Below is a great part in Chapter 8 "Philanthropy Is Good Business"
Whether your're a dentist or an employee in an oil and gas company, everyone needs to market themselves and their ideas. You might be pitching your boss or perhaps a group of potential investors. In either case, being able to make your case effectively is essential. I made my fortune as an engineer working in finance but it was my knowledge of- and passion for-marketing that made the difference. Maybe you can build the next great invention, but if you can't sell it, you don't have a business.
Students who leave schools without understanding marketing have a gap in learning, and we need to close that gap. Much of my philanthropic success has resulted from a marketing mindset. I often refer myself as an entrepreneurial philanthropist because I apply marketing approaches to my charitable work. In a very significant way, marketing levers the impact of both business and philanthropic pursuits. That's why it's so valuable.
Students at every age seeing that the real world has opportunity, and they're find ways to connect their knowledge and passion with what the world needs. I have on ongoing beef with academia because it normally links entrepreneurial studies with small business. That's a mistake. Entrepreneurship is a way of thinking. Small business is simply how many entrepreneurs start. When Murry Edwards built the Horizon Oil Sands Project inside Canadian Natural Resources Limited, he was being very entrepreneurial, but there was nothing "small business" about the process.
Unfortunately, entrepreneurial studies are usually confined to business schools. But the entrepreneurial process is relevant everywhere. A few years ago I made a multi-million-dollar commitment to fund the Wilson Centre for Entrepreneurial Excellence out of the University of Saskatchewan. The mandate of the school is to inspire innovation and entrepreneurial thinking in all colleges and disciplines at the university. Nursing and fine arts and engineering students, as well as those from every other college, are encourage to find ways to connect their learning with entrepreneurial opportunities.
With a little inspiration, an art historian could- as an entrepreneur-become one of the next great gallery owners, but we need to plant the seed early. I'm proud to say the WCEE has become a significant innovation incubator, connecting students and business leaders with investment opportunities focused on western Canada. These new ventures are part of the economic engine of our region, and each one, in its own way, is contributing "good" back to the larger community.
The first thing we need students to understand is that investing in community is not an expense, but an investment. Schools and university can be part of the process of changing that perception. Let's ask students important question such as: What's working? What's not working? What else can we do? What sort of effort can or should you put into philanthropy? What should you expect in return? By making philanthropy part of a core curriculum, we're able to extend the conversation to every student.
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