Students from any school may take any SE@UVA courses, and students from any school may enroll in the Social Entrepreneurship Minor. 

The Entrepreneurship Minor with a concentration in Social Entrepreneurship prepares students to launch or work within innovative, financially-sustainable non-profits, world-changing for profits and a range of hybrids in between including venture philanthropy, public-private partnerships, and impact investing, 

The application process for the Minor is open for two weeks, two times a year – at the beginning of the Fall semester and the beginning of the Spring semester. The next application period will be October 2-30th, 2017. During those periods the application form can be found here:


LPPS 3050 (Formerly PPOL 3050): Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship - Mulloth
This course introduces students to innovative approaches to solve the world's biggest problems, such as poverty, climate change and lack of access to quality healthcare, housing and education. The course incorporates guest lectures by social entrepreneurs from the field via video conference. The course is cross-listed in the College (GDS 3050) and Curry (EDLF 3050).

LPPP 4725 (Formerly PPOL 4715): NGOs in the Policy Arena - Martin and McLean    
Since the 1960s, nonprofit, nongovernmental organizations have played an increasingly central role in the domestic public policy arena. This class explores their involvement in the interpretation and implementation of federal policy, the coordination of policy solutions, and advocacy for the policies and populations they serve. Policy areas we may consider include poverty and social welfare; the environment; and civil and political rights.


PPOL 5225:  Conscious Social Change - Steidle
Before you can solve a social problem, you must understand it deeply - this class teaches you how to do that well. You must know how to: learn about the needs of the community, become aware of the biases you bring to the table, and work collaboratively with the community to co-create effective solutions. The course provides future leaders with the skills to invest in their own self understanding and initiate social change or engage in community service mindfully, sustainably and with impact at home or abroad. 


PPOL 3290:  Social Innovation in Emerging Markets India and South East Asia - Mulloth
This is an introductory course, aimed at exposing students to modern Indian and South Asian society, culture, business and policy through a variety of materials. While this class is primarily for students who have no previous familiarity with this subject, those with some experience of it will have the opportunity to find and articulate new ways of approaching and interpreting these regions. The course may be particularly important due to the rising stature and importance of India and more generally, South Asia, in the global economy. Foreign direct investment (FDI), Entrepreneurship and Innovation related businesses have dramatically increased in these regions. This course will provide an overview of the emerging trends and activities and an opportunity to study them in more detail.

PPOL 3410: Innovation and Social Impact - Mulloth
This course introduces students to the strategies and processes required in the contemporary economy to leverage innovation in order to maintain overall competitiveness and make a difference. Students will gain knowledge of strategies of change that include the innovative activities of social entrepreneurs, activists, organizations, and social movements. Students will examine several individuals and groups who have catalyzed important positive social change through different organizational platforms –in the market, in government, within the nonprofit sector, and increasingly in the space between these three sectors. Consequently, sophisticated integration and multifaceted leadership are usually essential for successful technology and innovation strategy. An important objective of this course is to enhance a participant’s ability to marshal the varied competencies required to innovate effectively and make a difference. Throughout the course students will examine social innovation through case studies, lectures, relevant readings, guest speakers, and student presentations.

PPOL 3559: Measuring Social Impact - Hudson                                                                                                                 This course explores a crucial question for any social enterprise: how do you measure whether what you're doing actually moves the needle on your chosen social problem? Students will learn how to pilot new programs and measure their impact on target outcomes. Case studies will emphasize the practical challenges that entrepreneurs face in taking social science out of the lab and into the field. The course has no formal prerequisites. Some prior exposure to statistics will be helpful.

PPOL 4720:  Open Source for the Common Good - Etienne
Innovative non-profits and world-changing for-profits are both effective models for social change. However, they are not the only models, a new frontier of social innovation is emerging which harnesses the free flow of information, design and solutions. From open source plans of how to make generators and sanitary pads, to open source designs for 3D printers in the developing world to make prosthetics to land mind victims, to open source schools like Barefoot College in India - free access to solutions can be even more scalable than products and services designed for extreme affordability. Open source technology plays a major role in society and embodies a different culture with different tradeoffs and societal impacts than private IP driven design. Open source is highly innovative and holds considerable promise for addressing most of the critical problems facing society such as sustainability, inequality, the cost of technology and open access to knowledge. We will study the role of open source through numerous case studies and discussions of the major features of open source. Students will practice open source methods in design projects throughout the semester, and become quite conversant with the culture and methods of open source design.

