Stanford GSB Expands Social Innovation Fellowship

Launched in 2009, the Social Innovation Fellowship has been extended another three years and eligibility broadened to include mission-driven alumni addressing social or environmental problems.

November 19, 2010

Only two years into its three-year pilot, the Social Innovation Fellowship has seeded three high potential nonprofit startups launched by newly graduated Stanford GSB MBA and Sloan Master’s Program students who offer creative approaches to addressing social and environmental problems.


Launched in 2009 by the Center for Social Innovation at Stanford GSB, the Social Innovation Fellowship (SIF) will now be available through 2014. In addition, eligibility has been extended to alumni who have graduated within three years of fellowship application.

“Including recent alumni in the program is an exciting step forward for the Social Innovation Fellowship,” said Jesper Sorensen, a faculty director of the Center for Social Innovation, Robert A. and Elizabeth R. Jeffe Professor, and Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. “Successful social innovation requires both first-hand experience with the needs and challenges of the world outside the classroom, as well as the managerial skills and insight taught at Stanford GSB. The Social Innovation Fellowships are a wonderful opportunity for alumni to use what they have learned at Stanford GSB to put things in perspective and identify solutions to social and environmental problems.”

Thanks to the generous support of the Robertson Foundation, three dedicated and passionate GSB graduates have launched social ventures through the Social Innovation Fellowship. These include Federico Lozano of Puentes Global, focused on alleviating poverty by matching semi-skilled laborers in developing countries with jobs in the developed world; Jayampathy “Chari” Ratwatte, Jr, of Rural Returns, dedicated to improving the value chain for Sri Lankan rice to alleviate the plight of the rural poor; and Reid Saaris of Equal Opportunity Schools, working to address the achievement gap in the U.S. public school system.

The yearlong fellowships, which include $80,000-$120,000 in stipends, are awarded in June and are based on criteria such as project viability and applicant qualifications and commitment.

Along with the expanded scope of the Social Innovation Fellowship, students and alumni can take advantage of the Public Management Program’s new Social Entrepreneur Series. This ongoing program of workshops and talks is designed to support aspiring social entrepreneurs at Stanford with critical training, resources, and inspiration.

“Many Stanford GSB students expect to be involved in a social venture at some point in their lives,” said Gina Jorasch, director of the Public Management Program. “Through the Social Innovation Fellowship and the Social Entrepreneur Series, the Center for Social Innovation is in a unique position to pull in resources and expertise from nonprofits, government, and businesses to advise and support future social entrepreneurs.”

About The Center for Social Innovation at Stanford GSB

The Center for Social Innovation at the Stanford Graduate School of Business cultivates leaders to solve the world’s toughest social and environmental problems. Graduates from the center’s Public Management Program are prepared to apply their management education in innovative ways that create positive social value, such as helping corporations improve their sustainable practices and launching social enterprises that bring life-changing solutions such as loans to small businesses and safe lighting to the world’s poorest places. The center provides research, education, and experiential programs that reach across the business, nonprofit, and government worlds. The center promotes development of innovative solutions to build a more just, sustainable, and prosperous world.

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