Best MBA Programs for Social Entrepreneurship | Top Business Schools for Social Impact

Terms like entrepreneurship or startup do not need any further introduction. However, the term social entrepreneurship is relatively new. You might be wondering what is social entrepreneurship and if a career in social entrepreneurship is right for. Know about the Top MBA programs in Social Entrepreneurship and Best Business Schools for Social Impact to have a Career in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Non-Profit and Social Sector. There is nothing better than being the change yourself you want to see in society.


Social Entrepreneurship


Social entrepreneurship is the practice of developing and combining innovative and practical techniques, resources, and opportunities to address the critical and most pressing social, cultural and environmental issues. These issues usually fall into the broad categories of education, healthcare, environment, and livelihood.


Social entrepreneurs are the change-agents, who work towards the betterment of society and humanity through innovations and new technologies. Social entrepreneurs are different from social activists and philanthropists. Social entrepreneurs aim to make a measurable impact that has got both commercial and social value.  The goals of social entrepreneurship are often associated with the voluntary sector. A business entrepreneur primarily works towards creating new industries, a social entrepreneur works towards solving social problems and then implementing the solutions on a large scale. Social enterprises can be for-profit, hybrid non-profit and non-profit organizations, depending on the business model.


Social entrepreneurship is a booming phenomenon in developing countries, including India. India and other developing countries are facing several critical challenges such as inadequate healthcare facilities, poverty, lack of education, unemployment, sanitation, increasing pollution and wastage, and others like acid attacks on women, child labor etc. Social entrepreneurship is not limited to social activities anymore. It’s a global phenomenon and plays a vital role in providing growth and employment opportunities in the depriving sections of society through sustainable business models.


Social entrepreneurship has been emerging in India for quite some time. The Indian Govt. is also promoting the social enterprise sector. The Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi, launched the Start-Up India scheme in January 2016 for promoting entrepreneurship. Additionally, the Govt. is encouraging the young minds to come up with innovative solutions for the critical problems of the country. Private bodies are also coming forward in the social enterprise sector. Read more about the Social Incubators that are helping Startups & Social Enterprises in India. Currently, there are a plethora of opportunities for social entrepreneurship in India and The Future of Indian Enterprise Looks Bright. Consequently, the Careers in social enterprise, NGO, and non-profit sectors are getting popular among the new-age Indians.


Recommended Post: Career Opportunities in the Social Sector



Education and training are of course beneficial in any career. An MBA degree is quite influential in shaping up extraordinary careers. But, choosing the right MBA program is a very big deal; in the end, it’s all about the fit-factor. There are several MBA programs that include social entrepreneurship as a component of the curricula. At the international B-Schools students get equipped to make a social impact by working for the less privileged people. The top MBA programs can act as catalysts to transform the MBA graduates into innovative social revolutionaries. We will now have a look at the best MBA programs and business schools for social entrepreneurship.


MBA in Social Entrepreneurship

Top Business Schools in the World for Social Impact


1. Said Business School, Oxford


Best Buisness Schools for Social Entrepreneurship


The MBA program at the Said Business School (University of Oxford) is considered one of the best in the world for social entrepreneurship. One of the stand-out features at the Said Business School is the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, which provides innovative approaches for social impact. The curriculum has got three electives related to social entrepreneurship on innovation, venture plans, and enterprise design. Founded in 2003, the Skoll Centre of Social Entrepreneurship also awards five full-scholarship every year to the best candidates.


2. Stanford GSB



Some of the key modules of the MBA at the Stanford Graduate School of Business include Strategic Management for Non-Profits, Corporate Social Responsibility, Social and Environmental Management. Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability, Public Policy etc. Candidates can choose from 30 relevant modules on social entrepreneurship. The Centre for Social Innovation at Stanford is a great place for social enterprise activities. The support system encourages students to apply engineering and business skills to create products and business plans for ventures to address the challenges by the vulnerable and poor people of the society.

3. Harvard Business School


MBA in Social Entrepreneurship


Initiated in 1993, the Social Enterprise Initiative at the Harvard Business School attracts motivated and meritorious students from various backgrounds. HBS is a pioneer among all business schools to build capacity in the corporate social responsibility (CSR) space. HBS alumni have taken several leadership positions in the non-profit and for-profit sectors. 90 – 95% of the HBS faculty participate in the social enterprise teaching and research. Over the years, the school has made a big mark globally in the fields of non-profit strategy, academia, business leadership in the social sector, healthcare, global poverty, public education, and social enterprise.


