Independent Projects provide second-year HBS students with the opportunity to earn academic credit while they apply their skills to the real-world challenges facing organizations. Under faculty supervision, each team of three to six students works on a project of strategic importance to the organization and reports its recommendations at the end of the term. Organizations benefit directly from the student interaction and output.
Some past successful Social Enterprise independent projects include:
Worked with an international development organization’s internal strategy group to determine the appropriate efficient scale for country offices.
Explored interactive media approaches for an organization focused on expanding access to financial services for low-income families.
Developed a business plan for a contemporary art museum to increase its global presence.
Recommended and designed business partnerships and product designs for a Chinese telecom company to pursue mobile banking and microfinance for rural Chinese population to access financing.
Dates & Deadlines
Students work on independent projects either during the fall term or spring term. The deadline for submitting an organization-sponsored posting for a fall-term independent project is mid-August, and the submission deadline for a spring-term project is early December.
Please note: With greater numbers of students pursuing activities away from campus, and with increased instability in a number of regions of the world, the School has developed guidelines and an approach to funding students that balances educational opportunities with the risks inherent in locations where violence is high and the infrastructure to support travelers in the region is weak or overtaxed. In order to be considered for Fellowship or grant funding, students who are traveling to countries on the U.S. State Department Travel Advisory list must complete a Travel Application, and only students whose Travel Applications are approved will be eligible to receive funding from the School.
INITIATIVES focus on societal challenges that are too complex for any one discipline or industry to solve alone.