Semester on Social Entrepreneurship


Social Entrepreneurship

Offered every spring semester. Classes begin in mid-January, end in early May and are held in New York City on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Applications are due by October 10.

An interview with the program director will be scheduled for finalists as part of the application process.

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New York City is both a business world capital and a hub of global social activism. In this course, you will spend two days a week in the Big Apple, studying social entrepreneurship. Visit and interact with changemakers in large nonprofits and small grassroots organizations in a range of sectors, including arts, education and international development. Learn how these organizations are working to address a range of social challenges, such as poverty, human rights abuses and environmental damage.

Examine the ways social entrepreneurs inspire change. Discover how nonprofit organizations apply business techniques to address the world’s most serious problems. Determine when and if nonprofits are the appropriate institutions to tackle social issues. Explore which economic factors drive nonprofit decision making. Then, design your own solution to a real-world challenge, working with an actual social change organization.

Required Courses

You are required to take the following two courses for a total of 8 credits:

ECON/BST/PSCI 287 - Applied Analysis of Social Entrepreneurship
4 credits
This course compliments ECON 387, with a focus on hands on approaches to social entrepreneurship, as well as on obtaining the skills needed to successfully work for social change. The course will consist of a series of field trips, skills workshops and a group project that involves working with a social change organization on a current challenge they are facing. Permission of instructor required. Signature of instructor required for registration. Co-requisite: ECON 387. Equivalent to: BST 387 and PSCI 387 Offered every Spring semester. CLA-Civic Engagement, CLA-Off Campus Experience

ECON/BST/PSCI 387 - Social Entrepreneurship: Theorizing Global Trends
4 credits
Using an interdisciplinary lens this course will explore how size, location, structure, mission and globalization have shaped decision making processes within social change organizations. The focus will be on nonprofits, cooperatives and firms with a commitment to achieving corporate social responsibility. A key question we will explore is why social entrepreneurship is increasingly associated with social change organizations. This question will be addressed through an exploration of both theoretical explanations and empirical examples of the economic, social and political challenges facing social change organizations. Case studies will focus on both US and international contexts. Signature of instructor required for registration. Corequisite course: ECON 287 Offered every Spring semester. CLA-Breadth/Social Science, CLA-Breadth/International, CLA-Off Campus