Alumni Interview: Emily Bosland, Supporting Entrepreneurs Throughout the World

Originally from Las Cruces, New Mexico, Emily Bosland received her MBA in Sustainable Business, from the Leeds School in 2010. She currently works for Ashoka Changemakers.

How you are applying your Leeds and CESR education in the real world?

Courses like Professor Milner’s Social Entrepreneurship in Emerging Markets helped to define how I wanted to use my MBA upon graduation. Not only did this class provide me with a baseline of the field of social entrepreneurship, but it also laid the groundwork for hands-on work experience with Engineers without Borders (EWB). EWB is a great example of a global, social enterprise and working with the founder, Professor Amadei (an Ashoka Fellow), furthered encouraged me to pursue a career supporting social innovators around the world.

What are some of the distinguishing factors that make a business education based on social responsibility and values more meaningful and relevant to you?

I wasn’t just interested in balancing the books or developing marketing copy; I wanted to learn how business tools like financial management and marketing research could be leveraged for social and environmental benefit. Truly understanding the triple bottom line concept gave me a head start in my current work collaborating with corporations, foundations, and community members.

In what ways are you pushing boundaries in your field?

At Ashoka Changemakers, I’m moving beyond the traditional giving frameworks to a concept called Open Growth. Based on the core values — highlighted in CESR curricula — of transparency, accountability, and collective impact, Open Growth provides a community network for social innovators to build their own work while contributing to, and benefiting from, the work of others. Entrepreneurs can find support to help them leapfrog stages of development, while funders can simultaneously track the progress of innovations they invest in, and measure the effectiveness their efforts are having.

In what ways is your work involved in a global context and how has your business education prepared you for that?

 I support social entrepreneurs around the globe every day. Innovation knows no borders, so it’s important to understand that the next brilliant solution to one of our society’s most pressing problems may come from a community halfway across the globe. From case studies to project work to insightful discussions with international classmates, the CESR/Leeds curriculum helped prepare me for global work.

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