The Harvey Najim Center for Business Innovation and Social Responsibility
The Harvey Najim Center for Business Innovation and Social Responsibility is a partnership between the Greehey School of Business, the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; the School of Science, Engineering and Technology; and the School of Law, created by a gift from Harvey Najim.
The Najim Center provides knowledge and experiential learning opportunities for St. Mary’s students within the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; and business, engineering, and law school students while at the same time delivering measurable commercial benefit to San Antonio businesses, economic development and non-governmental organizations and agencies.
The Najim Center provides an internal resource which encourages product and operational innovation by the St. Mary’s community and/or to vet out new product development and/or innovative solutions to producing existing products from within the university. We create interdisciplinary and cross-functional opportunities for learning in the areas of business innovation and social responsibility by identifying projects with global, local and nonprofit organizations.
Do you have an idea, concept or service you want to commercialize?
We create low-cost, high-quality consulting opportunities for businesses and unique learning opportunities for our students. Projects may include topics such as sustainable product development, waste reduction, energy efficiency, market entry strategy, entrepreneurship and start-ups, micro-business, double bottom line strategy, and more. Project teams may work with traditional project management methods or collaborate with new models such as participatory design. Projects should be approximately 12 weeks in length and require two of the following disciplines: business, legal and engineering.
Is there a fee for projects?
Project costs vary. You’ll need to provide an internal sponsor at your company to serve as a point of contact, as well as a fee to cover the cost of faculty supervisors, travel, equipment, etc.
Whom can I contact to sponsor a project?
For more information or to learn about how to apply for a project as a business, please contact Hugh Stevens.
Faculty supervise student projects as a part of capstone, senior design, or independent study courses. We work with faculty from business, legal, and engineering disciplines. Student teams may have secondary supervisors for interdisciplinary projects.
Students learn through real projects on interdisciplinary teams. Students participate directly with the Najim Center projects as employees, graduate assistantships, and undergraduate projects and assistants as well as student exposure of the operation in the classroom.
We match St. Mary’s students working towards degrees in business, law, and/or engineering with these projects, faculty supervisors, and other experts. Through these teams, we create low cost, high quality consulting opportunities for businesses and unique learning opportunities for our students.
How do I apply for a project?
For more information or to learn about how to apply for a project as a student, please contact Hugh Stevens.
Get One, Give One
Businesses receive a low-cost, high-quality consulting project lasting up to 12 weeks and also support an equivalent project for a non-profit. Businesses may choose to sponsor projects that align with their corporate giving priorities.
Faculty, staff and students assess the needs and wants of engaged individual businesses, organizations, and not-for-profits to encourage product and operational innovation and social responsibility while at the same time providing a highly significant experiential learning experience for the entire St. Mary’s community.
Many of our students are passionate about community engagement and service, and we partner with for-profit businesses to underwrite projects for nonprofits. These projects are tremendous opportunities for students to work on high-value consulting, development, marketing, operational, and other projects while contributing to the sustainability of nonprofits.
Design Thinking Projects
Students from various disciplines and studying participatory design work with businesses and stakeholders in cross-functional teams to rapidly gain insight, generate solutions, and prototype tangible concepts for testing with real customers and users. This program begins with a kick-off workshop including students, faculty, businesses and their customers. Businesses may also request a core student team to continue working on developing the project in collaboration with employees and stakeholders for up to 12 weeks.
Design Thinking projects may include internal topics such as employee well being, external topics such as sustainable product or service development, and/or intra-organizational topics such as public/private partnership and development.
Suggest a Project
We would like your input on what types of student projects and partnerships the Najim Center for Business Innovation and Social Responsibility might support. We create interdisciplinary and cross-functional learning with students, faculty, and businesses to provide opportunities for collaboration on real-world projects in the areas of business innovation and social responsibility by identifying projects with global, local, and non-profit organizations. Please fill out this form multiple times if you would like to suggest more than one partnership contact.