4. Haas Business School, UC Berkeley



Haas has been doing some exemplary work in the social enterprise sphere. Its mission is “to inspire the next generation of leaders to create and seize opportunities to achieve social impact across sectors.” The Center for Non-Profit and Public Leadership at Haas has produced some inspiring leaders who made a tremendous impact in the social sector. Four core modules on social entrepreneurship & social impact, governance & leadership, organizational strategy, and financial management provide students with hands-on work exposure in the non-profit domain.


5. Kellogg Business School, Northwestern



The MBA program at Kellogg has got a Social Impact Pathway that includes Public Economics for Business Leaders, Federal Policy, Leading Mission-Driven Enterprises, Sustainability Reporting & Analysis, Medical Technologies in Developing Economies, and Microfinance. Students get all the training and knowledge to be world leaders in the field of social impact. There are also opportunities for social projects, international case study competitions, and a 4-month internship.


6. Yale SOM



Started in 1976, the School of Management (SOM) at the prestigious Yale University does not only create business leaders, but also social leaders. Some of the key electives are Financial Statements of Non-Profit Organizations and Business of Not-for-Profit Management. The Program on Social Enterprise covers non-profits, social enterprises, and public sector social entrepreneurship. Besides, there are rigorous academic coursework, intensive research programs, conferences, publications. With the motto “Harnessing business skills to achieve social objectives”, the MBA program at Yale SOM is one of the best programs for social enterprise in the world.


7. Fuqua, Duke University


The Duke MBA program is a unique one. At the Fuqua School of Business, students can have access to the Center for Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) and can do MBA in Social Entrepreneurship. Key modules include social innovation, performance and social change, a video for social change, short audio documentary, music and social entrepreneurship etc. Students can also avail CASE scholarship (25% tuition fee scholarship).


Top Schools for MBA in Social Entrepreneurship


8. Ross, Michigan (Ann Arbor)


The ERB Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise (founded in 1996), at the Ross School of Business, is a thought leader in the social enterprise sector. Students at Ross can also pursue a dual-degree MBA / MS offered in partnership with the School of Natural Resources and Environment. Key courses include Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Non-profit & Public Management, Advocacy & Social Change, Public Policy & Social Impact Law, Corporate Responsibility & Ethics, and Non-profit Finance, Fundraising & Development.


9. New York University (NYU)


At the NYU Stern School of Business, students can pursue an MBA in Social Innovation and Impact. Whereas, students at Wagner can do an MPA (Master of Public Administration) in Public Nonprofit Management and Policy. NYU offers excellent graduate fellowships (including merit-based scholarships), workshops and career resources in the social entrepreneurship space.


10. Wharton, Pennsylvania


The MBA at Wharton School has got much to offer in the social entrepreneurship field. The Non-Profit Board Leadership Program (NPBLP), which was introduced in 2005 by the Wharton School, aims at creating an environment of experimental and interdisciplinary learning for students. There is strong collaboration between the Penn Law School and Wharton School, and that is a huge incentive for MBA students. MBA students get the opportunity to develop a holistic sense of leadership skills and gain real-world skills by supporting the long-term needs of the local non-profits in the Philadelphia area.


Best Business Schools for Social Impact


Other than the top 10 schools discussed above, there are many other schools that are major players in the social entrepreneurship and social impact sectors. Some of the most notable ones are listed below.


Other Top Business Schools for Social Entrepreneurship 


  • Columbia University (Johnson)
  • MIT Sloan
  • Case Western Reserve University (Weatherhead School of Business)
  • UNC Kenan Flagler
  • ESADE Business School
  • IE Business School
  • University of British Columbia
  • Rotterdam School of Management
  • Audencia School of Management
  • Babson College
  • HEC Paris
  • HKUST Business School
  • York University
  • Cornell University
  • University of San Diego
  • University of North Carolina
  • University of Exeter
  • ESMT Berlin
  • HHL Leipzig
  • Emlyon Business School
  • University of Cambridge


Sources: Poets & Quants, ClearAdmit, MBA Crystal Ball, IntelligentHQ, Classy, Find-MBA

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