Creating Social Value Blog / Social Innovation

The Launch of The Fashion Entrepreneurial Initiative

By Sasha Effron, Babson Graduate Student and member of The Fashion Entrepreneurial Initiative.

Why fashion? Professor Caroline Daniels described a crucial moment when she realized that over 25% of her students were interested in pursuing careers in fashion—either in their own start-up ventures or at major brands and corporations. She recognized enormous potential to engage a collective group of students and stakeholders in the fashion industry in order to exchange resources, to collaborate, and ultimately, to create an impact.

Such a revelation is not new to the Babson community. With the success of Food Sol in coalescing the community of food entrepreneurs at Babson as a guide, Caroline recruited a team of students and established The Fashion Entrepreneurial Initiative, a community that supports entrepreneurs interested in creating a positive social, environmental, and economic impact in the fashion industry.

Over the course of the summer, our team had so many conversations and exchanges about what the platform would look like. Our vision has changed considerably along the way, and this change has been an exciting and educational part of the process. When it came time to host our kick-off event, The Fashion Table, the team said to each other “let’s just start and see what happens.”


The Fashion Entrepreneurial Initiative’s kick-off event, The Fashion Table.

We were overwhelmed and excited by a turnout of 85 graduate and undergraduate students as well as members of various campus centers including CWEL, The Blank Center, and The Lewis Institute. Now, our direction is being refined by the feedback attendees offered so that we can shape the platform to meet the needs and desires of our community. We are putting our entrepreneurship skills to work and building out offerings our audience wants, while still taking care to include content or ideas perhaps they haven’t thought of before.

Our next event, The Future of Fashion, is an industry panel of both corporate and start-up companies that will offer a full spectrum of innovative changes occurring in the industry. But we are also thinking about other sectors fashion impacts, such as technology, the environment, and social initiatives. We see the potential to engage other clubs to create synergies on campus and are working on several ideas, including a hackathon in partnership with the Babson IoT club around technology transforming retail.

As someone who struggled with the decision between fashion school or a business degree, I’m incredibly optimistic about the developments of The Fashion Entrepreneurial Initiative. I chose business because I wanted to master more than fashion design—I wanted to help transform business processes in an industry I loved. While everyone’s stories and interests vary, our team has witnessed that at the heart of this platform are passionate, creative, and dynamic students and faculty who are eager to get involved in fashion in a very big way. If you’re interested in learning more, we hope to see you this Monday, November 14th at The Future of Fashion.