Social Entrepreneurship Program

At Stanford GSB, you’ll find a rich array of academic and co-curricular opportunities to explore social entrepreneurship and build a social or environmental venture from the ground up.

The Center for Social Innovation can provide resources to help you immerse yourself and learn more about the problem, define the opportunities for impact, develop solution hypotheses, build a business model (nonprofit or for-profit), find advisors, and make a plan to raise the resources needed to turn your idea into reality.

Courses Taught by World-Class Faculty

Through your coursework, develop your entrepreneurial skills, learn how to integrate design thinking and social innovation, prepare to measure the impact of your venture model, and navigate the funding landscape.

Financial Support

Receive support for early-stage experimentation, summer immersion in the social entrepreneurship space, and launch your social or environmental venture after graduation.

Expert Guidance

Develop your idea through events and workshops:

  • One-on-one conversations with leading social entrepreneurs – including our Visiting Social Entrepreneurs – will provide external feedback to inform and anchor student planning and provide helpful advice for taking your venture to the next level
  • Workshops and peer activities will provide structured opportunities to build your idea, strengthen your theory of change, and implement next steps to better understand your problem area, develop a prototype, and clarify next steps for your venture
  • Coaching from CSI pulls it all together. You’ll find both the support and the rigor needed to keep you on track as you plan your academic experience and aim toward the launch of your social venture

Meet the CSI Visiting Social Entrepreneurs

Each year, CSI invites leading social entrepreneurs with diverse perspectives and lived experiences to mentor, guide, and inspire the next generation of changemakers at the GSB.

Stephen Bediako Obe
Co-founder & Partner, Path Group

A social entrepreneur with experience building social businesses in the U.K., Canada, and U.S., Stephen’s recent work has centered on improving people’s quality of life (The Social Innovation Partnership), addressing challenges to the future of humans at work (Path Group), and connecting workers and employers through a worker-owned COOP staffing agency (Turning Basin Labs). From a childhood as the son of Ghanaian migrants and an orphan in East London to the recipient of the U.K.’s Order of the British Empire for his innovative work in the charitable and social enterprise sector, Stephen’s work has catalyzed and influenced solutions in economic development, black advancement, and workforce transformation.

Shin Inoue
Co-founder & CEO, The Flagstone Initiative

Inspired by the ability to build solutions for everyday people who haven’t had the means to build a financial cushion for retirement or emergencies, Shin co-founded ForUsAll, a 401(k) company designed to support retirement savings for small business owners and employees. Next, he turned to a nonprofit model with the founding of The Flagstone Initiative, which in partnership with workforce housing landlords, foundations, and local government, improves the financial stability of low-income renters by providing emergency loans, emergency savings programs, and innovative payment options such as rent-splitting.

Saba Khalid
Founder, Aurat Raaj

Saba is a journalist, activist, filmmaker, and social entrepreneur focusing on women’s health and well-being in Pakistan. The organization she founded - Aurat Raaj - advances its award-winning AI-enabled chatbot application (available in multiple languages) to address topics like menstrual health, child marriage, gender violence, and sexual consent for women and girls in Pakistan. Aurat Raaj’s work also includes an animated cartoon series centered on taboos, a sustainable, reusable menstrual sanitary pad, and digital training programs to get more women to use tech in rural areas. As of 2022, the organization had reached 250,000+ women with its ground-breaking interventions.

Maen Mahfoud
Founder & CEO, Replate

As the founder of Replate, a San Francisco-based nonprofit, Maen utilizes technology and innovation to tackle the impact of food waste in the Bay Area with an emphasis on sustainability, mitigating climate change, and enhancing community health. Replate partners with 1,000+ companies and more than 400 nonprofit organizations to deliver surplus food from businesses to nearby communities in need. A Syrian American immigrant and first-generation college student, Maen was inspired by his mother’s example of preparing food for community members in need, which he and his brother then delivered via bicycle. Since founding the company in 2016, Replate has expanded across the U.S. and the Middle East, utilizing tech to increase efficiencies in the food system and preserve global resources.

Arturo A. Noriega
Founder & CEO, Centro Community Partners

Arturo’s work as the founder and CEO at Centro Community Partners (Centro) is born from his experiences as a child of Peruvian immigrants - skilled tailors who settled in California but could not start a small business due to the lack of access to capital and business support services. Based in Oakland, California, Centro provides entrepreneurship education and access to capital, mentorship, and leadership programs to low-income, minority, and women entrepreneurs who want to establish economic freedom and financial stability through small business creation. Under Arturo’s leadership, Centro has reached more than 100 countries and has influenced economic development and entrepreneurship education practices at the community level in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and North America.