Social Entrepreneurs Outline Challenges and Successes

Aug 11, 2016

Contact: Kristen Ciferri, 607.255.0179,

Social Entrepreneurs Outline Challenges and Successes

Ithaca, NY, August 11, 2016 - Mission-driven companies that provide needed community services face the same issues that affect all businesses, but social entrepreneurs also see multiple benefits from their operations, as detailed in the first Sustainable and Social Entrepreneurship Enterprises Roundtable conducted by Cornell’s Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship. A report of “Highlights from the 2016 Sustainable and Social Entrepreneurship Enterprises Roundtable,” by Jeanne Varney, is available at no charge from the Pillsbury Institute and the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research. Varney, who chaired the roundtable, is a lecturer at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration.

The twenty roundtable participants were a diverse group representing firms in the manufacturing, farm to table, consulting, food-service, and lodging industries. Several participants commented that they needed several iterations of their concept before they found the right market niche to address a community issue. In many instances, the desire to solve the identified problem and the recognition of a business opportunity occurred in rapid succession as these social enterprises were established.

“It’s interesting to note that these socially conscious firms must deal with the same issues as regular businesses, in addition to their sustainability or social principles,” said Varney. “For example, we discussed the importance of attracting and keeping the right employees. Corporate culture is a critical element here—both identifying that culture and making sure new hires fit that culture.”

Participants also pointed to the importance of understanding how customer values fit into the business proposition, and also the power of integrating sustainable and social welfare principles into their company’s core values.

About the Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship
The Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship engages leading industry experts and faculty to educate students and provide them with experiential opportunities to learn all aspects of entrepreneurship. To support these critical goals, the Pillsbury Institute offers students, entrepreneurs, and faculty an expanding range of courses, programs, and activities focused on advancing students’ entrepreneurship knowledge and mastery.

Institute Members: BCV • CPG Real Estate • Dartcor Management Services • Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts • HarborStone Hospitality • • InterContinental Hotels Group • Loews Hotels and Resorts • Montage Hotels and Resorts • Newport Hospitality • Phipps & Co. • Praxis Summit • Seaview Investors • Spencer Stuart • Suski Maki • Sweet Street Desserts • Thayer Lodging, Brookfield Hotel Properties • The Leading Hotels of the World • The Original Agency • Trillium Services Group • Turano Baking Company • Valley Forge Fabrics • Yui Designs

About the Center for Hospitality Research
The purpose of the Center for Hospitality Research is to enable and conduct research of significance to the global hospitality and related service industries. CHR also works to improve the connections between academe and industry, continuing the School of Hotel Administration's long-standing tradition of service to the hospitality industry. Founded in 1992, CHR remains the industry's foremost creator and distributor of timely research, all of which is posted at no charge for all to use. In addition to its industry advisory board, CHR convenes several industry roundtables each year for the purpose of identifying new issues affecting the hospitality industry.

Center Members: Accenture • Access Point Financial, Inc. • Barclaycard US • Cvent • Davis & Gilbert LLP • Deloitte & Touche USA LLP • DerbySoft • Duetto • Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts • Fox Rothschild LLP • Hilton Worldwide • Host Hotels & Resorts • Hyatt Hotels Corporation • IDeaS Revenue Solutions • InterContinental Hotels Group • Jumeirah Group • Marriott International • NTT DATA • Preferred Hotels & Resorts • • PwC • The Rainmaker Group • RateGain • ReviewPro • Sabre Hospitality Solutions • STR • Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces • Tata Consultancy Services • Wipro EcoEnergy • Wyndham Hotel Group