Impact in Economic Development

Experience Stanford GSB with an economic development focus through experiential learning, coursework, fellowships, summer experiences, and more.

Bold leadership and forward-thinking innovation are needed locally and globally to bring prosperity worldwide. Stanford GSB offers you the opportunity to explore economic development issues from the perspective of social entrepreneurs, policymakers, and business leaders.

Join a Community of Dedicated Economic Development Leaders

Stanford GSB alumni are making a difference every day through their social enterprises, their work in global communities, and their leadership in organizations. They offer you expert advice and inspiration to fulfill your vision for economic development.

Learn from the Experts

Explore economic development with Stanford GSB expert faculty and practitioners. Experiential courses offer the opportunity to build businesses either domestically or in the developing world, while case-based classes investigate strategies for poverty alleviation.

Featured Courses

  • Riding the Next Wave in Developing Economies
  • Inclusive Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction in Developing Countries
  • High-Impact Business Models in Emerging Markets
  • Design for Extreme Affordability

Faculty Insights

Make a Difference While Learning

Explore your interest in economic development through our experiential learning opportunities and fellowships. Students have used these experiences to start a venture dedicated to workforce upskilling, intern for an organization focused on neighborhood development, or better understand how to leverage private capital for sustainable development. 

Melissa Marts
MBA ’22
Impact Design Immersion Fellowship

Melissa is passionate about helping workers realize their full potential and achieve upward economic mobility. Melissa focused her IDIF on bridging the skills gap for young workers in Indonesia, with the goal of helping them develop the capabilities and professional skills they need to secure full-time stable corporate jobs. She sought to understand key skills gaps for workers who have recently graduated from vocational high school or university and used a micro-learning, cohort-based model to cultivate key capabilities, like empathy and creativity, which are the foundation of many soft skills.

Jill Lanney
MBA ’22
Impact Fund, Co-Chief Investment Director, Member Urban Development Deal Team

Jill joined the Stanford GSB Impact Fund because she is passionate about finding solutions to the world’s most complex social problems and wants to better understand how to leverage private capital for social good. Jill joined the urban development team because cities are home to a wide range of social and environmental challenges and are often the right level to pilot innovative solutions. She says, “I wanted to gain hands-on experience in impact investing to better understand the space and whether I want to explore a career in the field. As a member of a deal team, I was able to engage directly with inspiring leaders of impact companies and learn from my teammates with diverse experiences across the private, nonprofit, and public sectors.”

Understand the Field

Immerse yourself in current debates through guest lectures, events, and workshops that will help you develop a nuanced understanding of the realities of the field of economic development.

In turbulent times like ours, we need "hard-edged hope," said Jacqueline Novogratz during the 40-Year-Strong Community Anniversary Celebration.

In this View From The Top, Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles, discusses his life, leadership, and how one should “always innovate, accelerate, and collaborate — and always elevate other people’s voices.”

Power Your Career Right after Graduation

Whichever approach you pursue to achieve your economic development impact goals, you are eligible to apply for an Impact Career Fellowship or Prize. From starting a social venture that enables workers in Pakistan to find online jobs to giving minorities, the U.S. economy, and social justice a boost with internships for engineers, our Stanford Impact Founder Fellowships and Prizes offer you the opportunity to start your own social enterprise. Whether joining an international NGO or working domestically for an impact venture, the Stanford Impact Leader Prize signals your commitment and leadership potential to employers. Finally, if you join or launch a high impact organization, the loan forgiveness program helps you take care of your eligible educational debt.

Experience the Potential of an Interdisciplinary University Network

When you join Stanford GSB, you gain access to Stanford’s extensive interdisciplinary resources dedicated to improving education worldwide.

Seed, the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies, partners with entrepreneurs in emerging markets to build thriving enterprises that transform lives.