Formerly known as “Social Entrepreneurship”
Designed to provide students with an in-depth exposure to entrepreneurship in the social sector, a rapidly growing segment of the global economy. Uses the case method to expose students to leading entrepreneurs who have developed and implemented business models to solve social problems such as extreme poverty, disease, illiteracy, and economic and social dislocation. Focuses on uniquely creative and driven people who have dedicated their lives to making a difference in the lives of others through values-based entrepreneurship.
Studies the investors, entrepreneurs, and enterprises comprising the global impact investing universe. Social impact investing is a rapidly emerging sector within the global investment community in which investors fund innovative enterprises dedicated to creatively solving the world’s most difficult social problems, such as extreme poverty, access to clean water, sanitation, agricultural productivity, and literacy. Historically, these initiatives were organized as nonprofits or charities and received funding from donations and grants from foundations and government agencies. Today, many social entrepreneurs are instead using for-profit and hybrid business models to attract investment capital in the form of equity investments, loans, and other forms of so-called patient capital. Offers students an opportunity to develop a practical, real-world, and sustainable impact investing portfolio.
Focuses on a single developing country. Offers an opportunity to analyze the role of socially-driven entrepreneurship or “social impact enterprises” (SIEs) in alleviating poverty and its symptoms (for example, disease, illiteracy and chronic unemployment) in that country. To prepare for an intensive field experience working with local SIEs on one or more hands-on projects, students have an opportunity to study the history, politics, and development of the country, with an emphasis on the role that private-sector initiatives have played and hope to play in addressing widespread poverty and with a focus on the failures and successes in economic and business development, economic growth, and poverty alleviation. Offers students an opportunity to develop a plan for a micro-investment strategy focused on these and/or similar businesses and organizations having a significant social impact in a developing country.
Sara Minard, Ph.D
Executive Professor, Assistant Academic Specialist
Dr. C. Sara Minard is a socio-economist, lecturer, writer, development practitioner and policy analyst with 15 years of experience working in the areas of economic development policy, market-based approaches to development, design methods for development practice, social entrepreneurship, social finance, and program design, monitoring and evaluation. Before joining Northeastern, Dr. Minard taught for five years in the Economic and Political Development concentration at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) where she launched the school’s first courses in social entrepreneurship for development and social enterprise in India, and taught the core courses in methods for development practice.
Prior to Columbia, Dr. Minard’s economic policy research expertise includes five years at the OECD (Paris) leading research and policy dialogues on private sector development, informal economy and policy coherence for development in 18 countries in West Africa, and consultancies with the World Bank, IFC and UN agencies where she has designed strategies on socially responsible investing and banking, as well as policy strategies for creating enabling environments for social enterprise, including the tools for social impact assessment and reporting. She serves as the Chair of Columbia University’s Advisory Education Sub-Committee on Socially Responsible Investing and sits on several social enterprise boards
Dr. Minard earned her PhD in Economics from Sciences Po in Paris (highest honors) and a dual-degree Masters in International and Public Affairs from Columbia/SIPA and Sciences Po. She is fluent in French, Spanish and Wolof, and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal.