Raj Thakkar is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Service at NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. He is widely considered a national expert on charter school finance, is a social entrepreneur committed to the fiscal solvency of charter schools. In 2006, he founded Charter School Business Management (CSBM), proclaimed by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing companies of 2013, to prevent charter schools from being closed due to financial mismanagement. CSBM, a Certified B Corporation dedicated to using business to solve social problems, currently manages over $600 million in public funds providing over 150 clients with the financial “peace of mind” needed to focus on the crucial work of educating students. These services include management of a school’s accounting, bookkeeping, payroll, budgeting, financial reporting, forecasting and audit preparation responsibilities. For three years in a row, Crain’s New York named CSBM one of the Best Places to Work in NYC. In recognition of CSBM’s impact, Mr. Thakkar was named one of the 50 Outstanding Asian Americans in Business by the Asian American Business Development Center, one of the Top Entrepreneurs of 2013 by Crain’s magazine and the Small Business Person of the Year for the NY district by the U.S. Small Business Administration in 2011. He is also a graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, an initiative to help small businesses grow responsibly. In order to continue making a positive impact in New York City, Mr. Thakkar recently launched a second brand, FOREsight Financial Services For Good, which empowers other types of nonprofits with the financial knowledge and services they need to develop and maintain fiscal solvency.
He received his Bachelors in Engineering Science from Hofstra University and MBA in Finance from NYU’s Stern School of Business. His parents who were entrepreneurs came to the U.S. to pursue better educational opportunities for him and his sibling. Today, Mr. Thakkar is grateful for the ability to honor his parents by helping other parents and entrepreneurs to do the same.
This course is designed to help students learn how to launch and scale social enterprises. Using business as a force for good, social entrepreneurs implement innovative private sector approaches to solve social, cultural and/or environmental problems. Surviving start-up and scaling to maximize impact is an art, science and emotional journey, especially when attempted without investors. Statistics show that approximately 4% of small businesses surpass $1 million in revenues, while only 0.4% surpass $10 million. The course begins by exploring methods and motivations of Certified B Corporations and draws upon the real-life successes and challenges faced by social entrepreneurs. Students will complete several activities and projects to simulate the launching and scaling of their own social enterprises and should leave the course empowered with the tools, knowledge and depth of vulnerability involved with building a successful organization.
Using “business as a force for good”, social entrepreneurs implement innovative private sector approaches to solve social, cultural and/or environmental problems. Surviving start-up and scaling to maximize impact is both an art and a science, especially when attempted without outside investments. Statistics show that approximately 10% of small businesses surpass $1 million in revenues, while only 0.5% surpass $10 million. Fundamentals of Social Entrepreneurship will draw upon the real-life successes and challenges faced by the professor and other social entrepreneurs in structuring and scaling their enterprises. Students will read several articles, watch videos and complete group projects to experience the launching and scaling of their own social enterprises.