Yale School of Management

Program on Social Enterprise

Harnessing business skills and markets to achieve social objectives.


Yale SOM offers a wide array of elective courses that explore issues related to social enterprise, ranging from non-profit management to public policy, from environmental stewardship to business ethics.  A list of all syllabi can be found at courses.yale.edu.

  • Global Social Entrepreneurship

    Tony Sheldon

    The Global Social Entrepreneurship (GSE) courses offer students the opportunity to work on consulting projects with organizations in regions outside of the United States. Both courses partner with mission-driven social entrepreneurs serving “base of the pyramid” communities to address a specific management challenge. The first (GSE India) works with Indian social enterprises on an array of projects focused on expanding their reach and impact. The second course (Spring GSE) addresses issues in a different country of focus each year. 

  • Managing Social Enterprises

    Kate Cooney

    This course provides the opportunity to examine through a set of case studies, key issues related to managing social enterprise organizations. Following initial content reviewing perspectives on the trend of social enterprise, topics covered include: choosing the right organizational legal firm, managing competing or conflicting goals, tools for double and triple bottom like decision making, calculating a social return on investment (SROI), the challenge of integrating interdisciplinary human resources, raising capital at different stages of the organizational lifecycle, scaling a social innovation/product, and exits. 

  • Ethical Choices in Public Leadership

    Eric Braverman

    Every public leader must make choices that challenge his/her code of ethics. This interdisciplinary seminar on Ethical Choices in Public Leadership will draw upon perspectives from law, management, and public policy in exploring how leaders develop their principles, respond when their principles fail or conflict, and make real-world choices when, in fact, there are no good choices. 

  • Economic Strategy for Doing Business in the Developing Countries

    Kevin Donovan

    This course examines economic strategies for non-profit and for-profit organizations and firms operating in the developing world. The course focuses on conducting business in environments with weak or deficient institutions, including corruption, political instability, lack of contract enforceability and poor investor protections, while also exploring the role of non-profits, NGOs and multi-lateral institutions in the process of development. This course will use quantitative economic and game theoretic analysis to examine these issues in addition to international policy issues such as natural resource exploitation, the free trade of goods including environmental goods, intellectual property protection, and labor rights. 

  • Urban Poverty and Economic Development

    Kate Cooney

    This semester long course provides an examination of current theory, research and policy on urban poverty and community development in the U.S., as a background for developing community wealth building economic development interventions in city and community settings. We examine innovation approaches in the traditional areas of economic development, practice areas of business creation and development, workforce development and skills training, housing, education, and individual income support and wealth building. The course uses readings, guest lectures and case based discussions, and the opportunity for self-directed exploration of the topics discussed. 

  • Managing Sustainable Operations

    Saed Alizamir

    Managing marketing programs focuses on tactical decisions that managers must make to successfully implement marketing strategies including managed introduction of new products, effective setting of prices, persuasive communication of product value, and the distribution of the product through intermediaries or direct sales teams. This course teaches students how to make tactical marketing decisions regarding “marketing mix” or the “4 P’s of marketing”—product, price, promotions and place—the primary levers available to managers to effect a marketing program in a competitive business environment. 

  • Strategic Management of Nonprofit Organizations

    Judy Chevalier

    This course examines issues faced by nonprofit organizations, including mission definition, competing internal and external demands, resource scarcity and uncertainty, governance systems, and managing strategic change.  

  • Financing Green Technologies

    Richard Kauffman

    This course will explore how investing in renewable energy is different than in investing in other sectors and how policy support for renewable energy varies between countries. The course will rely on real-life case studies to illustrate themes and to expose students to different end markets and companies along the maturity cycle from early stage ventures to projects using mature technology. In doing, the course will give some insights as to specialized participants—Venture Capital, Private Equity, and Project Finance—fit together in funding a company. Also addressed in the course are other green technologies affected by the same issues. 

  • Impact Measurement & Financial Reporting in the Social Sector

    Raphael Duguay

    This course will provide students with technical skills to evaluate performance in the social sector, namely by measuring impact and analyzing financial reports. Students will be introduced to tools and methods to measure social impact, with an emphasis on causality and cost-benefit tradeoffs. Sequentially, students will acquire the technical knowledge to interpret the financial statements of nonprofit organizations (topics include expense classification, contributions, donors-imposed restrictions, endowments, etc.). I draw on real examples and use cases to apply the concepts. The course will benefit students interested in leadership or directorship at nonprofit, social, and religious organizations, as well as students who intend to take up positions in corporate social responsibility, impact investing, grantmaking, or ministry.

  • Social Entrepreneurship in Public Health

    Teresa Chahine

    This is a case based course about innovation and entrepreneurship for health equity, including racial equity and other drivers of health. COVID-19 has brought to light for many the complexities in drivers of health, and the role of entrepreneurship and cross-sectoral collaboration in eliminating health disparities. We examine cases of entrepreneurship for health equity in the U.S. and globally, using a research-based framework to analyze the role of innovation and design thinking, resource mobilization, financial viability, cross-disciplinary collaboration, and systems strengthening. 

  • Start-up Founder Practicum

    Jennifer McFadden

    This course provides students a means to work on their start-up ventures for credit, applying principles derived from their other coursework, particularly the integrated core curriculum and the introductory entrepreneurship elective. Also offered in Spring. 

  • Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship

    Teresa Chahine

    This is a practice-based course in which students from across campus form interdisciplinary teams to work on a social challenge of their choice. Teams delve into the challenge through root cause analysis, research on existing solutions, design thinking, and systems thinking to design, prototype, test, and iterate solutions. 

  • Metrics, Tools and Indicators in Corporate Responsibility

    Todd Cort

    This is an applied course on the metrics, indicators and tools used by businessses to implement strategically relevant Corporate Social and Environmental  Responsibility (CR) or Sustainability programs. It is relevant for any potential corporate manager or consultant. 

  • Inequality and Social Mobility

    Barbara Biasi

    This course explores current trends in inequality and social and intergenerational mobility in the US and abroad, their possible causes, and the impact of public policies in shaping these trends. Drawing primarily on empirical evidence from the economics literature, we will examine the role of the education, segregation, and race in shaping economic opportunities within and across generations. 

  • Private Capital and Impact Investing

    Susan Carter

    This course, which is taught from the perspective of an institutional investor, provides an introduction to Private Capital and Impact Investment markets including 1) the development of the venture capital industry 2) an overview of the private equity industry 3) an exploration of how venture capital and private equity  investment firms are embracing ESG factors, and 4) the development of impact investment and how the private capital model is used for positive environmental and social impact.

  • Education Policy

    Barbara Biasi

    This course is designed to describe the major policies defining today’s education system in the US. The course focuses on governance, accountability, choice, finance, and personnel policies for K-12 education, and especially on federal, state, and local policies. 

  • Aligning Profit and Purpose

    Blair Miller

    The course explores the evolution of the role business plays in addressing social issues. It digs into the evolving models of corporate shared value, social entrepreneurship, impact investing, and social bonds leaving students with a strong understanding of the industry and the career pathways.