01 Dec 2016
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HBS Alumni Contribute to Business and Society

Re: Josh Lerner

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Josh Lerner, Head of the Entrepreneurial Management Unit and the Jacob H. Schiff Professor of Investment Banking at HBS, recently led a research study aimed at quantifying the economic and social contributions of Harvard University graduates in the United States and abroad. The 2015 Harvard Impact Study sheds light on the influence of alumni in three distinct areas: entrepreneurship, board service, and volunteerism.

“Not surprisingly,” Lerner observes, “entrepreneurship among HBS alumni is particularly impressive.” More than half of HBS respondents had founded one or more currently operating, for-profit or nonprofit organizations. “Excluding financial service organizations,” he notes, “HBS founders are responsible for nearly 11 million jobs worldwide, across an estimated 43,000 companies and organizations.”

In terms of board service, 90 percent of HBS company founders and 75 percent of those who have not founded companies have served on corporate and/or nonprofit boards, including current service in more than 140,000 organizations across the globe. Non-founders who responded to questions about volunteerism named education as a top area of focus, followed by business/economy and human spirituality/religion. The study showed that roughly 20,000 non-founder alumni are logging an estimated 295,000 volunteer hours each month in US and international organizations.

Reflecting on the results of the study, Lerner says, “I think a lot of us — donors included — have long assumed that HBS graduates are central players in creating jobs, guiding boards, and giving back to their communities. The survey demonstrates the extent to which that assumption is spot-on.”

(courtesy Harvard University)

“Excluding financial service organizations, HBS founders are responsible for nearly 11 million jobs worldwide, across an estimated 43,000 companies and organizations.”

Josh Lerner, Head of the Entrepreneurial Management Unit and the Jacob H. Schiff Professor of Investment Banking

 

The 2015 Harvard Impact Study: HBS Alumni
A Harvard-wide research study to explore and quantify the economic and social impact of alumni founder activity, board service, and volunteerism. Here is a selection of results for HBS alumni.

Entrepreneurship


*In addition to the annual revenue generated by organizations founded by HBS alumni,
graduates of the School have founded financial services firms that manage over $10 trillion.

Board Service


HBS Community Partners of Northern California alumni volunteers participate in a brainstorming session with leaders of a nonprofit organization that helps low-income youth in San Francisco succeed in college and beyond.
(courtesy HBS Community Partners)

 

Volunteerism


Learn More


For a summary of results from the Harvard Impact Study, visit community.harvard.edu/alumniimpact.

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