Harvard Business School » Social Enterprise » MBA Experience » Your Social Entrepreneurship checklist

MBA Experience

Your Social Entrepreneurship checklist

The Social Enterprise Initiative has long supported students and alumni starting organizations with a social impact focus. Our curriculum, career support, community building, and funding supports students in exploring social entrepreneurship and alumni to be successful in the early stages of launching their ventures.

Throughout

Career Coaching: Consult with MBA or Alumni Career Coach with social enterprise expertise.

Community Connections: Meet with students, faculty, and alumni by interest area.

Legal support:

Harvard Law School Transactional Law Clinics: A clinical program of Harvard Law School providing legal assistance to small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Cyberlaw Clinic: A Harvard Law clinic program offering pro-bono legal services to individuals, small start- ups, non-profit groups and government entities regarding cutting-edge issues of the Internet, new technology and intellectual property.

i-lab Legal Office Hours: A Harvard University mentoring service including business and legal advice.

 

First Year

Fall

Student clubs: Connect with students who share your interest in social enterprise and entrepreneurship through clubs such as the Entrepreneurship Club, Social Enterprise Club, Social Enterprise Conference, Impact Investing Club, and more!

HBS New Venture Competition: The HBS New Venture Competition provides a unique opportunity for students to put entrepreneurship principles into practice with an integrative learning experience. Students may participate in either the Business Track (for ventures whose economic returns drive substantial market impact) or in the Social Enterprise Track (for ventures that drive social change using nonprofit, for-profit, or hybrid models). (deadlines in December and February)

Harvard Innovation Labs: As a current, Harvard student, you can drop into the Harvard Innovation Labs and work on your innovative idea from within our space.

  • Attend our workshops
  • Schedule appointments to meet with our advisors and experts
  • Apply to the Venture Program (VP) for more hands-on accelerated help with your idea (August, September deadline for fall VP)
  • Current Venture Program cohort teams can apply for Spark Grants
  • Over the course of five years, the Social Impact Fellowship Fund will award $200,000 per year in grants to Harvard student-led ventures focused on social impact. The grants are distributed over three periods: Fall, Spring, and Summer. (with Fall, Spring, and Summer deadlines accordingly)

President’s Innovation Challenge: The President’s Innovation Challenge (PIC) is an invitation to Harvard students and select alumni & affiliate-led ventures to propel their ideas forward. (deadline in November - January)

Harvard Law Entrepreneurship Project: Harvard Law Entrepreneurship Project matches a team of 4 to 5 Harvard Law students and an attorney advisor with an entrepreneur to research and answer a legal question over 8 weeks. (deadlines in Fall and Spring)

Spring

Take required first year course: The Entrepreneurial Manager: All students take the Required Curriculum course, The Entrepreneurial Manager, to build the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required to succeed as an entrepreneurial manager.

HBS New Venture Competition: The HBS New Venture Competition provides a unique opportunity for students to put entrepreneurship principles into practice with an integrative learning experience. Students may participate in either the Business Track (for ventures whose economic returns drive substantial market impact) or in the Social Enterprise Track (for ventures that drive social change using nonprofit, for-profit, or hybrid models). (deadlines in December and February)

Apply for Social Enterprise Summer Fellowship Funding: The HBS Summer Fellows Program enables students to apply their classroom training as they explore career opportunities in roles or regions where compensation is generally lower than the traditional MBA level. Students either founding or working for social enterprises (nonprofit, public sector, or for-profit organizations with a social impact focus) are eligible to apply to be part of the Social Enterprise Summer Fellows cohort. (deadline in February - May)

Harvard Innovation Labs: As a current, Harvard student, you can drop into the Harvard Innovation Labs and work on your innovative idea from within our space

  • Attend our workshops
  • Schedule appointments to meet with our advisors and experts
  • Apply to the Venture Program (VP) for more hands-on accelerated help with your idea (January deadline for spring VP)
  • Current Venture Program cohort teams can apply for Spark Grants
  • Over the course of five years, the Social Impact Fellowship Fund will award $200,000 per year in grants to Harvard student-led ventures focused on social impact. The grants are distributed over three periods: Fall, Spring, and Summer. (with Fall, Spring, and Summer deadlines accordingly)

Harvard Law Entrepreneurship Project: Harvard Law Entrepreneurship Project matches a team of 4 to 5 Harvard Law students and an attorney advisor with an entrepreneur to research and answer a legal question over 8 weeks. (deadlines in Fall and Spring)

Spring/Summer Planning for Second Year

Select and register for MBA electives focused on social impact and entrepreneurship.

See more on social enterprise courses

See more on entrepreneurship courses

Plan for an Independent Project focused on your idea. Independent Projects in social enterprise complement the classroom-based courses by providing second-year MBA students the opportunity to apply their skills to the real-world challenges facing social enterprises.

Apply for HKS SICI Cheng Fellowship: The New World Social Innovation Fellowship at Harvard Kennedy School’s Social Innovation + Change Initiative is a rigorous co-curricular program for change-makers committed to addressing pressing social problems in new and creative ways. The Fellowship selects and supports students – known as Cheng Fellows – advancing progress on a social challenge through a project of their design.

