A major preparing students to create innovative, scalable and measureable solutions to complex societal challenges.

Interdisciplinary Programs

Social Entrepreneurship

Questions?

Thomas Cavenagh

+1 630 637 5157

tdcavenagh@noctrl.edu

Why choose social entrepreneurship at North Central College?

The only solution to a world with more problems is a society with more problem-solvers. If you want to be part of the next generation of changemakers who develop creative solutions to complex social challenges, you’ll love our social entrepreneurship major. You’ll be prepared to combine the best levers of business with a broad understanding of society and culture to create change around the issues that you care about most. You’ll be a sought-after addition to any organization that wants to create social impact, and you’ll be well-equipped to launch your own for-profit business or non-profit organization. North Central’s social entrepreneurship programs have won “best initiative” and “best course” awards from Future Founders, a Chicago-based entrepreneurship organization.

You can also:

  • Learn from and network with local social entrepreneurs through our “Meet the Changemakers” speaker series, and attend conferences, workshops and site visits in the Chicago region
  • Join or lead student organizations like Enactus to support global entrepreneurs while operating a direct trade coffee business, The Union to run a music venue as a platform for social change, Students for Social Innovation to advocate for causes you care about, and many more
  • Pitch your new venture or project idea in our Changemaker Challenge to receive seed funding and mentoring, or apply for other grants to explore and learn about the issues you want to address
  • Benefit from the staff and resources in the Center for Social Impact, North Central’s forward-thinking hub for social innovation and changemaking
  • Land internships and jobs with social impact organizations of all types, including businesses, non-profits, and government agencies

Social Entrepreneurship, B.A.

A Social Entrepreneurship major prepares students with the mindset and skillset to create innovative, scalable and measurable solutions to complex societal challenges, focused on a triple bottom-line of social, financial and environmental returns. Students will be well-equipped to launch a for-profit, non-profit or hybrid venture of their own, or to solve social challenges through the process of innovation within an existing organization.

For additional information and courses in this program, see Leadership, Ethics and Values.

Major Requirements

  • LEAD 100 - Design Thinking for Social Impact

    LEAD 100 - Design Thinking for Social Impact

    4.00 credit hours

    As members of a diverse and global community, we face a variety of complex social issues. Students will learn the theory and practice of human-centered design, a creative approach to problem-solving that leads students through a process to empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test their ideas. Through readings, case studies, hands-on activities, field experiences, and interaction with community leaders and residents, students will develop the mindset and toolkit needed to create innovative solutions for change, regardless of the discipline or field of study they pursue. Students will identify local social or environmental challenges and work collaboratively to address them through the design thinking process.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Community Engaged Learning.
    iCon(s)
    Innovating the World.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • LEAD 120 - Leaders Without Borders

    LEAD 120 - Leaders Without Borders

    4.00 credit hours

    World leaders must navigate an array of domestic and international issues on a daily basis. Their leadership qualities and styles often reflect cultural and social norms as well as their nation's political system. The underlying theme of this course is that the skills and behaviors that are perceived as effective leadership characteristics in one culture are not necessarily those that will be effective in a different culture. Students will explore the ways in which specific characteristics are valued differently by different cultures. Students will also acquire frameworks for assessing how to approach a work assignment in a culture that is not their own. Finally, students will consider the effect of globalization on leadership, and define the characteristics necessary to successfully lead in a highly diverse and complex world that challenges them to understand and respond to nationalism, terrorism, trade, human rights, environmental challenges, power and justice, and explore regional leadership issues.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Global Understanding.
    iCon(s)
    Thinking Globally.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • LEAD 180 - Financial Intelligence for Social Entrepreneurs

    LEAD 180 - Financial Intelligence for Social Entrepreneurs

    4.00 credit hours

    Social enterprises have unique financial management and reporting needs. To operate such businesses successfully, social entrepreneurs require clear and complete financial information, including budgeting and cash flow forecasting, to inform their decision-making and to support their efforts to produce investment in the business. This course will explore the accounting and financial management of social enterprises, focusing on basic accounting practices and principles in a hands-on, skills-oriented, case-study driven fashion.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • LEAD 200 - Social Innovation

    LEAD 200 - Social Innovation

    4.00 credit hours

    Students learn to utilize design thinking and systems thinking methodology in approaching social and environmental problems. Students will develop an innovative skillset and apply it directly to complex issues of their choosing, while building their efficacy as changemakers. Social innovation is derived from the practice of solution-oriented thinking, that seeks to create a more just, equitable, and sustainable world.

    Prerequisite(s)

    LEAD 100.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    U.S. Power Structures.
    iCon(s)
    Innovating the World.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • LEAD 300 - Social Entrepreneurship

    LEAD 300 - Social Entrepreneurship

    4.00 credit hours

    An immersion into the rapidly-growing field of social entrepreneurship, teaching students how to address complex social or environmental challenges through the creation of market-based solutions that are innovative, measurable, sustainable and scalable. Through readings, interactive workshops, guest speakers, and field experiences, students will identify systemic social challenges and corresponding opportunities, pinpoint root causes, ideate and test possible solutions, explore funding sources, consider legal structures, and prepare an impact measurement plan. The course will culminate in a written social venture plan and pitch that communicates a viable solution to a social challenge.

