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Social Entrepreneurship

Social entrepreneurship is founded on the recognition that social problems require new thinking and new approaches. Social entrepreneurs employ business models, nonprofit models, and hybrids to create new streams of funding and development. Because work in social entrepreneurship requires much more  than just business disciplines, our program will help you gain skills, experiences, and knowledge that span the profit-making, nonprofit, and public sectors. You will move beyond the idea of social entrepreneur as a heroic leader to a model of an individual who can assess the social and cultural contexts of situations, evaluate the fit of an idea, assess its application while engaging those affected by social change in problem solving and execution.

In Bryant’s Social Entrepreneurship concentration, you will study social problems and their sources. You will gain invaluable, real-world experience working directly with organizations to develop innovative solutions in education, healthcare, immigration, community development and other areas. For example, past students have created social enterprises, worked with social funding organizations, joined innovative educational programs, and engaged in other cutting-edge opportunities.

Future careers, post-grad opportunities

Bryant’s Social Entrepreneurship concentration will prepare you to make a positive difference, whether you decide to pursue working with a nonprofit organization, help launch a start-up initiative, or establish your own enterprise with a goal of improving society. Combining sociology and other disciplines will allow you to develop a critical perspective embedded in understanding culture, politics, and history.

The concentration allows you to complement many courses of study with the knowledge of what constitutes a social enterprise and how you can address societal ills through social entrepreneurship. You will know how to apply basic research methods in sociology, including research ethics, data analysis, and interpretation. You will be able to apply sociological principles ethically to personal, societal, and organizational issues. You will also be well prepared for graduate study.

Social entrepreneurship faculty

Faculty in this concentration – drawn from sociology, marketing, finance, management, legal studies and other departments – all focus on creating new approaches to problem solving. Among these faculty are talented researchers and engaged professors who create learning opportunities that encourage students to be critical thinkers and inspired doers. These dedicated professors connect academic studies with experience where students test their skills and learning in real-world settings. Faculty teaching these courses partner with local and international social entrepreneurs providing students with the opportunity to work with leaders in the community on project creation, design, marketing, and fund development.


Christopher Brida '12
Mathematics teacher, Benjamin Franklin High School (Baltimore, MD)

"For me, studying social entrepreneurship was about creating a way to learn more about my passion—something Bryant has encouraged.

It was the perfect marriage of my minors: sociology and entrepreneurship. I had the opportunity to complete a directed study in social entrepreneurship under Professor Sandra Enos, Ph.D., studying how business concepts can be applied to solving social issues.

In other entrepreneurship classes, I found ways to integrate social issues - in my entrepreneurial marketing class we worked with a startup medical device company—in an effort to expand my knowledge of social enterprises."


Mary Dupont '68, '93H
Co-founder, EfforTZ Foundation

“There is nothing like touching a child holistically and saving his or her life,” Mary Dupont '68, '93H told a group of Bryant students. “I can see how I’m changing their lives. It’s awesome to see them learn to dream for the very first time. I can see joy on their faces and hear their hope for the future. This is what drives all my work for EfforTZ.” After 33 years of professional success at accounting giant KPMG, Dupont helped create the all-volunteer nonprofit EffortTZ Foundation, which raises scholarship money for orphaned or abandoned children in Tanzania. “I enjoyed my job at KPMG,” she says. “I love my work in Tanzania.”