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Online Education (social Entrepreneurship Degrees)

By Expert Author: John Srob

Social problems permeate the world around us. No country, state, region, or community is immune from problems such as poverty, substance abuse, lack of basic services, violence, and more.

If asked, most of us would like to help solve these social problems. However, most of us do not know the necessary steps to influence social change and make the world a better place.

The emerging field of social entrepreneurship equips creative people with the necessary tools, skills, and knowledge to confront and solve social problems at the community level. In general, the discipline uses entrepreneurial principles from business, sociology, nonprofit management, political science, and public administration to address existing social problems.

About the Online Graduate Certificate in Social Entrepreneurship

Online Graduate Certificate in Social Entrepreneurship focuses on developing your entrepreneurial skills to enhance the social sector, including:

entrepreneurial principles
ventures and social enterprises
the “business” of solving social problems

Through online courses, you will explore the:

concepts of social entrepreneurship.
methods and techniques of entrepreneurship.
steps required to create social enterprises and ventures.
management of ventures and social enterprises.
building of advocacy campaigns.

As a graduate of the online program, you will be better equipped to:

positively impact social problems at the community, state, regional, national, or international level.
leverage assets and your imagination to serve your community's needs.
create and foster sustainable organizations that support social change.
succeed in an increasingly diverse and interdependent world.


The notion of using a management degree to do good while doing well has grown in popularity on today's business school campuses, where an ever-increasing number of students plan on putting their business savvy to use within the nonprofit sector. The recession has led many applicants to reevaluate their priorities and determine what they want to do with their lives, often trading jobs with status and hefty paychecks for careers with a positive social impact.

In order to keep and develop the competitive edge needed to survive in today's uncertain economy, nonprofits must run themselves just like any other successful business. When you need to run a tight ship, as is often the case within this sector, business skills are essential. So are people skills, management skills, financial-analysis skills, IT skills—the list goes on. That's where the M.B.A. degree comes in.

A degree is not a must for entrepreneurs--many people have launched successful businesses without a formal education. However, degree programs in entrepreneurship can help students learn more about accounting, ethics, economics, finance, marketing, management, and other business topics.

An associate's degree in entrepreneurship can be earned within two years. A bachelor's degree program usually lasts four years, and a master's program can typically be completed within two years after earning a bachelor's degree. Students who have earned a master's degree in entrepreneurship could earn a doctoral degree in four to six years.

The amount of time that it takes to complete any of these degree programs is dependent on the school offering the program and the student's level of study. For example, students who study part-time will take more time to earn a degree than students who study full-time.

What Can I Do with an Entrepreneurship Degree

Many people who earn an entrepreneurship degree go on to start their own business. However, there are other jobs that can be pursued with an entrepreneurship degree. Possible job options include, but are not limited to:

Business Manager - Business managers typically plan, direct, and oversee operations and employees.
Corporate Recruiter - Corporate recruiters help corporate firms locate, research, interview, and hire employees.
Human Resources Manager - Human resources managers supervise aspects of employee relations and may evaluate and formulate policies relating to company personnel.
Management Analyst - Management analysts analyze and evaluate operating procedures and then make recommendations based on their findings.
Marketing Research Analyst - Marketing research analysts collect and analyze information to determine the demand for a potential product or service.


Social problems permeate the world around us. No country, state, region, or community is immune from problems such as poverty, substance abuse, lack of basic services, violence, and more.

If asked, most of us would like to help solve these social problems. However, most of us do not know the necessary steps to influence social change and make the world a better place.

The emerging field of social entrepreneurship equips creative people with the necessary tools, skills, and knowledge to confront and solve social problems at the community level. In general, the discipline uses entrepreneurial principles from business, sociology, nonprofit management, political science, and public administration to address existing social problems.

The minor in Global Social Entrepreneurship provides a specific academic path for students from any college within the university to study the emerging interdisciplinary field of social entrepreneurship, and apply what they have learned in the classroom to practical field projects in disadvantaged communities both locally and in the developing world.

Social Entrepreneurship is the study of enterprise solutions to social problems. Our teaching and research emphasis is on social innovation, sustainable business models (especially for profits and hybrids), and scalable impact designs for the developing world. As such, students should understand both the societal/political aspects of social problems, but also the ways in which business knowledge and skills can be used to address them.

The minor in Social Entrepreneurship is a five course undergraduate interdisciplinary minor, in which we partner with departments within other colleges, namely International Affairs , Human Services and Law, Policy & Society. Non-Business students are required to take our core course in social entrepreneurship courses and potentially a second course in microfinance, and either one or two classes offered by these interdisciplinary groups that complement our courses in Social Entrepreneurship.

Each student would also be required to do either one of our two summer field study programs (South Africa or the Dominican Republic) or an appropriate social entrepreneurship program offered in a related discipline.

For the interdisciplinary minor, students must complete a total of 20 semester hours students complete the required course in social entrepreneurship, an 8-semester hour field research program, and an additional 8 semester hours of coursework at Northeastern.

Students choose from field research programs and courses that have been approved by the Advisory Board. Courses approved by the Board contain relevant content in the areas of: globalization; civil society; poverty, inequality and social justice; philanthropy and non-profit management; and law and human rights. Because this is an interdisciplinary minor, no more than 12 semester hours may be taken in any one college.


You May Qualify For Financial Aid.

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