    Prerequisite(s)

    One of the following: LEAD 100, LEAD 180 or Junior standing.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Community Engaged Learning.
    iCon(s)
    Challenging Inequity.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • LEAD 370 - Marketing for Social Impact

    LEAD 370 - Marketing for Social Impact

    4.00 credit hours

    Effective marketing can be alever for the creation of both economic and social value. Startups and existing organizations, whether focused on marketing goods, services, ideas or values, need a complete strategy for maximizing social impact. Social entrepreneurs face a unique challenge in not just identifying a market opportunity, but tackling a neglected market gap. In addition to understanding product, place, price, and promotion in the creation of a marketing plan, students will learn the theory and practice of branding and identity, storytelling and communication, and the use of available technological tools that contribute to positive social impact.

    Prerequisite(s)

    Junior standing.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • LEAD 380 - Finance & Law for Social Impact Business

    LEAD 380 - Finance & Law for Social Impact Business

    4.00 credit hours

    Two early, but significant, challenges facing social entrepreneurs are financing the enterprise and determining what type of business entity the enterprise will be. This course explores a range of financing models and approaches, all of which present the social entrepreneur with the opportunity to both start and scale up a successful social enterprise. The course also considers the range of business entity options, both traditional and social enterprise specific, available to the social entrepreneur. Students will develop finance plans and business formation documents as major projects in the course.

    Prerequisite(s)

    LEAD 180 and LEAD 300.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • LEAD 400 - Social Impact Measurement

    LEAD 400 - Social Impact Measurement

    4.00 credit hours

    Address the growing necessity of social impact measurement in a broad spectrum of industries, including non-profit organizations, for-profit corporations, and social enterprises. Social impact may be defined as any non-financial benefit that a venture will create for the good of society, and can include issues like human rights, poverty, the environment, health & wellness, education and more. Traditional businesses track their performance based on specific economic and accounting metrics. This course engages students in the practice of social impact measurement from identifying an organization's mission and vision, to mapping data collection and identifying long-term impact. Students identify, secure, and partner with non-profits, for profit social enterprises, or their own entity to complete a course-long, engaged learning project.

    Prerequisite(s)

    LEAD 300.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Community Engaged Learning.

    Schedule Of Classes

One of the following:

  • LEAD 230 - Conflict Resolution

    LEAD 230 - Conflict Resolution

    4.00 credit hours

    An inquiry into the theories and skills relating to the resolution of conflict in the community and the workplace. A variety of approaches will be used to understand and analyze issues and develop skills including lecture/discussion, negotiation exercises and simulated mediations. The course will focus on developing the ability to practice as a mediator.

    Prerequisite(s)

    Sophomore standing.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • LEAD 310 - Leadership and Place

    LEAD 310 - Leadership and Place

    4.00 credit hours

    Leadership and Place traces the influence of home towns and home places on contemporary and historical leadership paradigms while considering such ethical questions as: What role does place play in forming a responsible and responsive leader? How does one lead responsibly and well far from home? How and where do rural, urban and suburban ethical standards and value judgments converge and diverge? Where have the leaders of the past come from and where are they likely to be found in the future? Paying close attention to small communities and neighborhoods as key loci in the production of twentieth-century civic leaders and as ethical centers in a Jeffersonian republic, course texts, lectures and discussions feature real-life case studies designed to engage students in debates weighing ethical and moral positions viewed through the lens of place. Leadership and Place uniquely encourages students in the study of personal (inside-out) as well as cultural (outside-in) place-based, ethical perspectives while inviting them to consider the foundational role home communities play in ethical leadership on the local, regional and national level.

    Prerequisite(s)

    Sophomore standing.

    iCon(s)
    Experiencing Place.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • LEAD 360 - Precepting

    LEAD 360 - Precepting

    2.00 credit hours

    Precepting is a form of leadership in the classroom. A preceptor is not a simply a teaching assistant, a peer mentor or a tutor. A preceptor is an apprentice who works alongside a professor, participating in the management and delivery of a course he or she has already taken. In this seminar, students engage with the scholarship of teaching and learning, leadership theory, and strengths-based development while reflecting on their unique precepting experience. Precepting provides high-impact, experiential learning in the world of higher education.

    Prerequisite(s)

    Junior standing and instructor consent.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Community Engaged Learning.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • LEAD 390 - Seminar on Leadership Theory

    LEAD 390 - Seminar on Leadership Theory

    4.00 credit hours

    The goal of the seminar is to gain familiarity with the considerations involved in framing a comprehensive theory of leadership with special emphasis upon the connections between leadership, values and ethics. In independent projects students relate major theories about leadership to the study of specific leader/constituent relationships.

    Prerequisite(s)

    Junior standing.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Writing Intensive.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • LEAD 499 - Independent Study (two or more credit hours)

    LEAD 499 - Independent Study

    1.00-12.00 credit hours

    Schedule Of Classes

One of the following:

  • LEAD 494 - Capstone: Applied Leadership

    LEAD 494 - Capstone: Applied Leadership

    4.00 credit hours

    A structured seminar reflection upon experience of leadership relations gained in an approved experiential setting. Students spend approximately 10 to 12 hours per week in their experiential setting. One two-hour class meeting per week.

    Prerequisite(s)

    Junior standing.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • LEAD 497 - Internship (four or more credit hours)

    LEAD 497 - Internship

    0.00-12.00 credit hours

    Schedule Of Classes

Additional Requirements for the B.A. Degree

Students must demonstrate elementary competence in a foreign language. For more information, see the B.A. Degree Requirements within the Academic Regulations section of this catalog.

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