| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Jan 29 University of Utah's school of
business has received $13 million from technology entrepreneur
James Lee Sorenson to establish a center to advance investment
to organizations that demonstrate a benefit to society, the
university announced on Tuesday.
The new James Lee Sorenson Center for Global Impact
Investing will focus on the very early stages of investments
made into companies, organizations, and funds with the intention
of generating measurable social and environmental impact
alongside a financial return.
Universities such as Michigan, Duke, Oxford, and New York,
among others, have centers whose main focus is on social
entrepreneurship, while the University of Utah's primary focus
is on impact investing, said Lewis Hower, managing director of
A social entrepreneur is willing to look beyond conventional
wisdom and experiment with market-based approaches - such as
loans, not charity - to serve the social need, according to a
definition by the Stanford Social Innovation Review.
The Center will address social issues such as healthcare,
education, housing, sustainable and green energy, agriculture
and entrepreneurial livelihood training and development.
"The students will be focusing on finding the most promising
entrepreneurs and helping them develop their business plan,"
said Sorenson, founder of Sorenson Communications, Utah's
largest tech company and one of the nation's largest video relay
The Center will focus on research that fosters understanding
of how free enterprise can be employed to create large-scale
societal change; and curriculum development, including a
proposed minor in Impact Investing to teach and train students.
"Instead of taking an exam and hoping that you do well on
it, teams of students will be presenting investment
opportunities to Jim and his foundation. There is no more real
situation than that," said Taylor Randall, dean of the Eccles
School of Business at University of Utah.