Social Entrepreneurship: The Best Schools & Programs

2) University of California-Berkeley (Haas School)

Berkeley’s Haas School of Business

In U.S. News’ 2010 survey, the Haas School edges past Stanford which was number two in 2009. Frankly, we don’t agree with this assessment, but that still doesn’t take away from the splendid work in social entrepreneurship that Haas’ Center for Non-Profit and Public Leadership has accomplished. Its mission: “to inspire the next generation of leaders to create and seize opportunities to achieve social impact across sectors.”

The center is meant to inspsire and prepare students to use their business skills in the social sector. Coursework is focused on four core themes: social entrepreneurship and social impact, governance and leadership, organizational strategy, and financial management. The center also provides students with hands-on field work opportunities that link MBAs up with non-profit leaders and their organizations.

Berkeley has an impressive array of experiential programs in social entrepreneurship. S3, for social sector solutions, deploys student consultant teams with coaches from prestige consulting firm McKinsey & Co. to work with selected non-profits on high-impact initiatives. Co-taught by Paul Jansen, McKinsey’s director of its global philanthropy practice, the program essentially is an elective course, “Social Sector Solutions,” that also brings other McKinsey consultants in as coaches to student teams. MBAs have worked with the National Council on Youth Crime and Delinquency as well as the National Indian Justice Center, among many other non-profit institutions.

An Oakland Small Schools Residency program engages Haas students in educational reform through a residency program with a school in nearby Oakland, a urban center that has seen better times. Haas also boasts an annual education leadership case competition which brings together teams from top b-schools to present solutions to education challenges.

The center hosts the Schwab Charitable Philantrophy Speakers, bringing together students, alums and phhilanthropic leaders to tackle cutting-edge social impact issues. Finally, the center also has a Berkeley Board Fellows program that places more than 60 students on some 50 non-profit boards each year to serve the local community and develop future board leaders. It’s a nine-month program in which students have sat on the boards of such organizations as the Berkeley Symphony, the Family Emergency Shelter Coalition, the Marin Theater Company, and the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra. The fellows program is a highly creative and especially attractive attribute of the Haas focus in social entrepreneurship.

All these varied programs are the star components of Haas’ social enterprise thrust (and have clearly helped it in the U.S. News survey) because the school only lists 10 electives in the area, vs. Yale’s 13 options or Stanford’s 29 different courses. At Haas, the courses range from “Leading and Managing Non-Profit Organizations,” an intro course to the basic business workings of social enterprises, to the “Economics of Philanthropy,” in which the class makes a $10,000 contribution to a non-profit. In the course, student teams research and identify social organizations, perform due diligence, and then recommend the worthiness of the organization for the gift.

For a complete listing of Berkeley’s courses in social entrepreneurship, go here:

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