Graduate Certificate in Social Entrepreneurship

Social entrepreneurship is defined as any innovative initiative that is designed to address social problems that have not been adequately addressed. While the goal of social entrepreneurship is to create a better society, it is not necessarily inconsistent with making a profit. In fact, there is a growing recognition that societal problems require partnerships involving business, government and the nonprofit sector.  Therefore, social entrepreneurship requires innovative, even revolutionary, business approaches that achieve sufficient scope and scale to be effective.

At completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • understand social entrepreneurship as a vital activity and an opportunity for personal growth;
  • describe and explore examples and models of social entrepreneurship;
  • explore the different approaches – legal structures (for-profit, nonprofit, benefit organizations), partnerships, alliances – that support social entrepreneurship; and
  • consider and the skills and knowledge areas required for social entrepreneurship

Potential students for this certificate program include administrators in state and local government, people working in nonprofit/for-profit agencies, and community activists.

Program Design

The Social Entrepreneurship certificate consists of 12 credits (four, 3-credit courses). Courses are taught through online instruction and students may begin in the fall or spring terms.

Required Courses and Suggested Sequence

Overview of Social Entrepreneurship (3 credits)

This study will provide an overview of social entrepreneurship; different conceptions and approaches to social entrepreneurship, developing competitive advantage, financing, ethical issues and using different forms of organizational structure to address social problems. It will also cover organizing for social entrepreneurship and managing growth.

Principles of Community and Economic Development

This study will incorporate the subjects of two distinct, yet related, bodies of literature. One addresses community development and, the other, economic development. The study will highlight the importance of linking these two concepts in a model that integrates the economic development of a community with the development of social capital and community capacity and functioning. Students will examine theoretical concepts in these two domains as well as real-world economic development models that attempt to move beyond the traditional factors of production and examine ways in which real communities have tried to produce positive economic outcomes through community development.

Strategic Planning for Public and Nonprofit Organizations

Strategic planning and management are increasingly essential in this world of rapid change and complexity, relentless competition for funding, and increasing demands for accountability. In Strategic Planning for Public and Nonprofit Organizations, you will explore the critical issues related to and the process by which organizations and agencies can gain advantage and optimal long-term performance in such an environment. This process is rooted in the organization’s mission and values, is dynamic and changes with changing circumstances, integrates plans and actions, and leverages strengths and resources to take advantage of the organization’s opportunities.

This course has a strong theoretical component; it also has a practical component with student interaction; it culminates in an integrative final project.

Strategic Marketing for Nonprofit Organizations

This course, Strategic Marketing for Nonprofit Organizations, examines marketing from the perspective of Nonprofits and government agencies. The course examines ethical issues, social responsibilities of marketing professionals and the impact of funding sources on program development, marketing strategies including pricing, legal and ethical issues, regulators, integrated marketing communications, multicultural research, sales, and profiles of global managers.

Admission and Advisement

Admission to the certificate program requires the applicant to submit an official transcript of his or her bachelor’s degree along with a complete application. Advising will be provided by the certificate program coordinator, Dr. Joseph Angiello.

While the 12 credits of this certificate may be transferred into the M.A. in Community and Economic Development, acceptance will require candidates to apply to the master’s degree program and complete the full admission process. Completion of the graduate certificate does not guarantee admission to the master’s program.

Advanced certificates may be incorporated into a related master's degree for those meeting the program admission requirements.

Apply online or request information for more details on the certificate in Social Entrepreneurship.

Tuition and Fees

Students completing this certificate pay the following tuition and fees:

Federal financial aid is not available unless concurrently matriculated in a master’s degree program.

Questions?

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Take the Next Step

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