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The social power of business

So what’s the best part of studying at the University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management? Discovering the social power of business, says fourth-year student Kanika Gupta, a self-described social entrepreneur who has taken advantage of opportunities offered by the School to hone her knowledge and skills both inside and outside the classroom.

Gupta, winner of the 2007 Telfer School of Management Alterna Savings Award for Social Responsibility Leadership, used her business savvy to help the Telfer-based Commerce and Administration Student Charity Organization raise almost $28,000 for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in 2007. The Ottawa native has also put her skills to use overseas, working with a grassroots organization in Togo to help young entrepreneurs expand their businesses.

Inspired by her African experience, Gupta recently founded Nukoko, a non-profit youth organization dedicated to sustainable development. Nukoko, which means "smile" in a Togolese dialect, is already making progress in promoting education, youth engagement and community development in West Africa. Gupta will receive her bachelor of commerce degree this spring and is planning a career in social entrepreneurship. “I see thousands of possibilities,” she says. “The difficulty is deciding which one to pursue.”