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Social Justice Entrepreneurship

Running a successful business doesn’t have to mean destroying the environment and exploiting employees. IIE is offering a 4 week workshop on Social Justice Entrepreneurship (SJE) that will teach you how to make a profit while making positive contributions to your community. Apply now to structure your business to meet the triple bottom line of People, Planet and Profits. Whether you have an existing product, service, or technology or an idea for one, we’ll work with you to help bring your ideas to life. Sessions are two hours each. Participants who attend all four sessions can compete for cash prizes by presenting your ideas for a just and sustainable business in a final pitchfest.

As kickoff to our Social Justice Entrepreneurship program, associate director Dr. Ebony Utley is offering “Kemetic Yin” a free social justice yoga class that combines Ancient Egyptian yoga with mindfulness, meditation, and conversation about how yoga can be a form of care for oneself and one’s community on March 11th. Register at

Meeting Dates:

Thursday, March 18 | 5:30pm - 7:30pm

Thursday, March 25 | 5:30pm - 7:30pm

Thursday, April 8 | 5:30pm - 7:30pm

Thursday, April 15 | 5:30pm - 7:30pm

Anyone may attend, but non-registered participants cannot compete in the final pitch competition.

  1. Defining SJE

    • During the first session, attendees will learn to distinguish business from capitalism. The concepts of worker ownership, micropreneurship, and economic democracy will be introduced. A history and critique of late stage capitalism will be presented.

  2. Disrupting SJE

    • In the second session, attendees will learn to identify vulture capitalism and vampire corporations by studying the anti-SJE practices of some of the worst offenders. Alternative corporate structures such as Benefit Corporations and alternative organizational structures will be introduced.

  3. Engaging SJE

    • While the previous two sessions are lecture-style led by Dr. Carlos and Steve Boyer, this session uses breakout rooms to give attendees small group time with local SJE practitioners.

  4. Creating SJE

    • This competition is only open to those who attended the previous workshops. The emphasis of this pitch competition will be placed on creating profit through a SJE model.


Dr. Ebony Utley

Ebony UtleyEbony A. Utley, Ph.D. is a professorpreneur. As a Professor of Communication Studies at California State University Long Beach, she researches, publishes, and teaches interpersonal communication. Her expertise has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Network as well as other national and international radio, print, and online outlets. As an entrepreneur, she curates experiences and develops products for social impact. Her contributions include but are not limited to raising awareness about the dark side of technology, improving romantic relationship communication, supporting women recovering from infidelity, preventing domestic violence, and healing through yoga. Her two worlds collide as the Associate Director for the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at CSULB.

Dr. Alfredo Carlos

Dr. Alfredo Carlos Dr. Alfredo Carlos is a Faculty Member in Political Science and Chicano and Latino Studies at California State University, Long Beach. He is also the Executive Director of the Foundation for Economic Democracy. He is a proud product of California public school systems. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Irvine where he specialized in the fields of Political Economy, Political theory, and American Racial and Urban Politics. He earned his M.A. in Political Science from California State University, Long Beach with a focus in Comparative Politics and International Relations and his B.A. is in History and Chicano Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. In 2013-14, he was a University of California President's Dissertation Year Fellow as well as a Q. A. Shaw McKean, Jr. Fellow with the School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers University. His articles have appeared in Latin American Perspectives and Ethnicities. He is the co-author of The Latino Question (Pluto, 2018).

Steve Boyer

Steve Boyer

Steve Boyer is an artist, designer, inventor, entrepreneur and educator with over 25 years of experience developing technology and creating content for a wide variety of interactive media including video games, electronic toys, musical instruments and fine art installations. He has served as a software engineer, hardware engineer, designer and producer at top media entertainment companies and has been on the faculty of the leading art, design and technology programs in the US including The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Otis College of Art and Design and The University of California at San Diego.

Mr. Boyer earned his Master of Architecture degree at The Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) commonly recognized as one of the finest architectural design schools in the world. He also served as Director of Research and Development for Interactive Entertainment at Vivendi Games and is the founder of three startups. This balance of academic, corporate and entrepreneurial experience leaves him well-qualified to address a broad variety of problems, synthesizing technical, artistic and business skills.





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