Lead Faculty Dennis Shaughnessy
Founder & Executive Director
Dennis Shaughnessy founded the Social Enterprise Institute, an academic unit within the D’Amore-McKim School of Business, and is its first and only Executive Director. Professor Shaughnessy provided the seed capital to start SEI in 2007, and remains its principal donor. Professor Shaughnessy created the undergraduate curriculum for social enterprise studies at NU in 2008, which now lead to either a business major within the entrepreneurship concentration or an interdisciplinary minor. He also introduced social enterprise to the MBA program at NU. His courses range from an introduction to global social enterprise and economic development, to impact investing and microfinance, as well as field research programs in the Dominican Republic (Haiti), South Africa and Jamaica. These unique field programs and on campus courses and seminars have led to NU’s social enterprise program being one of the largest and most diverse among undergraduate institutions worldwide, with nearly 500 students from NU and partner institutions engaged in social enterprise research, learning and service each year. He also created and teaches seminars in social enterprise in NU’s Honors Program, including impact investing programs in which students invest capital from outside donors in organizations providing enterprise solutions to global poverty.
Professor Shaughnessy is also the faculty advisor to the SEI Student Association, the SEI Newsletter and the SE Review, and has won numerous awards for his teaching. In addition to his role as Executive Professor at NU, Professor Shaughnessy is also a Distinguished Visiting Professor at TSiBA of Cape Town, South Africa (a free university for disadvantaged students) and INTEC of Santo Domingo, DR, where he teaches courses in social enterprise. Professor Shaughnessy is an investor and a philanthropist as well, supporting social enterprises that bring innovative and high impact solutions to global poverty. In addition to his work at NU and SEI, Professor Shaughnessy has more than 25 years of experience as a business executive, corporate director, lawyer and public servant. His advanced degrees include a doctorate in law (Univ. Maryland), and masters degrees in business (NU) and social policy (Univ. Michigan).
Sophie Bacq, PhD.
Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship & Innovation
Sophie Bacq, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the College of Business Administration. Professor Bacq received her PhD in Economic and Management Sciences from the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium. Her research interests include social entrepreneurship, governance and management issues in hybrid organizations, and international new ventures. She has published book chapters and articles in international peer-reviewed journals and is the author and editor of several forthcoming books. Professor Bacq’s teaching experience covers entrepreneurship, corporate strategy, social entrepreneurship, as well as field trip experience in India, among others.
Prior to joining Northeastern University, Professor Bacq was a Visiting Scholar at New York University Stern School of Business. She holds a Master’s degree and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Engineering from the Université Catholique de Louvain and studied a semester at the National University of Singapore in 2005.
C. Sara Minard, PhD.
Executive Professor, Assistant Academic Specialist
Dr. C. Sara Minard is a socio-economist, lecturer, writer, development practitioner and policy analyst with 20 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 served for two years 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.
Tess is currently in her third year at Northeastern. She is majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and minoring in Global Social Entrepreneurship. She has completed one co-op working in Finance at General Electric, and attended the Social Enterprise Field Study in South Africa during summer 2017. She is very excited to be working with SEI this semester and hopes to learn more about how to create social change in the business world.
Austen is a third year Business Major with a concentration in Finance and a minor in Global Social Entrepreneurship. Austen was inspired to join SEI in his freshman year when he was under the instruction of Professor Dennis Shaughnessy in two different courses. He has not turned back since, and has now finished his minor requirements after completing the Social Enterprise Field Study in Cape Town, South Africa in the summer of 2017. Austen enjoyed the trip so much that he now plans to go back on the South Africa Field Study as Teaching Assistant! Austen completed his first co-op with First American Insurance Underwriters last Fall, and is now looking at potential co-ops in the social enterprise field for the Fall 2018 term. He is very optimistic and excited about what the SEI team can accomplish this semester!
Katie is a fifth year Economics & International Affairs major with minors in Global Social Entrepreneurship and Political Science. She has had a range of experiences at Northeastern, including three dialogues and three co-ops in all different disciplines. Katie spent time studying conflict resolution in Northern Ireland the summer before her first co-op at CODEPINK: Women for Peace, an activist organization in Washington, DC. After being exposed to life on Capitol Hill, Katie decided to focus more on economics than political science, which led her to travel with SEI to South Africa, which really ignited her passion for social enterprise. After her second co-op at John Hancock in Boston, Katie traveled on her final dialogue to the United Nations in Geneva, which both helped provide valuable insight for what she wanted to pursue as a final co-op. Katie was fortunate to land an internship at Kiva, a non-profit microfinance organization in San Francisco where she worked on the Kiva US operations team (and ate the best avocados she’s ever had). Katie is excited to be working for SEI during her last year!
Kayla is a freshman in the Undeclared program. Professor Shaughnessy’s Global Social Enterprise class in her fall semester affirmed her interest in social entrepreneurship and her faith in humanity. This summer, she will be going on a Dialogue to Cape Town, where she will work with slum entrepreneurs and local business school students to help the entrepreneurs actualize their dreams. She feels fortunate to be on SEI staff and is excited to see 3D printers in slums making prosthetics in the near future.