Second Year

Fall

Student clubs: Connect with students who share your interest in social enterprise and entrepreneurship through clubs such as the Entrepreneurship Club, Social Enterprise Club, Social Enterprise Conference, Impact Investing Club, and more!

Apply for Independent Project grant: Students undertaking a Social Enterprise Independent Project may be eligible for the Social Enterprise Independent Project Reimbursement Grant Program to support their project expenses. (deadlines in September and February)

HBS New Venture Competition: The HBS New Venture Competition provides a unique opportunity for students to put entrepreneurship principles into practice with an integrative learning experience. Students may participate in either the Business Track (for ventures whose economic returns drive substantial market impact) or in the Social Enterprise Track (for ventures that drive social change using nonprofit, for-profit, or hybrid models). (deadlines in December and February)

Harvard Innovation Labs: As a current, Harvard student, you can drop into the Harvard Innovation Labs and work on your innovative idea from within our space.

  • Attend our workshops
  • Schedule appointments to meet with our advisors and experts
  • Apply to the Venture Program (VP) for more hands-on accelerated help with your idea (August, September deadline for fall VP)
  • Current Venture Program cohort teams can apply for Spark Grants
  • Over the course of five years, the Social Impact Fellowship Fund will award $200,000 per year in grants to Harvard student-led ventures focused on social impact. The grants are distributed over three periods: Fall, Spring, and Summer. (with Fall, Spring, and Summer deadlines accordingly)

President’s Innovation Challenge: The President’s Innovation Challenge (PIC) is an invitation to Harvard students and select alumni & affiliate-led ventures to propel their ideas forward. (deadline in November - January)

Harvard Law Entrepreneurship Project: Harvard Law Entrepreneurship Project matches a team of 4 to 5 Harvard Law students and an attorney advisor with an entrepreneur to research and answer a legal question over 8 weeks. (deadlines in Fall and Spring)

Spring

Apply for Independent Project grant: Students undertaking a Social Enterprise Independent Project may be eligible for the Social Enterprise Independent Project Reimbursement Grant Program to support their project expenses. (deadlines in September and February)

HBS New Venture Competition: The HBS New Venture Competition provides a unique opportunity for students to put entrepreneurship principles into practice with an integrative learning experience. Students may participate in either the Business Track (for ventures whose economic returns drive substantial market impact) or in the Social Enterprise Track (for ventures that drive social change using nonprofit, for-profit, or hybrid models). (deadlines in December and February)

Harvard Innovation Labs: As a current, Harvard student, you can drop into the Harvard Innovation Labs and work on your innovative idea from within our space.

  • Attend our workshops
  • Schedule appointments to meet with our advisors and experts
  • Apply to the Venture Program (VP) for more hands-on accelerated help with your idea (January deadline for Spring VP)
  • Current Venture Program cohort teams can apply for Spark Grants
  • Over the course of five years, the Social Impact Fellowship Fund will award $200,000 per year in grants to Harvard student-led ventures focused on social impact. The grants are distributed over three periods: Fall, Spring, and Summer. (with Fall, Spring, and Summer deadlines accordingly)

Harvard Law Entrepreneurship Project: Harvard Law Entrepreneurship Project matches a team of 4 to 5 Harvard Law students and an attorney advisor with an entrepreneur to research and answer a legal question over 8 weeks. (deadlines in fall and Spring)

Rock Loan Assistance: Rock Loan Assistance is a needs based loan forgiveness for graduating HBS students who have founded a for-profit new venture and are pursuing it full time.

Alumni engagement

HBS Social Enterprise Loan Repayment Assistance Program: HBS Social Enterprise Loan Repayment Assistance Program supports graduates pursuing career paths in nonprofit, public sector organizations, and for-profit social enterprises which often have compensation levels below the MBA average. Qualified alumni may apply at any time during the first ten years following graduation; preference is given to graduates entering the Program within three years of graduation. (deadline on October 1)

The New Venture Competition Alumni Track: The New Venture Competition Alumni Track serves as a launch pad for innovative new ventures from HBS alumni, providing access and exposure to potential investors, mentors, and advisors. The annual event is sponsored by the HBS’s Rock Center for Entrepreneurship and Alumni Clubs & Associations. The competition is open to alumni with early-stage ventures, and winners receive an invitation to the Global Finals Round and NVC Finale. (deadline in November - January)

Alumni Clubs: Alumni clubs allow you to stay connected with other alumni interested in social enterprise while you build lifelong relationships with MBA students, fellow alumni, and Executive Education participants.

You can connect with regional clubs, as well as shared interest clubs, such as The HBS Alumni Angels Association, an educational and networking forum for Harvard Alumni and other participants who are interested in researching and investing in early stage companies on an individual basis.

Launch Lab X GEO: Launch Lab X GEO is a global ecosystem where Harvard alumni ventures come to connect with each other, deepen their relationships, and take their work to scale in unexpected and powerful ways. (May application deadline for September - August program)

The Pagliuca Harvard Life Lab: The Pagliuca Harvard Life Lab is a wet laboratory with co-working space for early-stage, high-potential biotech and life science start-ups founded by Harvard students, alumni, faculty, and postdoctoral scholars. As part of the Harvard Innovation Labs ecosystem, ventures in this space have access to robust programming and resources.