This class is open to all majors, history majors, commerce majors and sociology majors get to use their hands and work on a real world problem! Last year interdisciplinary teams of students worked on a design challenge to develop low cost hydroponic systems for refugee situations. Each team created a blog to capture their work, check some out here:

PPOL 4730:  Impact Investing – Baird and Fife
“Impact Investing” is the proactive deployment of financial resources to organizations that can provide a positive return on investment as well as an additional, intentional social impact beyond financial returns. Impact Investing explores how funders (grant funders, investors and policymakers) deploy capital to support social entrepreneurs. This course seeks to give you an introductory understanding of utilizing finance as a tool for solving social problems worldwide.

PPOL 4735:  Experiential Social Entrepreneurship (Undergraduate) – Mahoney
This class applies the concepts covered in Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship to real-world problems facing real-world social entrepreneurs. Students will work in small teams on challenges proposed by a set of local and international social entrepreneurs organized by the professor. This is a design-thinking-centric course for students interested in investigating how our world is adapting to solve the greatest social and environmental challenges of our time.

PPOL 6730:  Experiential Social Entrepreneurship (Graduate-Level) – Mahoney
This is an experiential learning class focused on solving real-world problems that social entrepreneur partners are facing. Students will work in small teams on challenges proposed by a set of local and international social entrepreneurs organized by the professor. It is a design-thinking-centric course for students interested in investigating how our world is adapting to solve the greatest social and environmental challenges of this century.

PPOL 4991 (Batten Only Capstone): Developing a New Social Venture – Mulloth
The goal of this capstone course is to provide students with the experience of planning, developing and building a new social venture. The learning would largely take place as a result of actually starting and scaling a new social venture (either de novo or part of an existing social enterprise), as a founder or member of a startup team, under faculty supervision. Spread out over five phases, the specific objective of this course is to develop and build a social new venture.

PPOL 4991 (Batten Only Capstone):  Private Initiatives for the Public Good – Martin
This is a project-oriented class on using nonprofit organizations as policy vehicles. The class has an extraordinary opportunity to leverage a gift of $50,000 from the Philanthropy Lab at the Once Upon a Time Foundation to nonprofits engaged in the policy arena. The class will work with multiple clients to better understand the policy subsystems surrounding specific problems, and make funding recommendations to those clients based on our understanding of the subsystems.


Global Field Experience - Social Entrepreneurship in Dominica - Etienne
Social Entrepreneurship in Dominica (PPOL 4450/5550)
This course exposes students to the unique dynamics of social entrepreneurship in Dominica, which is an island located between Guadeloupe and Martinique. Dominica is a small island developing state (SIDS). Professor Etienne's course focuses on the challenges entrepreneurs face in countries with limited resources, a narrow economy base, limited product and market diversification, low economies of scale and a high dependency on international trade. It highlights the inescapable need for social ventures for sustainable growth and development.

This is a multi-disciplinary course blending field visits to offer students exposure to a diversity of local enterprises with an emphasis on those with successful and innovative social components. Visits will include organic farms, ocean fishing cooperatives, local manufacturing facilities (coffee, tea, essential oils, etc), sustainable tourism, and cargo transportation. In addition to site visits, guest lectures will be offered by Dominican social entrepreneurs as well as government officials.

Social Entrepreneurship in India - Mulloth
Global Cities-Global Challenges: Delhi Social Fabric (PPOL 4550 or ARCH, 3 credits), Delhi Spatial Fabric (GSGS or ARCH, 3 credits)
Participants take both courses and will be asked to select their mnemonic of preference for each course as part of the application.

Focusing on the Indian context, the course will leverage case studies, lectures and site visits to help participants learn to think strategically and act tactically, with an economic mindset and a social conscience. The academic foundation for this course is provided in Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship. Program will include a series of guest speakers and site visits to Mumbai-based social ventures. Students will have the opportunity to apply their classroom learning to real-world issues.

Using the Yamuna River as a case study, and building on previous years of work in Delhi, this new program explores the urban challenges of contemporary developing cities from a multidisciplinary perspective. Urban ecologies, public health, politics, urban design, water quality, art, culture, and economics are some of the layers that build the ecosystem of a city. The urgent contemporary challenges of cities like Delhi require all these areas to effectively address the critical situations of waste, water and air pollution, equity, health and social opportunities.