Since its inception in 2009, the ESTEEM Program has been about the commercialization of innovative research and technology, bridging the gap between academia in business. However, in addition to that, the ESTEEM program has also focused on an emerging national trend of social entrepreneurship.
At ESTEEM that focus on social entrepreneurship begins at home and includes investment in the local community. Through an ESTEEM spinoff enFocus, which was founded in 2012 by several ESTEEM alums and is now chaired by ESTEEM Director, David Murphy, the enFocus program helps with talent retention.
So-called “brain drain” is a problem that plagues many Midwest and rustbelt cities – and the work of enFocus to combat brain drain in the community surrounding Notre Dame was recently featured in an article in the South Bend Tribune.
As David Murphy, the ESTEEM Program Director and Associate Dean of Entrepreneurship says, “"They're coming from all over the world and come here for Notre Dame and its reputation and what the degree can mean to them," he said. "But we try to show them there's a lot happening in South Bend right now. There's sort of a renaissance feeling."