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Interdisciplinary Social Science Program

College of Social Sciences and Public Policy

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Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation

This specialization focuses on how the emerging field of social entrepreneurship is promoting innovative, impactful, and sustainable approaches to addressing social and environmental problems. The specialization looks at how social entrepreneurship is defined and expressed in three essential contexts: innovation and impact across the sectors, social enterprise, and social transformation.

Students will learn to leverage the resources of investors, consumers, stakeholders, and communities to address pressing social and environmental problems and innovate solutions for systemic change, whether in newly-created social enterprises; existing nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and philanthropic foundations; or institutions devoted to social impact start-up and investing.

Ideas for innovative solutions and social enterprises are rooted in the life and academic experiences of students and developed through a curriculum and co-curricular activities that tie theory to practice. Students will be encouraged to participate in an internship experience that allows them to apply their skills and knowledge, practice innovating, deepen their learning, and be mentored by leaders in the field. Competitive internships are being developed that will offer unique and high-quality experiences within local, national, and international settings.

In order to complete the ISS Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation (SEI) specialization, students are required to successfully complete the Foundations of Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation course (ISS 4931-0002) plus three electives chosen from a list of pre-approved skill-based courses from across the university. The skill-based electives include courses focused on designing and implementing social enterprise and innovation, entrepreneurship, leadership, intercultural communication, funding and resource development, finance and accounting, and marketing.

To encourage the cultivation of a diversity of requisite skills, each elective must come from a different skill area (in other words, students may only apply one course from any one skill area). Students are also encouraged to take relevant “issue/theory-based” courses focused on the issue areas they are interested in and passionate about, such as international development, environment, poverty, education, etc. (although these courses will not count towards meeting the specialization requirements).

Required course:
ISS 4931:0002 Foundations of Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Skill-based electives (Tools courses; three electives, each from one of the following skill areas):

Designing and Implementing Social Enterprise and Innovation
ECS 3022 Social Entrepreneurship and Economic Development
PAD 4936 Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Entrepreneurship
ENT 2802 Entrepreneurship and Contemporary Society
ENT 3613 Innovation and Creativity
ENT 3423 Funding Sources for Entrepreneurial Opportunities
ENT 4114 New Venture Creation
ENT 3003 Introduction to Entrepreneurship (This is not a skill-based course, but is recommended – although not required – to take before the Entrepreneurship courses listed above.)

Leadership
PAD 4332 Strategic Leadership for Communities
INR 3932-03 Intercultural Dialogue and Leadership Seminar
LDR 2162 Leadership in Groups and Communities
LDR 3215 Leadership and Change
LDR 2290 Leadership and Sustainability in Action

Intercultural Communication
INR 3932-03 Intercultural Dialogue and Leadership Seminar
IFS 2070-0001 Thinking Beyond Ourselves: Global Perspectives

Funding and Resource Development
SOW 4454 Grant Writing and Grant Management
PAD 4936 Fundraising and Fund Development
ENT 3423 Funding Sources for Entrepreneurial Opportunities

Finance and Accounting
PAD 4223 Budgets and Finances in Managing Public Affairs
ACG 2021 Introduction to Financial Accounting
Marketing
MAR 3023 Basic Marketing Concepts