Social Entrepreneurship: The Best Schools & Programs

8) University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

Statue of Ben Franklin on the University of Pennsylvania campus.

For MBAs who pursue careers in the public and non-profit sectors, Wharton has a loan forgiveness program that will provide up to $20,000 per year to help grads pay down their loans. It’s not a given, of course, because the program is competitive, but if you go the social sector route, you can keep applying for the program for the first five years following graduation.

So what does Wharton have to offer in social entrepreneurship? The Non-Profit Board Leadership Program (“NPBLP”) at the Wharton School was launched in the spring of 2005 with the goal of creating an experiential learning environment for students that would also support local non-profits. More specifically, the NPBLP seeks to provide second year MBAs with a greater sense of how their leadership skills can be used to make a significant contribution within the non-profit sector. The program is rooted in a commitment to serving the long-term needs of non-profit organizations in the Philadelphia area. Together, it is envisioned that both Wharton and local non-profits can help each other succeed and achieve a rich understanding of the growing intersection between business and non-profit activities.

A Social Enterprise Fellows program consists of two concurrent courses in the spring and fall semesters. In the first course the Social Enterprise Fellows focus on partnerships possible between for-profit, non-profit, and governmental sectors through study of social movements and creation of purpose-driven organizations. It is an interdisciplinary experience where the Fellows join graduate students from the Masters Program in Non-Profit/NGO Leadership, and Penn Law School students. In the second course, the Fellows take on one of three projects — pair with an existing nonprofit, private or government organization, create or expand a purpose-driven, 4th sector entity devoted to social change and sustainability, or conduct research in a related area. They aim to complete projects to meet the program mission of “developing the capacity for transformative acts of leadership that create sustainable economic and social value through cross-sector partnerships.”

9) Columbia University’s School of Business.

10) New York University’s Stern School of Business.

11) Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Business.

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