Arizona State University‘s Innovation Challenge: Community Changemaker Competition has a number of awards. The Edson Venture Creator Award gives who aim to develop a successful enterprise, large or small, nonprofit or for-profit, domestic or global, that fulfills real-world needs up to $20,000, depending on the size and viability of the plan. Teams can also win up $5,000 for innovative ideas that address economic, social, or cultural challenges. ASU also has a Spirit of Service Program, with monthly seminars about leadership, demographic literacy, cultural competency, economic literacy, environmental literacy, health care challenges, and entrepreneurship. Throughout the year, students work with a local non-profit and mentor high school students. The program is open to its undergrad, graduate, and professional students in any field.

Babson College Offers social entrepreneurship electives for MBA and undergraduate students such as Social Enterprise Management, Entrepreneurial Nonprofits, The Social Entrepreneur, and an advanced Socially Responsible Entrepreneurship course, both of which provide a dual focus on the academic study of the discipline and its real world applications.

Baylor University’s rural energy project consists of franchises that provide people in the Honduras with the means to become entrepreneurs and run their own systems. They focus on engineering projects, and partner with their business school. Students and faculty regularly go out to developing nations to learn what people actually need.

UCBerkley The Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Haas School of Business emphasizes technology entrepreneurship. Their Global Entrepreneurship Education Initiative has trained more than 800 international engineering, science and business faculty through more than 45 seminars in 22 countries. Their Global Social Venture Competition helps MBA students worldwide network with professionals and each other and develop sustainable business plans.

University of Colorado has a stduent chapter of Engineers without Borders (a nation-wide combined program consisting of 206 chapters and 130+ projects in 34 countries, with 4000+ members, including faculty, students, and professional engineers) that aims to create self-sustaining businesses in Africa, Nepal, and Peru. They openly encourage non-students to get involved.

Colorado State’s College of Business’ new gradudate level Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise Program trains students to become entrepreneurs. They focus on providing sustainable resources for developing countries. Projects they’ve worked on include low cost household water filter that started at D-Lab, stovelights for India, as well as a treadle pump. Envirofit, a pollution reducer, came out of there. They recently received a $48,825 grant for a Sustainable Venture Accelerator which provides money, space, and resources for students to fully realize their ideas.

Columbia University‘s MBA program offers social enterprise electives, including The Private Sector and International Development, and Social Entrepreneurship, which incorporate studies conducted by the school’s Research Initiative on Social Entrepreneurship (RISE). Students conduct their own research as well. Through the collaboration between Columbia Business School and the Social Enterprise Program, students gain an understanding of issues such as economic development, social innovation, and inner city markets.

Cornell CNN Money listed Cornell’s Johnson School Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise as one of the best colleges for social entrepreneurs. Student engineers help faculty conduct research, travel, to developing countries, and develop business plans.

Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering enables faculty and students to engage in entrepreneurship. The Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization aims help bring ideas into marketplace to help society. Students also get real-world experience via Fuqua On Board, a program that places MBA students on the boards of local non-profits during the school year. While working for the organization, students serve as non-voting board members. They also have an Engineers Without Borders chapter that has been doing a project a year since 2005.

Harvard University’s Social Enterprise Initiative focuses on educating and inspiring leaders in all fields to work towards socially valuable, economically viable solutions. In addition to their Business Venture Track, which aims to teach students how to plan, create, and evaluate innovative businesses, they have a Social Venture Track which has the additional aim of teaching students about social value creation and identifying and evaluating markets in developing nations.

Indian Institute of Technology-Madras is India’s main school for industrial entrepreneurship, teaching, and research. There, the India chapter of the Asia-Pacific Student Entrepreneurship Society conducted workshops leading up to The Genesis competition in 2009 and 2010. Guest speakers focus on how to plan marketing, develop leadership skills, and navigate challenges. They also focus on how new technologies will effect the future of ventures.

University of Michigan- Bluelab at the Wilson Student Team Project Center is a student run organization where engineering students apply their expertise to helping find sustainable solutions to development problems at home and abroad. They tend to focus on the medical sector.

D-Lab at MIT Founded by MacArthur Genius Grant winner Amy Smith, Victor Grau Serrat, Gwyn Jones and Joost Bonsen, D-Lab focuses using innovative technologies to address problems in developing nations. D-Lab focus on creating appropriate and sustainable solutions for each communities they aim to help.

NYU‘s Stern Business School has a social entrepreneurship program, with a $100,000 annual competition as well as a student social venture fund

Rensselaer Polytechnic The E*ntrepreneurship program is a key drawing point of this school. In addition to a speaker series to inspire and educated students, they have not one, but two, contests a year for their students to develop new ideas. Each semester, an overall pool of $10,000 is divided and awarded equally to winning solutions–up to ten teams can be judged winners–that improve the human condition. Contests focus on energy consumption and scarcity; water conservation, purification, and recycling in developing nations; trust amongst nations; and U.S. security.

Rice‘s Next Cool Idea is a weekend-long program designed to help entrepreneur MBA students who have not pursued their ideas due to lack of time, money, and resources. The weekend aims to give them the resources to create viable start-ups before they graduate.

Stanford is a leading researcher on social entrepreneurship andĀ  publishes The Stanford Social Innovation Review. Biannual social entrepreneurship trips allow students to think of and devleop new ideas for developing countries. Stanford also aims to provide established social entrepreneurs with the same resources they provide their students with.

Tufts University’s Gordon Institute has a 100k competition each year, including a social entrepreneurship division.

University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management features an honors track in social development, focusing on independent studies. Students create business plans each spring. The graduate program also offers a unique and useful class called Entrepreneurial Principles and Environments, which helps students develop tools to use when pitching startup ideas to social venture firms.

Washington State University‘s has a 2 semester engineering/business course for 35 students to develop technology for developing countries.


International Development Design Summit (IDDS)- brainchild of MIT Senior Lecturer and D-Lab founder Amy Smith, IDDS brings together innovators from around the globe to improve the lives of people in the developing world. Past summits have focused on developing prototypes of inventions, this year’s summit (going on now through July 30 at Colorado State University) is focusing on getting prototypes out into the hands of the people in the developing world that could use them, and guiding inventor teams through the process of becoming viable business ventures.

D-Rev was founded by Paul Polack as a non-profit firm, which develops affordable products for those at the bottom of the pyramid.

Honeybee is a grassroots multi-language network in India that connects innovators and inventors to work toward local solutions. Their website allows users to enter ideasĀ  for inventions and search for others’ ideas in idea banks and discuss those ideas in forums. Innovators can then register their idea on the innovation database, which connects them to scouters.

Lemelson’s RAMP (Recognition and Mentoring Program) provides support for inventors and entrepreneurs during the planning and development stages, helping them network, market their ideas, and create a viable business. There are programs for entrepreneurs in India, Indonesia, and Peru.

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