2017-2018

Social Entrepreneurship Concentration

The goal of the social entrepreneurship student is to develop an understanding of the goals, practices, and strategies necessary to establish and manage a successful social enterprise. The ability to develop and implement new strategies to address domestic and global problems challenges individuals and organizations as they seek to address the most vexing problems facing the world.

Successful social entrepreneurs typically demonstrate culturally sensitive knowledge and awareness, along with an ability to organize and mobilize resources to address social needs.

The social entrepreneurship curriculum builds on the combined strengths of the College of Arts and Science and the College of Business. Students begin their education with an introduction to the sociological perspective. In this course, students examine major social institutions, and explore through community service projects, active learning and other approaches that use the sociological imagination to understand and address social issues in the U.S. and globally. Students are introduced to entrepreneurial approaches to social issues.

In their next course, students focus on key social issues - education, health care, poverty, inequality, and others - examine the sources of social problems, and evaluate how best to address these, by developing and testing measures of evaluating social innovations.

In the core management course, students learn how nonprofit organizations work and how they are distinguished from other organizational forms. This class combines coursework with presentations by leaders of some of RI’s outstanding nonprofits. In the capstone course, students work with domestic and global partners on social entrepreneurship projects. Here, students apply what they have learned in their courses and further develop skills to assess these projects.

This is an 18-credit concentration. Students must have a primary concentration in the College of Business or a major in the College of Arts and Sciences. Social entrepreneurship students must:

  • Understand the social problems that challenge various communities in our globalized world
  • Identify how social innovations best address social problems
  • Develop a set of core knowledge, skills, and dispositions that are geared to social enterprise development and evaluation

Social Entrepreneurship Concentration Requirements

Required Courses
Community Engagement and Service Learning
Social Problems Social Solutions
Sociology of Innovation and Creativity
Applied Seminar in Social Entrepreneurship
Managing the Nonprofit Organization
Elective Courses
Select two of the following:
Microfinance
Not for Profit Law and Governance
Sociology Internship
Directed Study in Sociology