Impact Investing

The Social Enterprise Institute challenges its students to not only study impact investing, an emergent field within social entrepreneurship, but to apply the strategy to global poverty in ENTR2210: Social Impact Investing — Connecting Compassion and Capital, ENTR4520: Impact Investing and Social Finance, and  ENTR4506: Advanced Topics in Social Entrepreneurship in Developing Countries. 

In these classes, our students analyze social enterprises driving innovative solutions to poverty and are able to invest in high-performing organizations through the generosity of our supporters. 

Annual Student Impact Investing Competition 

Every year, in Honor of the late Dean Tom Moore, students in the Impact Investing and Social Finance course engage in a team competition where they work to develop robust impact investing portfolios and source social enterprises and impact investing funds for a 10K investment which is then evaluated and chosen by a team of impact investing professionals from leading firms and alumni.


2013 — 2014 Dean Tom Moore Honors Investment Pitch 

$15,000 awarded to Aakar Innovations 

$5,000 awarded to Empower Generation 

$5,000 awarded to Livelyhoods 

$5,000 awarded to VisionSpring 

Spring 2013 — Nicaragua Capstone Impact Investing 

$10,000 awarded to Chinantlan Juice & Fruit Cooperative — Nicaragua 

2012 — 2013 Dean Tom Moore Honors Investment Pitch 

$ 5,000 awarded to Manna Project International

$5,000 awarded to Micro Credit Limited  - Jamaica 

Spring 2012 — Nicaragua Capstone Impact Investing 

$5,000 awarded to SOPEXXCA Coffee Cooperative — Nicaragua 

$5,000 awarded to Manna Project International in La Chureca — Nicaragua 

2011 — 2012 Dean Tom Moore Honors Investment Pitch 

$ 10,000 awarded to One Acre Fund 

$5,000 awarded to Njabini Apparel 

$2,500 Research Grant awarded to the 2011 Honors Scholars to measure the impact of the funds disbursed to  One Acre Fund and Njabini Apparel  


The Ubuntu Fund

Social Enterprise Institute founder, Dennis Shaughnessy, established the Ubuntu Fund, which supports the most economically disadvantaged students at TSiBA Education, the Tertiary School in Business Administration. SEI has partnered with TSiBA in the South Africa Dialogue of Civilization Program since 2008. This fund is used for TSiBA students who are experiencing economic hardships. Small amounts are released to these students, confidentially, to meet their needs such as food, transport to and from TSiBA and temporary housing. These funds provide the highly motivated students the ability to continue their education and pursue opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable to them.  

The word “ubuntu” originated from a Bantu term meaning humanity towards others and is loosely translated to “I am because we are”. It is one of the principle philosophies in post-apartheid South Africa where Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu explained that ubuntu is what held the nation together in finding our common humanity. 

The Ubuntu Fund was inspired in part by a student whom Shaughnessy worked with in the South Africa Field Study Program. This student walked 2,000 miles from Rwanda to Cape Town, South Africa to attend college. Despite working full-time as a night security guard and often living homeless, he successfully completed his program at TSiBA. For his graduation, he rented a suit as not to show his Northeastern peers his circumstances. He said to Professor Shaughnessy, “Those are just circumstances; they are not who I am.”

The Ubuntu Fund is sustained by donors to the Social Enterprise Institute.