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Social Entrepreneurship at NIU

Social entrepreneurship is an emerging field focused on addressing the world's most pressing social problems, including hunger and poverty, violence and gender inequalities, and lack of access to clean water or educational opportunities, just to name a few. Social entrepreneurs engage the market and apply their business skills to develop creative revenue-generating solutions in their pursuit of significantly changing the systems that perpetuate these problems.

Read the story about how NIU students are changing the world through NIU's social entrepreneurship program. At NIU, students can study social entrepreneurship with national leaders in the field.

The undergraduate certificate in social entrepreneurship helps students develop the entrepreneurial skills related to the unique features of building and sustaining ventures to generate economic, social, and environmental change and the role of microfinance organizations.

The minor in social entrepreneurship allows students the opportunity to learn and apply entrepreneurial skills to solving some of the world's most challenging problems through the creation of sustainable social enterprises. Students participate in social venture consulting and compete for seed money in the social venture competition.

NIU sponsors social venture competitions to help students launch new social businesses to address social problems. NIU's Social Venture Competition class helped launch Light Up Africa (LUA), a venture created by NIU business and engineering students. Light Up Africa went on to be named a semi-finalist in Dell's Social Innovation Challenge and won a coveted spot in the 2012 inaugural class of Impact Engine, a social business accelerator in Chicago, in its efforts to reduce reliance on dangerous and expensive sources of light in Kenya.