SE Classes

Minor in Entrepreneurship, with a Concentration in Social Entrepreneurship

The purpose of the Entrepreneurship Minor is to prepare students to play crucial roles in the new venture community—whether as founders, funders, policy makers, technologists, or executives—thereby impacting positively the world in which we live and creating value of all kinds.


Fall Semester

PPOL 3050: Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship - Mulloth and Baird  

This course introduces students to innovative approaches to solve the world's biggest problems, such as poverty, climate change and lack of access to quality healthcare, housing and education. The course incorporates guest lectures by social entrepreneurs from the field via video conference. The course is cross-listed in the College (GDS 3050) and Curry (EDLF 3050).



PPOL 5225:  Conscious Social Change - Wallace

Before you can solve a social problem, you must understand it deeply - this class teaches you how to do that well. You must know how to: learn about the needs of the community, become aware of the biases you bring to the table, and work collaboratively with the community to co-create effective solutions. The course provides future leaders with the skills to invest in their own self understanding and initiate social change or engage in community service mindfully, sustainably and with impact at home or abroad.


Spring Semester

PPOL 3290:  Social Innovation in Emerging Markets India and South East Asia - Mulloth

This is an introductory course, aimed at exposing students to modern Indian and South Asian society, culture, business and policy through a variety of materials. While this class is primarily for students who have no previous familiarity with this subject, those with some experience of it will have the opportunity to find and articulate new ways of approaching and interpreting these regions. The course may be particularly important due to the rising stature and importance of India and more generally, South Asia, in the global economy. Foreign direct investment (FDI), Entrepreneurship and Innovation related businesses have dramatically increased in these regions. This course will provide an overview of the emerging trends and activities and an opportunity to study them in more detail.

PPOL 3410: Innovation and Social Impact - Mulloth

This course introduces students to the strategies and processes required in the contemporary economy to leverage innovation in order to maintain overall competitiveness and make a difference. Students will gain knowledge of strategies of change that include the innovative activities of social entrepreneurs, activists, organizations, and social movements. Students will examine several individuals and groups who have catalyzed important positive social change through different organizational platforms –in the market, in government, within the nonprofit sector, and increasingly in the space between these three sectors. Consequently, sophisticated integration and multifaceted leadership are usually essential for successful technology and innovation strategy. An important objective of this course is to enhance a participant’s ability to marshal the varied competencies required to innovate effectively and make a difference. Throughout the course students will examine social innovation through case studies, lectures, relevant readings, guest speakers, and student presentations.

PPOL 4720:  Open Source for the Common Good - Etienne

Innovative non-profits and world-changing for-profits are both effective models for social change. However, they are not the only models, a new frontier of social innovation is emerging which harnesses the free flow of information, design and solutions. From open source plans of how to make generators and sanitary pads, to open source designs for 3D printers in the developing world to make prosthetics to land mind victims, to open source schools like Barefoot College in India - free access to solutions can be even more scalable than produces and services design for extreme affordability. Open source technology plays a major role in society and embodies a different culture with different tradeoffs and societal impacts than private IP driven design. Open source is highly innovative and holds considerable promise for addressing most of the critical problems facing society such as sustainability, inequality, the cost of technology and open access to knowledge. We will study the role of open source through numerous case studies and discussions of the major features of open source. Students will practice open source methods in design projects throughout the semester, and become quite conversant with the culture and methods of open source design.

PPOL 4730:  Impact Investing – Baird

“Impact Investing” is the proactive deployment of financial resources to organizations that can provide a positive return on investment as well as an additional, intentional social impact beyond financial returns. Impact Investing explores how funders (grant funders, investors and policymakers) deploy capital to support social entrepreneurs. This course seeks to give you an introductory understanding of utilizing finance as a tool for solving social problems worldwide.

PPOL 4735 (Capstone):  Experiential Social Entrepreneurship – Mahoney

This is an experiential learning class applies the knowledge gained in Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship to real-world problems that our social entrepreneur partners are facing. Students will work in small teams on challenges proposed by a set of local and international social entrepreneurs organized by the professor. This is a design-thinking-centric course for students interested in investigating how our world is adapting to solve the greatest social and environmental challenges of this century.

PPOL 4991 (Capstone): Developing a New Social Venture – Mulloth

The goal of this capstone course is to provide students with the experience of planning, developing and building a new social venture. The learning would largely take place as a result of actually starting and scaling a new social venture (either de novo or part of an existing social enterprise), as a founder or member of a startup team, under faculty supervision. Spread out over five phases, the specific objective of this course is to develop and build a social new venture.

PPOL 4994 (Capstone):  Private Initiatives for the Public Good – Martin

This is a project-oriented class on using nonprofit organizations as policy vehicles. The class has an extraordinary opportunity to leverage a gift of $50,000 from the Philanthropy Lab at the Once Upon a Time Foundation to nonprofits engaged in the policy arena. The class will work with multiple clients to better understand the policy subsystems surrounding specific problems, and make funding recommendations to those clients based on our understanding of the subsystems.

COMM 2559, iStartup: Entrepreneurship 101 Meets the Amazing Race - Touve

Startup is a 14-week course-plus-simulation designed to provide students with not only the basic tools and vocabulary of new ventures, but also a sense of what it feels like to start, fund, and manage such a venture. The course, by way of in-class case discussions, mentored group work and startup simulations introduces students to a broad range of issues faced by founders and funders of both for-profit and non-profit ventures. The Startup class is open to first- and second-year students at U.Va., regardless of major or School. The experience of the course has been described as, “Entrepreneurship 101 meets the Amazing Race.” Listed as COMM 2559 and ENGR 1559, supported by SE@UVA.



PPOL 4550/5550:  Global Field Experience - Social Entrepreneurship in India - Mulloth (PPOL 3050 required prior to enrolling)

Focusing on the Indian context, the course will leverage case studies, lectures and site visits to help participants learn to think strategically and act tactically, with an economic mindset and a social conscience. The academic foundation for this course will be provided in Dr. Mulloth's Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship course held in Fall 2015. Subsequently, with a series of new case and article discussions, site visits and in partnership with India based venture philanthropy organizations/non-profit foundations, students will have the opportunity to apply their classroom learning to real-world issues by conducting preliminary fieldwork projects in select India cities. In addition to in class case discussions, student teams will work in collaboration with locally based partner organizations to deliver on discrete projects designed to meet existing needs. Host organizations will be asked to consider student team recommendations and provide critical feedback that could then form the basis for additional data gathering, fieldwork and further development of the project by way of potential student internships. The students will also be asked to write individual reports of the key lessons learned and their overall course takeaways.