Nov. 18, 2020
Business as a force for good
Matt Knox, BA’12, is a University of Calgary graduate, a current MBA student, the MBA Society President and a lifelong volunteer. Thanks to the Haskayne School of Business, he can now add social entrepreneurship enthusiast to this list. Through connecting with faculty members, course material and internships, he’s exploring the concept of “doing well by doing good” — and he’s making the world a better place.
This year, the Haskayne MBA program made a large jump in the Corporate Knights Better World MBA global ranking — going from 75th spot to 33rd — and seventh of all business schools in Canada. The ranking is based on the number of sustainability-focused articles in peer-reviewed journals and citations, the number of core courses that incorporate sustainable development, research centres focused on sustainable development issues, and gender and racial diversity among faculty.
One hundred and fifty schools were evaluated (up from 146 in 2019) and were selected the from the 2020 Financial Times top 100 Global MBA programs — every program that made the 2019 Top 40 in the Corporate Knights Better World MBA Ranking and select MBA accredited programs.
Part of sustainable development includes social entrepreneurship — the notion that businesses can and should be about more than just profit. In 2019, Haskayne launched the Trico Foundation Social Entrepreneurship Centre, an initiative that aligns with this new perspective on business. The centre is focused using business to solve social problems while creating self-sustainable revenue models.
“We already know our MBA program is excellent, but rankings such as these give us confirmation that we’re offering the right types of programming to our graduate students,” says MBA program director Catherine Heggerud. “Our focus on social entrepreneurship is an important part of the curriculum and we’re proud to see such a big jump in our ranking year-over-year.”
Knox, pictured above, was first introduced to social entrepreneurship by Haskayne instructor Rosalynn Peschl. He was immediately hooked. This past summer, Knox completed an internship at Innovate Calgary’s Catalyze program, with eight other MBA students, where he worked with a local venture in health care to enhance their business model to create sustainable social impact.
Knox says that it can be scary for some traditional organizations to think of themselves as more than a business, but that it’s crucial in today’s landscape for them to do so. In addition to completing his MBA, Knox is passionate about giving back. He's currently an active Rotarian with Rotary International and serves on the board of Downstage Theatre, a Calgary-based theatre company focused on social change.
“I find social entrepreneurship to be personally very fulfilling," says Knox. "It combines giving back with the wisdom and knowledge of business. It’s not a hand out or a hand up, it’s a handshake that says we will be and do better.”
Learn more about Haskayne’s MBA program.