We celebrate the life of Jim Schorr, a former Board Chair, President & CEO of Social Enterprise Alliance, who passed away on February 11, 2019.
Jim was an incredible force in our field of work and devoted his life to providing pathways for social entrepreneurs to thrive. While an MBA student at Northwestern, he co-founded Net Impact, a non-profit focused on infusing business school curriculum with social conscience. With Net Impact, Jim served as a director and board chair for ten years, while the organization grew to inspire students at 200+ business schools on six continents. Jim became a leading expert in social entrepreneurship in various roles including CEO of San Francisco-based Juma Ventures, creating job opportunities for disadvantaged youth. He dedicated nearly two decades to advancing Social Enterprise Alliance as a Member, Nashville Chapter Co‐Founder, Summit Co‐Chair, Board Member and CEO. He was currently serving as Board Chair of the Social Enterprise World Forum – supporting the growth and development of social enterprises throughout the world.
Jim found his true passion — ensuring the next generation experiences, learns and ventures into social enterprise — while teaching at UC Berkeley. In 2009, he moved to Nashville to start the social entrepreneurship program at Vanderbilt University where he was a professor at the Owen Graduate School of Management and Peabody School of Education. At both Berkeley and Vanderbilt, Jim taught hundreds of students, helping to shape their future careers and our future world.
Undoubtedly, if you knew Jim, you experienced his generosity, optimism and mentorship firsthand. In every aspect of his personal and professional life, Jim was committed to building the movement of social enterprise and using it to transform lives. Jim has made an indelible impact on the lives of so many, including all of us in the SEA community.
It was Jim’s wish that his legacy be honored by contributions to one of the funds created in his memory for young social entrepreneurs to continue his work, such as Social Enterprise Alliance’s Pave a Path Campaign. We are proud to continue Pave a Path in Jim’s honor and further his work of creating opportunity for young social entrepreneurs through the Jim Schorr Scholarship. Donations to Pave a Path enable young social entrepreneurs to access SEA’s membership as well as attend SEA’s national convening, Summit, which was among Jim’s favorite experiences with SEA. Jim understood the power of connecting social entrepreneurs to one another and providing them a platform to share and celebrate their work. We are honored to continue his legacy by connecting future generations of social entrepreneurs to the resources and opportunities they need to thrive.
While deeply saddened by the loss of a truly inspirational friend, there is a bit of comfort in knowing our collective work continues to honor Jim’s impact and passion. We will be forever grateful for his commitment to and leadership of social enterprise.
A memorial for Jim will be held on Saturday, March 16, 2019 at 11 am at Benton Chapel at Vanderbilt University, with a reception to follow at Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management. Contributions to one of the student funds created in his memory for young social entrepreneurs to continue his work can be found at JimSchorrMemorial.com.