Social Innovation Fellows

This is a highly interactive, experiential, and dynamic program providing resume-building consulting engagements and venture experiences.

Do you want to:

  • Learn about sustainability, social enterprise and organizational structure, entrepreneurship, impact investing, impact measurement, and corporate social responsibility (CSR)?
  • Connect with individuals and companies who employ business principles to advance social, environmental, and economic prosperity?
  • Engage in a social entrepreneurship consulting experience with a crash course in lean startup methodology, stakeholder theory?
  • Develop a blueprint project for social change?
  • Research issues of social and environmental importance through organizations both large and small?
  • Collaborate with the Center for Social Value Creation?

David Kirsch is the faculty champion for this program. Nima Farschi, the director of the Center for Social Value Creation closely collaborates with this program. 

Curriculum: One-Year Program

Counts toward management major.

  • BMGT468V (Business Models and Methods to Affect Social Change) — Fall
  • Explore the role of business in addressing social and environmental issues with many guest speakers from organizations that may include Soap Box, Marriott, Honest Tea, Impact Business Leaders, and the World Bank Innovation Lab.
  • BMGT468W (Social Innovation Practicum: Consulting and Venture Creation) — Spring
  • Working in teams of 4 or 5, take a blueprint project from fall semester to the next phase of implementation while consulting for a social enterprise, corporation or nonprofit organization.

What SIF Students Have to Say

"I was able to be inspired by a passionate professor who through the course has helped show the 'Power of One' — one person, one idea, one moment, one itch, one fleet moment of passionate work. SIF has shown me a different way of doing business. A way that delivers social impact. We have been exposed to young changemakers who are doing it currently. Delivering products that deliver a promise of change and benefit less fortunate members in our societies. I have learned that it can be very simple ... but that it also requires work, passion, commitment ... and did I say passion! Passion! Passion! Thank you, Centre for Social Value Creation and Kirsch, for ensuring this class continues for a very long time. If I had known about this class earlier, I would have taken it TWICE."

— Edmund Ottieno, 2017, Information Systems and Operations Management & Business Analytics

"I learned what it means to create a positive impact through business. A theory of change is the foundation to the process, which is as important as the final product. Through intellectually stimulating class discussions, Kirsch encouraged me to think critically about how businesses can create value by solving social problems. My favorite part of SIF was the inspirational guest speakers who shared their wisdom from their respective journeys of social entrepreneurship."

— Sarina Haryanto, 2018, Supply Chain Management

"I've learned that business has a greater purpose than to simply return a profit; it has the ability to significantly impact our society for good, and solve those issues that are otherwise unsolvable."

— Adriano Backes Pilla, 2019, Finance and Economics

Career Connection

  • Stephanie Cantor, Co-Founder at ads4change, Cohort 2, BS '12
  • Rachel Klausner, Founder at Millie, Cohort 1, BS '11
  • Lauren Kestner, Health Research Intern at IMPAQ International, Cohort 3, BS '14
  • Lauren Kurtz, Director of Marketing Strategy at The Little Beet, Little Beet Table & Le Pain Quotidien, Cohort 3, BS '13
  • Evan Lutz, Founder & CEO, Hungry Harvest, Cohort 4, BS '14
  • Teresa Russell, Environmental Science, Energy, and Sustainability Editor at Cactus Communications, Cohort 4, BS '15
  • Kushaan Shah, Growth Marketing at Teladoc Health, Cohort 4, BS '14
  • Ryan Steinbach, Middle School Math Teacher at DCI and Social Entrepreneurship Facilitator, Cohort 2, BS '13
  • Garrett Zink, Manager, Social Impact & Public Affairs at Marriott International, Cohort 4, BS '14

Eligibility Requirements

  • Be a business major. You may apply if you are in the process of applying to Smith as an internal transfer student.
  • Rising junior or senior (sophomores with advanced standing will be considered.)
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Studying abroad for a semester (fall or spring) is not encouraged (and may be a reason for not being accepted into the program)

Apply

APPLY FOR THE 2021-22 SOCIAL INNOVATION FELLOWS

Applications open on a limited basis – email SmithFellows@umd.edu.

Robert H. Smith School of Business
Map of Robert H. Smith School of Business
University of Maryland
Robert H. Smith School of Business
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