Starting this fall, uOttawa arts and social sciences students will benefit from a new hands-on learning initiative to foster entrepreneurial thinking and fuel their passion for helping others. Although student entrepreneurship (think Enactus uOttawa) is already encouraged and supported here, the new Arts and FSS Ventures Program will broaden the traditional notion of entrepreneurship from a business and technology approach to one that embraces the humanities, social sciences and fine arts.
“This initiative will expose many more students to entrepreneurship, while providing them with the tools they’ll need to take their social innovation to the next level,” says Maurice Lévesque, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences.
Efforts that put innovation at the heart of academic learning are already part of the vision and strategy of the faculties of Arts and Social Sciences.
For example, Kristine Puzon, a student in the Faculty of Social Sciences’ International Development and Global Studies program, is using the entrepreneurship/social innovation model to support the growth of an existing videography initiative, Youth Active Media. Through it, local youth from at-risk communities are learning how to create short films about issues affecting their lives. In addition to being empowered, the youth gain transferable skills in communications, scriptwriting and camera work, and receive paid employment opportunities.