IEI’s Commitment to Diversity

The IEI is proud to support student, alumni, faculty and staff founders of various backgrounds, and has always encouraged entrepreneurs of different experiences and perspectives to participate in our programs.

IEI’s Commitment to Diversity

In order to formally assess participant diversity, we added optional self-report response categories for race, gender and ethnicity to our 2020-21 competition registration processes. Fox IEI competitions represent culminating steps for the students’ entrepreneurial journeys and provide us the opportunity to measure success of our inclusivity efforts. We conduct blind reviews of our competition submissions to minimize implicit bias.

All Competition Submissions

(Idea Competition, Changemaker, BYOBB)

Top 25% of Rated Submissions

(based on multiple blind judges scores)

Verified by the Temple University Data Verification Unit 11.8.2021

Social Impact Programs 

The IEI is committed to helping create a better world through entrepreneurship, business and innovation. All of our co-curricular and academic programs highlight the power of multi-bottom-line approaches to solving social problems as well as the competitive advantage that comes from having a clear mission that can inspire key stakeholders.

Our Social Impact programs are focused on the following major social problem areas:

  • Human rights,
  • Hunger,
  • Environmental Degradation, 
  • Racial discrimination,
  • Gender discrimination,
  • Religious discrimination and
  • Economic inequality.

In order to support students interested in addressing social problems, we run a range of programs focused on Social Entrepreneurship. These programs culminate in our Social Impact Summit in which dozens of teams compete for early stage funding and launch multi-bottom-line ventures that impact critical social problems. In addition, we collaborate with other schools and colleges in order to help them incorporate more creative problem solving, innovation, and entrepreneurial thinking into courses and programs. For example, since 2017 we have worked with the College of Liberal Arts to incorporate “Critical Doing” creative problem solving approaches in the Intellectual Heritage GenEd course and thus helped train thousands of students to identify innovative solutions to complex social problems. 

Programs to Offset Inequality

While entrepreneurship offers a path to transform lives and society—from financial success, to increased impact, job creation, greater work satisfaction—evidence and current events show that underrepresented groups face specific challenges in various aspects of the entrepreneurial journey. The IEI has created specific programs to help offset these challenges and continue to expand opportunities. Our goal is that all students and alumni of Temple have the best access to Philadelphia’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and entrepreneurial resources everywhere.

Thanks to the generous gift of Lori Hermelin Bush, the IEI runs a dedicated seed fund that advances women in entrepreneurship. The Lori Hermelin Bush Seed Fund provides seed funding ranging from $500-$10,000 based on defined needs and stage of the business venture. In addition, for more than 20 years the IEI and Temple University has run the League for Entrepreneurial Women, a premier speaker and networking event which seeks to address the challenges and interests of entrepreneurial women in the Temple community, Greater Philadelphia area, and beyond. Finally, the IEI supports the student-run Women’s Entrepreneurial Network, encouraging women to learn entrepreneurial skills and pursue their entrepreneurial goals.

The Fox School of Business has supported Mid-Atlantic Diamond Ventures (MADV) since 2003. MADV helps “level the playing field” for those without the networks or other pre-existing access to angel investors and venture capital. Over this period, MADV has assisted 400+ emerging firms, or 36-40 companies per year, making it the largest venture forum program in the region based on annual clients served. MADV has an established track record in advancing start-up companies to the next level and is committed to providing equal access to all services and programs.

Since 2019 the IEI has run courses and programs as part of B4USoar, which introduces  students from seven Philadelphia high schools to high-quality college education while illustrating how they can thrive in higher learning institutions. This program provides high school students with the tools, support, and confidence to succeed in college while earning college credits that are fully paid and transferrable. The entrepreneurship courses are designed to help students develop next-generation leadership skills while empowering them to recognize that a high school student from Pennsylvania can change the world. In addition, from 2008 through 2018, Fox, Temple, and IEI supported Philadelphia Futures program training high school students in entrepreneurial thinking and new venture creation.

In 2017, IEI piloted a course focused on empowering women entrepreneurs. By 2019 this was broadened to focus on empowering all disadvantaged groups. The course examines the factors which motivate people to become business owners and analyzes the unique issues that various demographic and socioeconomic groups face as entrepreneurs. This course helps students understand their own capabilities and interest in being an entrepreneur and is valuable to all students regardless of background. The course also identifies specific resources, skills, and strategies that may be used to “level the playing field” for entrepreneurs.

Commitment to Continuous Improvement

We continue to push towards even more equity, diversity and inclusiveness across our programs. We have conducted an internal review of existing programs and highlighted a few specific areas for improvement. We are committed to improving these areas in the short term.

  • Enhanced diverse representation in our mentor pools
  • Continue to increase diversity among guest speakers and adjunct faculty
  • Expand early-stage funding opportunities for students and alumni