Graduate Fellowship

Since 2006, the NYU Social Entrepreneurship 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:

  1. 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;
  2. 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
  3. 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.

These roles are not necessarily mutually exclusive, and one individual can play multiple roles. Further, each role can be thought of having its own trajectory beginning with the desire to change the world, and ending with the implementation of a pattern breaking, sustainable and scalable idea or approach. Fellows can be at different points on these trajectories with some working to more fully develop an idea, while others may be ready to launch an idea, while still others may be ready to bring an already launched idea more fully to scale.

Regardless of the developmental stage of the idea or where a changemaker is on their social entrepreneurial trajectory, NYU SE Program 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 SE Program 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 Fellows are trained and placed 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 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 Social Entrepreneurship Program develop and launch or expand successful social ventures.
  • Recruitment Ambassadorships: Opportunities to represent the NYU SE 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 year.
  • Conference Scholarships: Opportunities to attend and present at prestigious conferences.

A full list of NYU Social Entrepreneurship Program Activities, including those available to scholars, can be found here.

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