Since 2006, the NYU Reynolds Program has awarded over 60 Graduate Fellowships in Social Entrepreneurship to students from across 11 NYU schools. The fellowship program includes $25,000 for each of two years of study and an intensive two-year curricular and co-curricular program designed to help prepare fellows to be the next generation of social entrepreneurs.
Broadly speaking, the program attracts three types of changemakers:
- those that have or are planning to develop an innovative idea to address a specific social problem in a pattern breaking, sustainable and scalable way;
- those that will work in and/or build the infrastructure needed for social entrepreneurial work to take root, including individuals who will practice their profession in a social entrepreneurial organization (accountants, lawyers, etc.) and individuals who want to improve the operations and management systems of public, private and not for profit organizations; and
- those who will bring action oriented awareness on a national and/or global scale to particular social problems through journalism, the arts, photography, film making, television production and other media avenues.
Regardless of the developmental stage of the idea or where a changemaker is on their social entrepreneurial trajectory, Reynolds fellows are academically accomplished individuals from a wide variety of disciplines who have a demonstrable heritage of concern for issues of social importance, have distinguished themselves as a potential changemaker, and are committed to continuing to dedicate themselves to addressing issues of social importance in pattern breaking, sustainable and scalable ways.
Graduate Fellows take part in a full range of programming and opportunities including:
- The "Social Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century" Speaker Series: A city-wide speaker series bringing six influential leaders from various fields to NYU each year.
- Lunches and Dinners with "Social Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century" Speakers: Following the speaking events, approximately 12-15 cohort members share a meal and discussion with the speaker.
- NYU Reynolds Expert Advisor Workshops and Panels: Leading professionals, visionaries and thinkers in social entrepreneurship and related fields lead 90-minute seminars, lectures, workshops or sit on panel discussions in a wide variety of areas such as venture capital, cause marketing and outcome metrics.
- Social Entrepreneurial Coaching Sessions: One-on-one and small group coaching sessions with Susan Davis, President and CEO of BRAC USA and Trabian Shorters, Vice President of Community Programs of the Knight Foundation. Three sessions/year minimum required.
- Finance 101 for Social Entrepreneurs (1st semester, 1st Reynolds year): Mandatory course. An in-depth, yet comprehensive overview of financial concepts and terms relevant to the social sector.
- Social Entrepreneurship Class (1st semester, 2nd Reynolds year): Mandatory course in the Wagner school on pertinent cohort-chosen social entrepreneurial topics.
- Board Corps: Through a partnership with the United Way BoardServe NYC Program, qualified Reynolds Fellows are trained and places as board members of nonprofit organizations in New York City.
- Monthly Gatherings: A dynamic forum for cross-disciplinary teaching and learning, the gatherings are opportunities for fellows, scholars and alumni to share expertise and skills with their Reynolds colleagues in a formal workshop setting.
- Projects & Passions: Student-initiated series of peer-review/feedback sessions on presentations of individuals' social entrepreneurial projects, business plans or creative passions.
- Resource Bank: Provides cohort members focused on launching a new venture or expanding an existing one with a variety of stage appropriate resources. Top tier New York City-based firms and professionals with experience consulting to social entrepreneurs at the start-up and/or expansion phases provide pro-bono consulting in areas such as legal, accounting and financial management, business development, marketing and branding.
- Business Plan 101 for Social Entrepreneurs: Special annual Month Gathering sessions to gain a high-level of understanding of the various components of a business plan document and discuss its relevance in securing funding and building a social venture.
- Business Plan Development Team: The purpose of this team is to help early-stage and/or expansion-ready social entrepreneurs in the NYU Reynolds Program develop and launch or expand successful social ventures.
- Recruitment Ambassadorships: Opportunities to represent the Reynolds Program at Recruitment Fairs across the country.
- Selection Process: Participate as application reviewers and judges in picking the next class of fellows and scholars.
- Retreats: Full cohort gatherings at the beginning of each Reynolds year.
- Conference Scholarships: Opportunities to attend and present at prestigious conferences.
A full list of Reynolds Program Activities, including those available to scholars, can be found here.