)

Noga Hurwitz is an undergraduate student at Columbia University, pursuing a dual-bachelors degree in information science and ethics. On campus, she is a board member of the Columbia Organization of Rising Entrepreneurs; she also helps organize Almaworks, the startup accelerator for Columbia students. Noga is spending this summer back home in California where she spends most days balancing work with exploring the mountains and beaches nearby.

Bella Barnes (Teaching Assistant)

Bella Barnes is an old soul. Hailing from Kansas City, Missouri, part of her will always have a midwestern appreciation for a genuine handshake. She is a rising junior at Columbia University in New York City, double majoring in English and Urban Studies. Bella describes herself as an “Occasional Performer. Full-time Explorer.” She’s interested in the nexus of the arts, technology, journalism, and community and is fascinated by mapping spatial narratives. As a filmmaker and writer, Bella's work highlights the intrinsic desire for connection with others. Whether through analog photography, performance art, or film, her love of stories and people truly informs all that she does.